Drinking Deeply

Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 11:42 AM

The blood of Christ wasn't enough

Ok, that was a gimmick, meant to catch your attention. Everyone got their stones set?

Alright. Let me make my point.

Sometimes Christians speak of the blood of Christ as if it were some superhuman substance. That if we looked at it we would see like the cure to cancer, 99 strands of DNA, and all sorts of miraculous things. That somehow this blood, the hemoglobin of God, is what saves us.

But, this blood isn't enough to save us, at least the literal "blood" isn't enough. The Bible never speaks of the blood of Christ as if it were supernatural and all powerful. Rather, because Christ is fully human, his blood is just like yours and mine, except untainted by sin. It may be an exceptional specimen, but it's certainly completely human, and it saves as much as my blood or your blood. Which is, none at all.

But what the Bible talks about when it speaks of the "blood of Christ" saving us is the "life of Christ" saving us. It's using the term "blood" as a "literary metonymy" a part to represent the whole. The blood of Christ represents not just the spilled blood from His wounds, but His entire life poured out for us. His perfect, sinless life, going up as the unique son of God, given as a substitute, bearing God's wrath in our place. That is what saves us from our death. There isn't some supernatural power in the physical blood of Christ, but it's the power in the life of Christ.

We speak of the "cross" in the same way. It's not the piece of wood that saves us, but Christ's death and resurrection.

So when we say "nothing but the blood of Jesus," it's necessary to prevent people from getting the wrong idea by clarifying sometimes (not all the time), that "it's nothing but the life and death of Jesus" is the meaning of that phrase.

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

Refrain

Oh! 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.

Refrain

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

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain


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