When the Apostle Paul was known only as Saul of Tarsus, he sought to destroy the body of Christ. He guarded the coats of those who stoned Stephen, and the blood of that day only gave him a thirst for more. As an enforcer for the Sanhedrin, his manner and methods presaged the horrors of the Inquisition. He was violent, cruel, and passionate about persecuting Christians. Such was the man who would become one of the most prominent figures of the first century church. How could one who had imprisoned, tortured, and murdered Christians later serve them without a life-debilitating guilt?
When sin crops up in our lives (and it will), we don’t need to deny it or hide it. We need to bring it out into the light of the Son by confessing it. When we ask the Father to forgive our sins for Christ’s sake, He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness. Once the sin sacrifice has been offered, we need to proceed to the burnt offering, consecrating ourselves to God.
The Son declared on His exit from heaven that He knew the Father had no pleasure in the animal burnt offerings and sin sacrifices. Because His heart is to always bring pleasure to the Father, He did something about it. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” He said. He came to save us, but His motivation was to bring pleasure to His Father.
After bringing us into covenant with Him by cleansing us with His blood, the Lord leads us to a life of consecration. The longer we walk with the Lord, the more He challenges us to let go of the world. Activities we enjoyed without guilt in the past now become restricted by convictions. But with each conviction followed comes a new liberty to serve the Lord in consecrated holiness.
In both Covenants (Old and New) real blood was spilled and then verbally enjoined. After speaking all the precepts of the Law to the people, Moses sprinkled the blood of bulls and goats on the book and the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has enjoined unto you.” After living and speaking all the precepts of the New Covenant, Jesus declared, “This is my blood of the covenant.” They each gave voice to the blood.
We were not redeemed by silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Christ! What gives the blood of Christ its worth? It is sinless. But it isn’t simply sinless by nature; it is also sinless by proof.
This Creation is certainly full of wonders. But among all the wonders, two novel creations stand out: nephesh life and mankind. Let us look at the creation of soul life, the life of the flesh that resides in the blood.
The day our original parents were created, the day they became living souls, God named them according to the blood that brought color to their face. Blood defines the essence of man. And by placing life in the blood of man, God took a singular departure from what He had done in the creation of angels.
“The life of the flesh is in the blood.” This is a profound statement. God informs us that the very essence of life in man and animals runs through the river in their veins. Blood carries their life principle, if you will. And this blood is a precious commodity not to be trifled with.
The story of Jesus Christ is bloody—bloodier than most of us are willing to contemplate. Centuries of artistic expression have whitewashed the horror of Calvary. Instead of a naked convict, we have the loincloth-clad Christ. Instead of a face ripped, bloated, and bleeding from hours of beating, we have serenely closed eyes.