This is surely something to celebrate, but let's go deeper. Let's get a little graphic even. (Hang with me!) What, specifically, guarantees our salvation? Well first, why did we need saving? You know. It started in the Garden of Eden when sin entered our world. Adam and Eve chose to sin against God, thus allowing sin to enter the world. Because of that, every person born since then is predisposed to sin. We all do it. A child doesn't even have to learn how to sin; it comes naturally! It took my youngest child no time at all to crawl over and hit her brother. This original sin created a huge problem. Our God is holy and has no tolerance for sin. We were faced with a divide. We could never again be with our God as Adam and Eve were in the Garden prior to sinning. God made a way, though, to allow us access to Him. The system of sacrifice was created.
In the Old Testament, people and priests were able to offer sacrifices to atone for their sins and the sins of many. When presenting a sacrifice to God, blood had to be shed. The blood served to wash away the sins so God was able to accept His people. But, God had an even better plan! Enter Jesus!
Jesus willingly came to be a final sacrifice, once and for all. His holy, perfect blood was spilled for all of us. If we choose to recognize and accept this sacrifice, we are forever forgiven because of His blood. Jesus said, "for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many" (Matthew 26:28). We no longer are subject to the rules and procedures of the law requiring sacrifice after sacrifice. We have grace through Jesus' blood! To quote a Point of Grace song from the '90's, "There's a cross to bridge the great divide!"
Anyone with a church background probably knows all this. But, what else? Yes, there's more! Jesus' blood...
- Purifies our consciences. "Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins," Hebrews 9:14. We can boldly come before the throne of God to worship Him because we have been purified. We can walk with our God once more, like Adam and Eve!
- Defeats Satan and the powers of evil. In Revelation 12:11 it says, "They triumphed over him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb." If we accept Jesus' sacrifice, evil has no real power over us! The evil in this world will not win in our lives. Jesus also said, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). We can live in peace and without fear of what this world can do to us. Claim that!
- Heals us from the sickness of sin and makes us whole! Isaiah 53:5 says, "But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed." Christ makes us whole when we allow Him to take away the disease that is sin. When sin is removed, we must fill that void with something. The Holy Spirit enters in and makes us truly complete. If we seek God, we will never be lacking in anything (Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God, above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.")
I know a lot of this is old hat to some of you. A lot of you are very familiar with the symbolism and themes associated with Easter Sunday. But on the other hand, maybe some of you are not. And both are ok! But I have a question for all of us: do you still believe?
I came across this song the other day, and it inspired this post. It makes the statement that yes, I still believe that the blood of Jesus is sufficient for me. In fact, that is the only thing that saves me! That is the only thing that puts me in right standing with God! And it is more than enough. Let's remember these truths this Easter. The precious blood of Jesus is enough. Thank you, Jesus, for your awesome sacrifice! I still believe, do you?
Still Believe - by Kim Walker-Smith
I've linked up this week at Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory. Check it out!