Power of the Blood!

by Rick
Power of the Blood!

Christianity is as bloody a religion as they come.  Our faith is riddled with blood from Genesis to the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  This blood, however, is not shed for shedding’s sake; but rather with a purpose.  I pray that this series will open your revelation to the Power of the Blood of Jesus Christ in the life of the believer.  Read it, apply it, and grow from it.  Be Blessed:

The Power of the Blood
His Substitutionary Death and My Substitutionary Life
The Unifying Power of the Blood!
Our Blood Covenant
Our Consecration Service
From Covering to Cleansing
From Ritual to Relationship
Communion
The Blame for the Blood
Turning Hopeless Situations Around!
An Equivalent Ransom
From Outward Performance to Inward Praise!

 

The Power of the Blood (top of page)

(Gen 3:21 KJV)  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

This morning we begin a new series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  Christianity is a religion riddled with blood.  From Genesis to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, blood has played a major role in our faith.  Were it not for the blood of Jesus, I would not be writing this morning, nor would you be reading.  Were it not for the blood of bullocks, goats, turtle doves, and lambs, the journey of the Old Testament would have never reached the shores of the New.  Our faith is as bloody as any war, but the blood I speak of was shed with a purpose.  In this series we will deal with words like substitution, atonement, and redemption; and we will learn how they are tied to the blood and how it applies to our daily lives.

This morning we begin our series in the beginning.  Genesis 3 opens with the despicable serpent and his conniving acts.  He tricks the woman into eating from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; disobeying the command of God.  She then gives to her husband and he eats as well.  As soon as he ate (note: nothing happened when she ate because the commandment was given to Adam) the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they covered themselves with fig leaves.  They were previously naked and not ashamed (2:25), because they operated completely in the Spirit.  After their act of disobedience, however, the Lord removed His Spirit from their bodies and they were condemned to a life of human-consciousness; a life devoid of the Spirit of God.  We were, consequently, born the same way, because we were born with the inheritance of Adam.  We will learn later that Jesus came that we might be Born-Again, that the Spirit of God might enter into us, and that we might be restored to the original condition of man in the garden.

We go back to the garden and we find a man and a woman who have sinned against God and have died spiritually as a result.  This act of disobedience introduced a dynamic-duo that would trouble man-kind until the coming of Christ; it introduced both Sin and Death, leaving us in need of deliverance from both.  After pronouncing judgment upon the serpent, the woman, and the man; God did something in our text that would be the pattern of deliverance for the rest of the Old Testament.  He killed an innocent animal for the act of a man.  The blood of the animal became the price for the works of the man.  The skin of the animal became the covering for the shame of the man.  This unnamed animal paid the price that was reserved for the man (Gen 2:17) and the man lived his life then, under the covering (clothes) of the animal.

So what does this mean to you today? The Old Testament is but a foreshadow of the New.  Later on, we will learn that Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.  He would be the Lamb that would die for the man, so that the man could live for the Lamb.  He put down His righteousness and clothes Himself in our sin, so that we could put down our sin and clothe ourselves in His Righteousness!  We can enter into this day knowing that we have been redeemed from sin and bought with a price.  What was that price – nothing less than the Blood of Jesus!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  There is power in the Blood of Jesus.  Your Son died that I might live.  You Son paid a price that I could not pay myself.  I now live for Him and Him alone.  I am redeemed from both Sin and Death and I walk in the newness of life.  I can face this day with confidence and boldness.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I do not allow sin to control me.  I have been bought with a price and walk as a redeemed soldier in Your Army.  I am covered by Your blood and anointed by Your Spirit!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

His Substitutionary Death and My Substitutionary Life (top of page)

(Gen 22:13 CEV)  Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. So he took the ram and sacrificed it in place of his son.

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  Genesis 22 opens with the Lord instructing Abraham to take his “only” son Isaac and to sacrifice him in the land of Moriah.  To understand that magnitude of the request we must understand that this boy was a child of promise.  Abraham waited on this promised son of Sarah for many years, although not always operating in patience.  Abraham wound up having another son (Ishmael) with his servant Gomar.  This really made Isaac his second son, but God referred to him as the “only” son, because he was the son of promise.  Abraham incredibly looked beyond his years of frustration while waiting for the boy and beyond the awesomeness of the request and set out the next morning to kill the son that he loved for the God that he served.  He got up early in the morning and took off with his donkey, the materials for the sacrifice, his servants, and his son.  After a three day journey Abraham finally saw the place that Lord led him to in the distance.  He told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back to you.”  Notice that he said, “…we will come back to you.”  He had faith in God that somehow they would both be back together.  Abraham built the altar and arranged the wood.  He then bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar.  Here you have an old man that waited many years for a child of promise; taking the same child and raising a knife to kill him for the God of the promise.  When Abraham lifted up his knife to shed the blood of his promised son, the angel of the Lord stopped him and brought his attention a ram that was caught in a nearby thicket.  The Lord honored his faith and provided the ram for the sacrifice in the stead of the boy.

