As most of my readers know, I am a gratefully redeemed child of God so I naturally try to watch my language. However, I'll admit I routinely use a word that is SO offensive, SO outrageous, that it literally causes a ruckus sometimes. I am sadly amused at the comments I receive. You'd think I say it for shock factor, it is so hated.
Today, most people recoil in distaste when it is spoken of in the context of God. It is a word every true believer in Christ should be using, now more than ever. Unfortunately, you don't hear many people talking about it, even in the churches and rarely in the pulpit! Wanna know what the word is?
It's interesting stuff, really. It starts off slippery and quickly congeals into a sticky goo. The smell is distinctive, nauseating and very metallic. When you're in the medical field as I am, you quickly get used to seeing this bright red fluid that automatically testifies some type of violence has occurred.
I love action movies. Not brain dead horror, but good guys against the bad guys kind of stuff. Of course, there's usually a lot of shooting and, due to audience appetite for gore, lots of blood being spilled. I've seen video games in which soldiers are running around killing zombies and features unbelievable amounts of blood! Bloody pools where the zombie was killed. Blood spatter on the walls and clothes. (And no, my son does not have that game!)
People can't seem to get enough, just like the raucous crowds in the Roman coliseum crying out for another bloody battle. 'Give us more, gladiators, more guts, more gore, more blood!'
Blood is made up of four basic parts; red blood cells carry oxygen, white cells battle infection, platelets cause clotting, and all of these are contained in a thin, yellowish liquid called plasma. Its design and function is pure genius! It is literally life itself. No blood or blood flow, no life. Death occurs within minutes.
So what is the point of this article? I want to know why there is such a difference in attitudes between everyday blood and the blood of Christ.
Why does the average Joe cringe when the blood of Jesus is mentioned, but he can hardly wait to get home to see the next Tap Out match? What makes Jesus' blood different?
It's because when Joe was a child, he learned in Sunday School that God sacrificed His own Son so he could be saved and go to heaven. Whoa! That is a really uncomfortable, awkward story. It makes Joe feel guilty because he knows he is a sinner but he doesn't want anyone telling him how to live his life, so he simply doesn't think about that blood. Ewww!
Our Creator put on skin and walked among us, experiencing all the frustrations, ills, anger, highs and lows we humans endure in our lifetime. He had to learn how to walk and talk. He had to go through puberty. He grew up, learned His earthly father's craft, became a carpenter and found out how heavy the burden of making a living really is. All while knowing He was God and what He was facing.
How would you like to live your whole life knowing you were born for the express purpose of being horribly tortured to death, just so the filthy, crude, rude, selfish, violent, sinful creatures you made could be reconciled to you and join you in your home forever?
What exactly is the penalty we deserve for our sins? Death. He couldn't have satisfied His own justice if He had been smothered or drowned; there had to be a visible symbol of that sacrifice to prove sin had been paid for. He had to spill that which represents life itself. His innocent, Holy blood.
Almighty God, the one who set the earth on its foundations, held the oceans in His hands and formed you in your mother's belly, was beaten, slapped, spit on and mocked by men who didn't even know Him but thought it funny to curse Him.
He was then stripped and whipped by Roman soldiers. The Bible doesn't give us much detail on how this was carried out and with what, but knowing the bloodthirstiness of Roman culture, it was without a doubt nauseatingly brutal. By the time they got finished with Him, blood was flowing freely.
The soldiers then made a so called, 'crown' woven from thorny branches and jammed it down on His head, pounding it into His scalp with a stick. And we all know how much blood flows from a head wound! Nice.
Another round of kangaroo court and mocking and it was off Golgotha, a designated place outside the city gates where the worst criminals were executed and left to hang for the birds to eat. By this time He had lost so much of that life giving blood that he was too weak to carry the cross beam of the cross, so the soldiers forced some guy in the crowd to carry it for Him.
More bleeding occurred when those spikes were nailed through what were most likely His wrists and ankles. Blood everywhere! From His ripped up back and torso, from the cruel, mocking crown of thorns to the iron that fastened Him to that cross. Blood. Sticky, messy, smelly blood.
Hanging there, having nearly bled out, He called out that He was thirsty. He was so dehydrated and weakened that the Bible states His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth. Crucifixion was and is still is known as one of the slowest, most painful ways to die. He hung there for six hours, held only by those spikes; and a heart of love. For YOU. He didn't have to do that...
The God, who made you, loves you SO much that He willingly laid down His life for you. He shed His blood for you. All of it. Just to give you the choice of accepting the pardon He paid for with His life.
Just before He died, He cried out in a loud voice, "Paid in full!" He was announcing that the ultimate blood sacrifice He gave for our sins was perfect and sufficient to cleanse and enable us to stand sinless when we face Him.
And that, my friends, is the ONLY way you or I will be able to enter heaven. Because of all that yucky blood.
Of course, you can be like the average Joe and choose to ignore or put off making a decision to surrender your life and your plans to Jesus; of accepting the pardon He paid dearly for. You can go your own way, living your life by your own terms and, most likely, have a happy life. For all of, what? Maybe eighty years? Then what?
Every single person ever born will live forever. It's up to you to decide where. In heaven with the one who knows and loves you enough to be slaughtered in your place? Or will you slap the hand that holds your pardon, away and turn your back? As you are deciding, remember that dirty word. Blood.
What kind of a stupid fool would take the chance that all of this is not true? Perhaps a fool like you?
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.