The blood of Jesus Christ is always center-stage in Christian worship. In fact it is the central issue of our salvation altogether. According to the New Testament there can be no salvation without blood:
…according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22b (NLT)
If you flip open a book on the subject of the crucifixion there is no doubt that blood was everywhere – in Pilate’s courtyard, the via Dolorosa and under Golgotha’s cross. I recall the warnings in 2004 before Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion, came out. The film was rated “R” due to extreme violence. That film left indelible images on my mind about suffering, pain and, most definitely, blood!
Which is what the crowd called-for that day.
“His blood be on us and on our children” is what they cried. I can understand hatred that throws oneself into a rage and puts it all on the line; it’s hard to imagine, though, playing loose with your children’s future. But that’s what they did!
What could make a crowd want the kind of scene they understood would involve that kind of suffering? They knew what it meant; Roman crucifixions were common. They knew the blood and flesh would be torn from a man’s body; scourging/beating the prisoner before nailing to the cross often made the gruesome corpse unrecognizable.
Whatever the crowd’s motivation for calling for blood, they wanted it badly enough to pledge their innocence (and their children’s) to get it!
Paradoxically, the very blood that hatred called for, was the same blood that brought forgiveness.
That’s a God thing!
And it’s still happening. The blood still washes us white as snow:
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:7 (KJV)
The blood of Calvary – remembered throughout history as “on the heads” of those in the mob who cried out for violence – is still the blood that takes away the sin of the world.
Doing the math, I have to admit that blood is on my hands as much as if I’d been in the center of the mob that day. It’s called sin, transgression, human fallen nature.
Some try to mitigate the sound of all that by pushing our guilt off – diluting what is our responsibility with words like, “unfortunate choices”.
But sin is still sin, and only the blood of Christ cleanses that kind of stain.
For You, Today…
Forgiveness is always as close as the cross – and the blood.
It will never lose its power!