This is chock full of application about faith, promises, and provision; but this morning I want to highlight a seldom talked about subject – substitution.  Let’s break down the text:

1.       Isaac was the second son, but he was the child of promise.

2.       God instructed the ‘Father of Faith’ to sacrifice this second and promised son.

3.       At the point of sacrifice, the Lord stopped it and provided a ram to die in the stead of the man.  God tested Abraham’s faith, but stopped him before human sacrifice.  God would reserve the shedding of human blood to that of His only begotten Son and the Old Testament would continue to riddled with the blood of animals for the actions of man.  The ram in the text and all other animals sacrificed after it had nothing to do with the circumstances surrounding the sacrifice, but they died so that humanity could live.  This is substitution.

So what does this mean to you today? Remember that the Old Testament is but a foreshadow of the New.  Let’s take a look at the New Testament revelation of this text:

1.       Jesus was the second (Adam was the first) and promised Son of God.

2.       God instructed Jesus to offer Himself as a sacrifice, thereby shedding human blood and ending the requirement for the shedding of animal blood.

3.       Jesus was the only human to never commit sin and therefore not required to pay the penalty for it; but He substituted His righteousness for our sin.  He became the innocent Lamb that would die for the man, so that the man could live for the Lamb.  This is substitution.

4.       We can now face this day with the peace and assurance that we have been redeemed.  Jesus died a substitutionary death so that we could live a substitutionary life.  He died for you so that you could live for Him. What are you going to do today that will honor His sacrifice?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  With my whole heart I seek You and declare that I will not fail to give you praise for dying that I might live.  You substituted Your Son for my sin and I now substitute my life for His.  For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.  I will be Your legs to walk and Your mouth to talk this day.  Use me as an instrument of Your anointing.  I honor You Lord with my life and service.  In the name of the one who died so that I could live.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Unifying Power of the Blood! (top of page)

(Gen 37:31 NIV)  And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood.

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  Let me give you a little background on our text.  Isaac loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age (37:3) and he gave him a coat of many colors.  This caused his brothers to hate him with a passion (v.4).  To make things even worse, Joseph dreamed a dream from God that revealed that he would be above all his other brothers and even his parents.  He made the crucial mistake of telling the dream to his brothers and they wound up hating him even more.  One day his brothers went out to feed the flock and did not take Joseph with them.  His father later sent Joseph out to check on them (v.13).  Joseph caught up with them in Dothan and when they saw him a far off, they conspired to kill the young dreamer (v.18).  Rueben and Judah stood up for the young boy’s life and talked the others out of killing him, but they did strip him of his prized coat of many colors, threw him in a pit, and then later sold him as a slave.  They were then left with the dilemma of making up a story that their father would believe.  Part of their hatred for the young dreamer was tied to the coat of many colors, so they devised a plan that would include the coat.  This is where we pick up our text.  And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood.  They then took the coat back to their father.  He recognized the coat and assumed that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal, because the coat was covered in blood.

There is so much I could talk about in this story that we could be on it for days, but let me stay focused on what the Holy Spirit told me to share this morning.  This message is about unity in the Body of Christ through the Blood of Jesus.  The coat in the text was a coat of many colors.  I imagine that it was a beautiful coat and its colors were vibrant and vivid.  The colors, no matter how vibrant or vivid, were masked by the blood of the animal.  The blood of the goat covered the colors of the coat and the viewer could no longer see the colors, but the blood! The diversity of the coat became camouflaged by the unity of the blood.  The multiplicity of colors was swallowed up by the harmony of one.  The display of variety was covered by the strength of unity.  The colors were undeniably there, put they were all covered by the blood.

