For Serious Christian Growth... Sink Your Roots into the Word of God!

August 3, 2009

“For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” – Hebrews 9:13-14

For many of us, life has been incredibly cleaned up. I buy chicken that has no feathers, bones, skin, or blood. My trash disappears every Tuesday and Friday. I have four scented shower gels to choose from each morning. Probably the messiest things I have to deal with are washing the dishes after a barbeque dinner or cleaning up cat throw-up.

When I think about it, Christianity doesn’t really fit in with my sterilized, carefully moderated interaction with the world. The core of Christianity centers around blood ... something I would rather avoid, whether we are talking about my blood, or anyone else’s. Before Christ, it was the blood of goats and bulls and heifers. But they simply pointed the way to the final sacrifice, where the blood of Jesus was poured out for the salvation of the world.

The core of Christianity isn’t comfortable to think about. It’s not about incense and flowers and books and paintings and cathedrals, though all those can teach us about God and help us to worship. It’s not about serving others or finding fulfillment or experiencing everlasting joy, though all those spring from its depths.

No, the center, the heart of Christianity, its very core, is blood.

The core of Christianity is the blood of Christ. The blood that proves God’s love, the blood that forgives all our sins, the blood that brings us new life, turning our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.

It almost seems too raw. Too tangible. Too real.

But that’s the wonder and the joy of it all: we serve a God whose feet walked this earth. Whose hands touched lepers to comfort and heal. Whose body was broken and whose blood was spilled.

You can never claim that God is distant when he shows you the nail scars in his hands.

  • Spend some time considering that Jesus – fully man and fully God – bled for you. By the time he died, he had been beaten, scourged, crowned with thorns, pierced by nails, and stabbed with a spear. What impact does this have on you?
  • Why might people find the centrality of blood in the gospel to be offensive?
  • What can you do to bring to mind more clearly the blood and body of Christ when you celebrate communion?
Copyright © 2009, Paula J. Marolewski. All rights reserved.
The above Seedling may NOT be reprinted.
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