Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blood

Last Sunday evening, our youth pastor did a teaching on redemption as part of his series on the Gospel for the middle-schoolers of our church. I was there with my son Emmett who is 11. One of the things that this pastor emphasized which I also like to emphasize when I think on redemption is the idea of "blood". It's very simple really. I was a slave to sin, completely unable to free myself from the chains that bound me (Eph 2:1-3). Christ was given as a ransom for my sin by offering Himself as a substitute in my place on the cross. So, my redemption was secured by blood. Blood was poured out for me. When I think of the blood of Christ it usually sets off a chain reaction of thoughts that leads me to that good place of rest known as the Gospel. Blood reminds me of who I was and what needed to be done to save me. This causes me to think of the great truths of the Gospel such as justification (being made righteous), propitiation (wrath averted, favor bestowed) and redemption (ransomed from slavery).  That is why I like this quote by John Bunyan that I ran across the other day:

Sometimes when my heart has been hard, dead, slothful, blind, and senseless, which indeed are sad frames for a poor Christian to be in, yet at such a time, when I have been in such a case, then has the blood of Christ, the precious blood of Christ, the admirable blood of the God of Heaven, that run out of His body when it did hang on the Cross, so softened, livened, quickened, and enlightened my soul, that truly, reader, I can say, O it makes me wonder!
John Bunyan, The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded (London, 1708), 183.


When I experience one (or several!) of the heart issues that Bunyan describes above sometimes the last thing I want to do is preach the Gospel to myself. However, God does not let me rest there. He first makes me aware of my situation and then He reminds me of what I need. I need to go back and remember that blood was poured out for me. When I start to do that I, too, experience what Bunyan describes and it makes me wonder also! I wonder that God could love me so much. Yet it's true. How do I know this? 


Blood...


"...knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."1 Peter 1:18-19

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