In Christ we find Black and White, Hispanic and Asian, Male and Female, Jew and Gentile; and we are all one!  We are made one by the Blood of Jesus.  Not that we are uniform.  For to be uniform would mean that we would look the same, act the same, sing the same songs, clap on the same beat, and march to the same drum.  God does not require us to be uniform, but He does desire for us to be unified!  We may all be as diverse as the coat of many colors, but we must all recognize the power of being unified by the same color – the color of the shed blood of Jesus Christ!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that Jesus is the common denominator in every denomination of Christianity.  It means that the Blood of Jesus unifies our diversity.  It means that your culture should not supersede your faith.  It means that we have too much in common to be uncommon.  And it means that we do not have to face our lives, our issues, nor our struggles alone.  Our family – Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, etc. – are all there to help us make it to the next level.  There is power in unity and we find that unity under the Blood of Jesus!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I thank You for sending Your Son to die that I might live.  I am covered By His blood and anointed by the Holy Spirit.  I am a child in the family of God and an heir in the Kingdom.  I look beyond the differences of color, culture, and tradition; and I focus on the unity of the faith.  I am my brother’s keeper and they are mine.  I am not running this race alone.  I help my brothers and sisters and they help me.  I walk in the power of unity.  I walk in the power of agreement.  I walk in the power of the blood!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Our Blood Covenant (top of page)

(Ex 24:8 MSG)  Moses took the rest of the blood and threw it out over the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which GOD has made with you out of all these words I have spoken.”

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  Most people are familiar with the “Ten Commandments” of Exodus 20.  The Lord, however, continued to give commandments (laws) to Moses for the next two chapters.  Exodus 24 opens with the Lord wanting to ‘seal the deal.’  He told Moses to bring Aaron, his sons, and the seventy elders up to the mountain to worship Him.  Before they worshipped God, however, Moses would seal the covenant of the commandments with God.  Moses told the people all the Lord’s words and laws; and they responded with one voice saying, “Everything God said, we will do.”  Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.  He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  Then he sent young men to offer bullocks as peace offerings to God.  Moses took half of the blood of the animals and put it in bowls and sprinkled the other half on the altar.  Then Moses took the Book of the Covenant (which he had written the night before) and read it as the people listened.  Once again, they said, “Everything God said, we will do.  Yes, we will obey.”  This is where we pick up our text.  Moses took the rest of the blood and threw it out over the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which GOD has made with you out of all these words I have spoken.

By now you should see that the Old Testament is a foreshadow of the New.  My spirit leaped when I this passage this morning.  Let me explain why.  The Lord gave Moses three chapters of clear instructions to give the people.  He then told the people what God said and they said – with their own mouths – that they would obey it.  Moses then took it a step further and wrote down what God said, had an altar built, the blood of bullocks applied to it, and then shared the commands of God again with the people.  Once again, they declared that they would be obedient to the Words of God.  Only after this declaration of obedience would the other half of the blood be applied to the people.  So there was blood on the altar and blood on the people, showing that both were mutually bound by this blood covenant (the strongest form of covenant).  God was bound to protect, shield, and bless His people and they were bound to honor, love, and serve their God.

So what does this mean to you today? Fast forward now to the New Testament.  Jesus died as the ultimate sacrifice (animals no longer required).  His blood was shed on Calvary’s cross for the remission of sin and the redemption of humanity.  This cleansing blood is offered to all people, but like the people in the text, we must first make a declaration of obedience before the blood is applied to our lives.  Once we openly declare – with our own lips – that we are sinners in need of salvation, that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He died and was risen from the dead, and that we accept Him as Savior; the blood covenant is sealed!  The blood of Jesus is then applied to our lives and we are in eternal and everlasting covenant with the King of Glory!  We are then bound to bound to honor, love, and serve our God and He is bound to protect, shield, and bless His people!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I acknowledge afresh that I have sinned.  I confess my sin to You and You alone.  I also confess that Jesus the Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life in the earth, was persecuted, crucified, died, and was buried.  You rose Him from the dead on the third day with all power in His hand.  He ascended up to heaven and is seated at Your right hand.  He is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His Kingdom will have no end.  You are the God that I serve and I put no other gods before You.  The blood of Jesus is applied to my life and I am healed, healthy, blessed, and prosperous because of it!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!
Our Consecration Service (top of page)

(Ex 29:22 CEV)  Then take some of the blood from the altar, mix it with the oil used for ordination, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his clothes, and also on his sons and their clothes. This will show that they and their clothes have been dedicated to me.

