Christians tend to talk about the blood of Christ a lot. Because it is important. But I kind of get why non-Christians might find that weird. I mean, I have personally prayed the prayer “Lord wash me with your precious blood” and I have experienced the sense of peace and relief after the blood has done just that. But why blood? And why does it “wash” me?
Blood kind of grosses me out. It doesn’t smell nice. And it certainly doesn’t “wash” anything. If anything, it usually tends to stain everything that it touches. So why is the blood of Christ different?
Blood is a person’s life force. Without blood, you die. If you get stabbed and the blood starts draining out, you start dying as well. The more blood you lose, the more you die.
After Christ died on the cross, the guards came to Him and stabbed Him in the side. Blood and water gushed out of this wound.
But what is the significance of this blood? And what is it’s function?
I really like the book The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee, which helped me to realize that there are three main functions for the blood:
The Blood justifies us before God
We are sinners, and therefore God, by His righteousness, cannot accept or justify us. He loves us and would love to justify us of course, but the penalty of sin is death. You might say this is unfair. We sin because we are sinners, because our forefathers were born sinners and passed on a sinning nature to us. But God wasn’t happy with the situation either. The people that He created were condemned to pay a price that none of them were able to pay. So He came and paid the price for us.
That is what we do when we apply the blood of Christ (when we tell the Lord, “Lord, I apply your blood right now” or “Lord Jesus, wash me with your blood”). We take advantage of the fact that the blood of Christ can wash us from every sin. And when it washes us, it is as if we never had sinned. Because God’s righteousness at that point is satisfied, God literally doesn’t remember our sins at all. He fully considers the blood of Christ to pay the price for every sin that we have ever committed.
This has nothing to do with how we feel. Even if we don’t “feel” justified, this doesn’t mean that we aren’t justified. God’s righteousness is not based on our feelings. But the awesome thing is, once we are washed with the blood of Christ, God’s righteousness, which previously condemned us, now justifies us. We are in His eyes perfect. And it has nothing to do with what we do. His blood justifies us.
The Blood satisfies our conscience
God created us with a conscience. This tells us what is right and wrong. Through sin, our conscience becomes dull. But when we come to Jesus and touch this living wonderful person, we are immediately aware that there is something wrong between us and God. Sometimes we are discouraged by this feeling, but actually the solution to the problem is so simple. The blood of Christ is fully able to cleanse our conscience. This does have something to do with our feelings.
This is the wonderful, awesome feeling of peace and joy that we get once we tell the Lord to wash us from our sins. We no longer have to worry about the things that we have done. We can just concentrate on enjoying the living God Himself.
The Blood defeats Satan, the accuser
But sometimes, even though we apply the blood to a particular situation, even though we are, according to the Bible, completely justified in the eyes of God, we don’t actually feel justified. This is because Satan, the accuser, also has access to our feelings and is able to manipulate them so that we don’t feel justified. This is an accusation. He then comes to us and tell us that the blood of Christ isn’t sufficient. Even though we asked the Lord to forgive our sins, it isn’t enough. We need to do more. We need to do something.
This is the idea of penance. And it is WHOLLY FROM THE DEVIL. God has already paid the highest price for our sins. He neither wants, nor expects us to do anything else. So how do we overcome this accusation? The devil accuses us my making us look at our self, our poor pitiful condition. We defeat him by telling him to look at the blood. We often do not treasure the power that the blood has. But the devil, Satan, is fully aware of what the blood does. And as soon as we tell him to look at the blood, he can no longer accuse us any more.