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Why Do I Need Blood to Cover Sin     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
 —Isaiah 53

And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.  —Luke 22

If you’re following along, we’ve covered a lot of ground, but we still haven’t answered the questions we sought to answer:

Why did God choose blood as the currency to redeem us?
How can I trust One who would give up His only Son like that?

To get there . . .

. . . let’s review the evidence that we’ve collected.

From just after the beginning, we saw that blood was required to return to a right relationship with God, but that it wasn’t the quantity of blood that God required, but a heart. Then, through Noah, God messaged that even the righteous fall short, but that He stands in the gap. God told us that One, the right One, could cover for everyone and the He, Himself would provide the One. And because that wasn’t easy to assemble, God put this all together reminding us that when we show the blood, judgement passes over.

But then we skipped over to the New Testament and examined the results of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We saw that the blood of Jesus redeemed our treasure from the hock we’d put it into and that it provided a forgiveness for our mistakes. It justified our accounts with God as if there had never been a debt and it ws a sacrifice so great that the blood of Jesus reconciled the animosity built up between God and me/you/us. The blood of Jesus made us feel clean enough to enter back into a relationship with God and it granted us peace to move out into the world with an evidence of God’s love. If you don’t remember any of those twelve, then click back through and familiarize yourself with them again. They each provide an important ingredient to answering the first question.

In Gethsamane, Jesus sweat blood (Luke 22:44). To do such would have made him unclean as to the Law. This condition, Hematidrosis, is connected with extreme stress and, based on the narrative in Luke 22 and Matthew 26, likely begins the separation between God, the father, and Jesus, the son.

Leviticus 17:11 is the pivotal verse here. We haven’t talked much about it, but it says:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.

There’s some controversy here as to whether it is the life of the sacrifice that makes atonement or the blood of the sacrifice that makes atonement for the life of the one making the sacrifice. But based on what we’ve seen, and the path that we’ve walked, what do you think? Was the blood that Jesus shed in Gethsemane insufficient for God or was it insufficient for me/you/us?

Watch as much of this video as you can stand (the video is imbedded on the site or linked here): 

In light of this and the emotions running through you right now, is it more likely that God demanded the blood of His Son, or that I did? If you’re God and you not only want to pay the debt, but win the debtor—really show them the depths of your love—you can’t pay it easily. You can’t pay it with the change in your front pocket.

I believe that God chose blood as the currency to redeem us, from the beginning, because He knew that only something big would provide me/you/us the peace of knowing, still, almost two thousand years later, that He loved us even when we hated him. Who were you in that crowd in the video? Who were you ten years ago? Who were you as a teenager?

I’ve been every single person in that video. I’ve been the soldier standing stiffly by as my friends shredded Jesus. I’ve been the members of the Sanhedrin looking on assured that I was on God’s side. I’ve been the mother of Christ, shredded so much that I can barely stand to watch. And I’ve been the one doing the shredding.

And so we come to the last question. How can I trust One who would give up His only Son like that?

Some will read this from a different perspective. Without traveling the path we’ve traveled and like Adam and Eve, they’ll look upon the carnage presented and feel they have a full grasp of the facts.

But knowing that God crushed His greatest love, putting His own holiness onto an altar for me, is a constant reminder that He crossed the universe, moved the heavens, blotted out the sun (Luke 23:44-45) and crushed His non-negotiable (Isaiah 53:5) for just one narrow chance (Matthew 7:14) to walk again in the cool of the day and not have to hide (Genesis 3:8). I can trust God because of all He did to walk with me.

And so we return to this list that we’ve seen these last few times because:

  1. God didn’t impose blood on me, my non-negotiable sinful nature required it of God (Romans 3:23), so
  2. I was destined to live forever apart from Him (Romans 6:23), so
  3. God brought salvation within my grasp (John 3:3) and
  4. God established a Way for me to return into relationship with Him (John 14:6).
  5. This Way is within the reach of a child, a stolen girl or a dying soldier but can be elusive to giants, kings and the gifted (Romans 10:9-11), but
  6. God came to me/you/us. He is coming. He has come. And He continues to come. (Revelation 3:20).

Come. Eat. Drink. Rest. Home is here, for you, in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

l love you.          

This is the eighteenth and final part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linked here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

If you'd like to see where this series beganPart 1. Billy Graham at Great St. Mary's in Cambridge is available by clicking here.

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