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  I have shared before that we have a ‘bloody’ faith.  The Old Testament is riddled with blood and Exodus 29 is one of the bloodiest chapters.  This chapter is part of the instructions of God concerning worship.  In Exodus 26 He detailed the Tabernacle.  In chapter 27 He gave instructions concerning the altar, the courtyard, and the oil for the lamp stand.  In chapter 28 He gave specific instructions about the priests’ garments (ephod, robes, and other priestly attire) and the breastplate that the priest would wear.  This leads us to chapter 29 where we find the blood of bullocks and rams used in the Ordination/Consecration Service of Aaron and his sons (the priests).  Unlike the sterile services held today for like purpose, this was a bloody affair.  I cannot cover the entire ceremony in one message, but I will address the climax.  The climax is found in our text.  Then take some of the blood from the altar, mix it with the oil used for ordination, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his clothes, and also on his sons and their clothes. This will show that they and their clothes have been dedicated to me.  Let’s break this down:

1.       The Old Testament oil represents the Holy Spirit – the mark of God’s hand on a person.

2.       The Old Testament blood of sacrifices represents the blood of Jesus – our ultimate sacrifice.

3.       The word translated “dedicated” here is also translated hallowed, holy, sanctified, and consecrated in other translations.

4.       The act of applying the blood and the oil to the person ‘set him apart’ for the work of God.  Likewise today, the application of the blood of Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit ‘set us apart’ for the work of God.

5.       The people in the text were not ‘holy’ in and of themselves, but the blood and the oil made them holy.  Likewise today, we are not ‘holy,’ nor righteous, in and of ourselves; but Jesus and the Holy Spirit make us holy and make us righteous!

6.       In the Old Testament, only the Levitical priesthood experienced this ceremony.  In the New Testament, all Born-Again believers are called to be a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9).

So what does this mean to you today? It is Monday morning – the beginning of a new week – and it means that you can face this week knowing that you are special.  God has His hand on you and you can do all things through Him.  You are holy, consecrated, sanctified, and chosen.  You are God’s child.  Peter said it best when he said, “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted” (1 Pet 2:9,10 MSG).

Now that you know you have been consecrated for God, act like it!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  The blood of Your Son cleanses me from all sin.  The anointing of Your Spirit equips, enables, empowers, and employs me in Your work.  Both the blood and the Spirit applied to my life make me a new person.  I have been sanctified by You and will no longer walk in sin.  I am called according to Your purpose for my life.  I find, follow, and finish that purpose while I am in the earth.  I am Your child and I act like it everywhere I go!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!
From Covering to Cleansing (top of page)

(Ex 30:10 NLT)  “Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by placing on its horns the blood from the offering made for the atonement of sin.  This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the LORD’s supremely holy altar.”

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  Exodus 30 opens with God detailing to Moses the altar of incense.  The Lord went into great detail about the dimensions, the type of wood, the placement, etc.  This would be the first thing you encountered when entering the Tabernacle.  Aaron was to burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning and then again in the evening.  This was but a ritual of worship, but the true purpose of any altar is always death.  Our text outlines the death tied to this altar.  The death spoken of here is the death of the animal killed for the ‘Atonement’ of sin.  This annual “Day of Atonement” (Yom Kippur) was the day set apart every year where the High Priest would offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people.  The word atonement means ‘to cover.’  It is further explained in Leviticus 23:26-32.  Suffice is to say that the blood of the animal was offered as a ‘covering’ for sin.  The blood of the animal could never really eradicate the sin problem created by Adam, but it would merely serve as a temporary fix, until the ultimate sacrifice would be offered – Jesus Himself.  The Hebrew writer explained it this way:  For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate.  He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven.  Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the earthly high priest who enters the Most Holy Place year after year to offer the blood of an animal.  If that had been necessary, he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began.  But no! He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us (Heb 9:24-26 NLT).

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.       Adam introduced two problems with his disobedience – Death and Sin.

2.       The blood of the PASSOVER sacrifice was a symbol of God’s deliverance from death (previously discussed), although this was temporary.

3.       The blood of the Atonement sacrifice was a symbol of God’s deliverance from sin, although this was also temporary.

4.       The blood of the Atonement sacrifice served as a ‘covering’ for sins.

5.       The blood of Jesus would serve to ‘cleanse’ us from sin, once and for all.

6.       Jesus is both that PASSOVER and Atonement sacrifice.  He delivered us from both Death and Sin.

7.       In Jesus, we graduate from temporary to permanent; from ritual to relationship; from depiction to definite; from Covering to Cleansing!

