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Nothing But The Blood

My wife and I purchased a quarter of a cow once. A good friend of mine kept a couple cows on his land. We met the cows a few times. We would drive by to stop and look at them. We would even have the kids get out of the car and pet them. I know, a little morbid. When it came time, he had them slaughtered. We received the meat and it was neatly packaged, ready for the freezer.

When I need meat, I go to the grocery store. It is neatly packaged and ready to cook. To be honest with you, I don’t think I have ever thought of an animal being slaughtered as I place it in my grocery basket. The grocery stores have done an exceptional job of sterilizing the whole process. They even have plastic bags to put your processed and packed meat in, just in case some of the juices drip out. Some stores even have hand sanitizer stations right there by the meat counters.

Just to be clear, I am not apposed to this! I am thoroughly grateful!

However, I wonder if we have the same thing with Jesus? Have we sterilized the whole process? Have we taken the sacrifice of Jesus and it into this neat package, where we don’t get our hands dirty? Where we don’t see the blood and we don’t think about the slaughter.

You see we live in a culture that minimizes sin. If we truth be told, it’s not even a culture. I minimize sin as well. When sin is minimized, there doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. We don’t want to think about sacrifice. Jesus becomes this person who lived a long time ago and taught some good things about having good morals.

Everything is packaged neatly. We have t-shirt sand mugs. We have bumper stickers and cute sayings that look nice when hung on a wall.

Look, I’m not saying these things are all bad, I am just saying that maybe we have lost the ruthlessness of it all. The authors of the New Testament didn’t want to minimize anything. Instead, they wanted the hearers and readers to see vividly the seriousness of sin and the cost of sin through the blood of a sacrifice.

“… and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Hebrews 9:22

In Revelation there is a moment where someone calls out that the Lion of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered and he is about to enter the room. However, when John turns to look he sees something else.

“… I saw a Lamb standing as though it had been slain…” Revelation 5:6.

The image that John was presenting was that of a slaughtered sacrifice.

As I was driving to my study at the church, I was pondering these words from the old preacher and hymn writer, Robert Lowry:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O precious is the flow
that makes me white as snow;
no other fount I know;
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon this I see:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this my plea:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness:
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

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