Written by: Reinhard Bonnke
Blood has a very short life span. The average person has about ten pints of blood in his or her body. Over half of it is liquid, called plasma and most of the rest of it is made up of red cells, which die after 120 days and are constantly being replaced. In contrast, the most durable thing on earth is probably gold. Not even salt water affects it – even if it lies in it for centuries.
These facts make a comment by Peter, the leading Christian apostle, seem very strange: “It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed … but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1Pet. 1:18-19, NIV)
Gold is not perishable, whereas, blood certainly is. But, Peter knew what he was talking about and meant to startle us into seeing a tremendous truth. The world thinks money is everything, but Peter intended us to see that it has no spiritual value what-so-ever. There are no spiritual cash payment bargains. In real terms, only the Blood of Jesus has lasting value. When heaven and earth vanish, the redeeming power of Christ’s Blood will continue.
Long ago, drop by drop, the gold of Christ’s life ebbed out of His heart. It stained Calvary’s hill, spelling out in crimson letters the story of the love that surpasses all love. Today, hundreds of millions around the whole world – the simple and the wise, those who live in jungles and those who live in concrete apartment blocks, factory workers and academics – take that message as the truth above all truths. It shows us the concerns of God’s heart and a wisdom, which soars far above our cloud-hopping minds. Great intellects have bowed to it. Saul of Tarsus, once full of biting hatred, came to see the Cross as the logic of God. He said it was a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Greeks but the power of God to all that believe (1Cor. 1:23-24).
Logo of Love
Christ’s death was His greatest achievement and God’s greatest act. The power of love conquered the love of power. It was no mistake, no misfortune, and no accident. Christ was not a martyred victim, but a mighty victor, our champion and God’s hero. The Father in Heaven sent Him to hunt out and destroy the devil and evil. A greater David faced a greater Goliath. The Son of God overthrew our greatest enemy, sin, and our final foe, death.
The world ran true to form when it crucified Christ. God also ran true to form in what He did about it. He turned red blood into royal redemption. Men took a lovely tree, stripped it, and twisted it into the stark beams of the cross. It was their logo of hate. Christ picked it up, stained it with His life’s blood, and gave it back to us – His logo of love. He invested that tree with a glory it never had before. Its wood became a door of hope and made us worth all that we cost.
Critics and Truth
Like everything ever believed, the Gospel has its critics. People scorn it as a “Gospel of gore,” “a slaughterhouse religion.” But, twisting and abusing it does not change truth. If we preach Christ at all, there is only One we can preach – the crucified Christ. The great fact about Him is that He died for us. We are worth nothing except what we cost God. People are seeking truth, and here it is – the Son of God loved us and gave Himself for us. That love is not a theory, but a fact of history. It is the ultimate truth the philosophers seek. Love is beyond reason; it “passes understanding.” God’s heart made His mind up. His love story has a never ending happy end.
What do those who want Christianity without Christ’s blood have to offer us instead? A bloodless faith is an anemic faith – just nice words and sentiment. The hymns that speak of His blood may have been taken out of the hymnbooks, but it is still in our Bibles. The only faith the Bible knows is concerned with what Jesus did. He threw Himself headlong into the battle with death – and not for His benefit, but for ours. Is His blood now unmentionable? How can we be so delicate? The earth around us still reeks with the blood of the 200 million people who have been slaughtered in wars last century. Should God distance Himself from that? How could He? Must He speak in bloodless terms? What could He do without blood in such a world that is anything but bloodless? Only a wounded Christ can come to a wounded world. Our kind of world needs that kind of Savior.
The End of Blood Feuds
Cain suffered for the slaying of Abel. He was afraid of avengers. Terrible blood feuds have been waged for centuries, with one family seeking vengeance against another. But, all feuds end at Calvary. In Christ we are all avenged. Nobody suffered for the death of Jesus. Instead, He suffered death for us all. The assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand triggered World War One, but Christ made peace “through His blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20, NIV). Abel’s blood spoke of death; Christ’s blood speaks of life.
Peter told the first Europeans who received the Gospel that “Jesus of Nazareth … went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). Confronted with such damage to His activities, the devil, the author of evil, raged, plotted, and finally inspired wicked men to nail Jesus hands and feet to a tree. The enemy of souls stood by and gloated. Those feet would no longer carry Jesus around, nor His hands touch the afflicted. Yet, by the greatest turning of the tables in all history, the very blood that evil spilled became its cure.
The Price is Paid
All the world’s great religions show that people expect to pay for their sins. Some do penance, while tens of millions believe they will suffer in some future life by reincarnation. Most expect some awful judge to pass sentence on judgment day and pronounce their eternal destiny, while some expect to suffer cleansing agonies in the flames of Purgatory.
The Christian Gospel has a different message! It says: “JESUS HAS PAID FOR IT ALL.” That is the matchless glory of the Gospel, the Gospel Paul and Peter preached. They took that message into a world laden with guilt. “My brothers,” Paul said, “I want you to know that through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts. 13:38, NIV). If the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin, if He has paid the price, as Scripture clearly declares, what need is there for us to pay again or suffer again for sins for which Christ suffered in our place? Isn’t what He did good enough?
Before the world heard that message, ancient Israel offered animal sacrifices to God. The blood of these animals was not “precious.” The sacrifices only “covered” the sin of the people. If you have a table with a bad stain on it, you cover it with a nice cloth so nobody will notice. But, the stain is still there and needs removing. Those people going to the Temple to make sacrifices, longed for sin to be taken away. Then, the last of their great prophets, John the Baptist, saw Jesus, realized who He was, and cried out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The blood of Jesus works “under the tablecloth,” removes the stain, the deep-rooted sin, for men, women, boys, girls, people of all ages and all tongues.