I enjoy discussing the many benefits of Christianity.  I can do series’ on the benefits (peace, power, protection, prosperity, etc.) from now until Jesus comes back, but the greatest benefit to life in Christ is the deliverance from Death and Sin.  The greatest peace we can experience is the peace of knowing that we are not covered, but rather cleansed.  What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus!  What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I do not walk in ritual, but rather relationship.  I do not base my life on a depiction of truth, but rather a definite truth; the truth that Your Son died that I might live.  My sins are not covered, but rather, I have been cleansed by the Blood of Jesus!  I walk in perfect peace, power, protection, and might.  I enter into this day with a clear conscience and a rested spirit.  I have the confidence that I can accomplish anything set before me today, because I am internally at rest.  My rest comes from the saving knowing of Jesus the Christ.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!
From Ritual to Relationship (top of page)

(Lev 9:22 NIV)  Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  You should read Leviticus when you get a chance and you will see the true ‘bloodiness’ of our faith.  The rituals involved required the priests to be as skilled with a knife as they were with anything else.  The 8th chapter dealt with the ordination service (blood and oil required) of Aaron and his sons.  Chapter nine opens on the 8th day after the ordination service.  Moses instructed Aaron to “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the Lord.”  He also had the people to “Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb-both a year old and without defect-for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before the Lord, together with a grain offering mixed with oil.”  The entire process was to be done with a promise that the Lord would appear to them that day.  Everyone did as Moses commanded and our text says that Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.  Moses and Aaron then went into the Tabernacle and when they came back out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.  Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar.  When all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.

We ought to thank God that Jesus came to deliver us from all of these rituals and to provide us with a true relationship with Him.  I could not imagine having to butcher and animal and remove its guts and sprinkle its blood all over my house and even on my children as an act of worship – to be able to see the glory of God manifested.  Our culture limits us from grasping the true gruesome reality of these procedures, but nonetheless, a reality they were.  Had it not been for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Calvary’s cross, a necessary reality they still would be.  Jesus became our sin, burnt, and fellowship offering all at once.  The sin offering was obviously for the transgressions of the people.  The burnt offering was offered as a symbol of worship, which had to be totally consumed by fire.  And the fellowship offering was an attempt to have a relationship with a distant God.  Jesus’ blood delivered us from sin, gave us a reason to worship, and provided an intimate relationship; all in one fell swoop.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we don’t have to kill animals to see the glory of God manifested in our lives.  It means that we don’t have to shed blood for God to show up, because Jesus’ blood sealed our relationship, once and for all.  The blood that we gladly sing about in our sterilized churches is a spiritual blood that has connected fallen man with a Holy God.  We don’t have to strictly adhere to the stringent rituals of the Old Testament, but we should gladly enjoy the pure relationship of the New.  Jesus delivered us from ritual to relationship.  Are you going to enjoy your relationship with Him today?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  You sent Your Son to die that I might live.  The blood of Jesus delivered me from the curse of the law.  The blood of Jesus delivered me from the monotony of ritual.  The blood of Jesus provided me a relationship with You.  I enjoy this relationship daily and put no one before You.  Manifest Your glory in my life today.  Show up and show out.  Your favor can do more in a minute than labor can do in a lifetime.  I walk in Your favor, because I walk in relationship and not ritual!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!
Communion (top of page)

(Mat 26:28 KJV)  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  I believe that by now you understand the ritual of the Old Testament, so we cross over this morning from the Old Testament to the New.  When Jesus’ last Passover celebration was drawing near, His disciples asked Him, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal?”  Jesus told them to go to a certain man in the city and tell him, “Our teacher says, `My time has come! I want to eat the Passover meal with my disciples in your home.’ ”  They did as just Jesus told them and prepared the meal.  While eating with His disciples Jesus let them know that one of them would betray Him and hand Him over to His enemies.  The disciples immediately started to question themselves and the Lord about who it would be.  Judas said, “Teacher, you surely don’t mean me!”  Jesus replied, “You have said.”  As we know, Judas would later betray him.

During the meal Jesus took bread, blessed it and then broke it.  Then he gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it.  This is my body.”  Jesus then picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God.  He then gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and drink it.”  This is where we pick up our text.  He went on to say, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  The word translated ‘testament’ here literally means covenant, or agreement.  He was explaining that the cup represented a new agreement (covenant) between God and His people.  This covenant would be sealed with the blood of Jesus Himself.  This blood, He went on to explain, would be shed for the forgiveness of sin.

