THE POWER OF THE CROSS
WE HAVE LIFE THROUGH HIS BLOOD
Never cross swords with Jesus! The Pharisees tried it and always came off second best. The amazing thing was, though, that every time Jesus engaged them in debate, He said something profound and unforgettable. Like the time they tackled Him about His declaration that He was the bread of life. Once again they demanded a sign. Refusing to recognise that He was their Messiah, they kept harping on the same thing: “Give us a sign. Give us a sign.”
Jesus insisted that He had given them sign after sign but it made no difference. They were not convinced and they demanded yet another sign. Moses gave them bread of heaven. That was a sign that he was a prophet from God. What would Jesus give them? He startled them by declaring that Moses’ manna was not the real bread from heaven. He was!
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6: 51)
That shook them. He must be joking! What did He mean? Was He advocating cannibalism? Of course not! Then He said something even more explicit.
Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6: 53-54)
Jesus was a Hebrew. He thought and spoke like a Hebrew. He was not talking about literally eating His flesh but about what eating does. We eat food to nourish our bodies. Eating food keeps us alive. When we stop eating, we die.
Jesus spoke of His flesh and blood as nourishment, obviously not for our bodies but for our spirits. He was referring to His broken body and poured out blood given willingly as a sacrifice for sin for the whole world. To eat His flesh and drink His blood implied believing the truth of the meaning of His sacrifice. Faith in what He did for them would bring them back to life because they were dead in their sins.
Jesus was referring back to a statement in the Old Testament that explained why blood was so significant. Long before the discoveries of science and medicine, God made clear in His Word what we know to be true today. The life is in the blood.
“So says Leviticus 17:11. Everyone knows that we must have enough blood flowing around our body or else our bodily functions deteriorate and we die. Yet for a long time the exact function of blood was little understood. In what ways has modern science shown Leviticus 17:11 to be true?
Blood is fundamental to the function of every cell of every component in our bodies. Cells need food to survive, grow, repair themselves and to fulfill their specific functions, and, to reproduce. Cellular food is transported in blood to provide energy for all the cells’ needs. As humans are multicellular organisms, having separate specialized organs with highly sophisticated functions, transport and communication between these structures is essential.”
http://creation.com/life-is-in-the-blood (- retrieved October 2015)
We all know that, when the body is depleted of blood, the organs cease to function and the body dies. Without blood, there is no life.
Jesus used this analogy to explain that His blood, not flowing in His body but poured out through His broken flesh, provides life for the inner being when it is taken in by faith. Sin killed the spirit of the first pair and, since that moment, death came upon every one of their descendants because we have all sinned.
But Jesus declared the good news that His life, poured out on the cross by the shedding of His blood, has given us life, not just physical but eternal life.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness, reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5: 17)
And this life is given to us as a free gift! Just as we take in food to sustain our physical lives, so we take in by faith the blood of Jesus which gives us and sustains our eternal life. Jesus said to Martha:
‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ (John 11: 25)
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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