So what does this mean to you today? Most of us participate in what is either referred to as ‘Communion’ or the ‘The Lord’s Supper.’  This is where we remember Jesus’ last Passover meal with His disciples and we do so by partaking of the bread and the cup.  Some drink wine and others drink grape juice.  What’s in the cup is not as important as what is represented by the cup.  The bread represents the Body of Christ, which was given for us.  The cup represents the blood of Christ, which was shed for us.  Now, you may be thinking, “What does this have to do with me today?  I am not at church and not partaking of Communion.”  But the meaning of Communion is not tied to a Sunday service.  Communion is not limited to wafers and plastic cups.  Communion is not bound by robes and black suits.  Communion is a way of life.  The ceremony simply serves as a reminder of the reality that Jesus Christ died so that we could live IN HIM!  So right there, right now, in front of your computer screen and with others possibly around you, you can partake of Communion.  You can fellowship with God and He can fellowship with you.  This fellowship cannot be regulated by legislation, nor office rules.  This fellowship cannot be destroyed by an angry boss, nor a wayward lawmaker.  This fellowship is invisible to them, but absolutely real to us.  As you make this confession, experience the power and peace of Communion.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I thank You for Your Communion with me right now.  Your peace overtakes me, Your power equips me, and Your love permeates through me being.  Thank You for a fresh anointing this morning.  I walk into this day with a smile on my face and Your peace in my heart.  I do not have the bread, nor the cup, but I do have the Holy Spirit and I do experience Communion.  I am IN you and You are IN me.  Thank You for Your presence and Thank You for Your peace.  I receive it and I walk in it.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Blame for the Blood (top of page)

(Mat 27:25 KJV)  Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children.”

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  Matthew 27 opens with Judas hanging himself after realizing that He betrayed the only truly innocent person to ever live, for thirty pieces of silver.  While the priests decided what to do with the money that Judas returned before killing himself, Jesus stood before the governor.  Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”  Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say.”  When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.  Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”  But Jesus remained silent.  His silence amazed the governor.  It was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.  He thought that he would be able to get out of this dilemma by offering to release Jesus.  Pilate knew that he also had a notorious prisoner named Barabbas in custody.  When the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.  Pilate asked again, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”  “Barabbas!” they answered.  Flustered, Pilate asked, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?”  They all answered, “Crucify him!”  The same people who shouted “Hosanna, Hosanna,” just a few days prior, were now yelling “Crucify him!”  Pilate then asked, “Why?  What crime has he committed?”  But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”  When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.  “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said.  “It is your responsibility!”  This is where we pick up our text. Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” Pilate then had Barabbas released.  He then Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

There was a great deal of discussion over this text when the movie “The Passion of the Christ” was released.  The question raised was, “Who should be blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus?”  In other words, “Who killed Him?”  Many say that the blame should be placed on the Jews, because this text clearly indicates that they openly took responsibility for His blood.  Others reasoned that the Romans really killed Him, because only the Romans had the authority to crucify.  The debate went on about the Jews and the Romans, but the bottom-line is that Jesus was not killed, but He rather gave up His life, willingly, for our sin (John 10:15, 10:17, 13:37).  In that light, you can say that we all killed Him.  We killed Him when we lied.  We killed Him when we cheated.  We killed Him when we stole.  We were all born with the sinful nature of the first Adam and we all needed the second Adam (Jesus) to die for our sin so that we could be Born-Again in Him!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that the blame for the blood is as much yours as it is mine.  It means that we ought to honor Jesus and what He endured, by living a life that is pleasing in His sight.  After all He went through and after the all the pain He took upon Himself for our sin, how could we walk away from the computer screen and enter this day like we do not even know Him?  When we ignore Him, His Word, and His Spirit; we are ignoring everything He did on Calvary’s cross!  Jesus paid the price for your sin on Calvary.  Don’t forget it as you start this new week.  He died for you so you could live for Him!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  You died for my sin and I will never forget that reality.  I am covered by Your blood and walk as a blood-bought, Spirit-filled, anointed child of God everyday.  I honor You with my life.  I honor You with my words.  I honor You with my actions.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Turning Hopeless Situations Around! (top of page)

(Jn 19:34 MSG)  One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.

This morning we continue our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  This morning’s message takes us to the foot of the cross.  Jesus had already been beaten, flogged 39 times with a cat of nine-tails, slapped in His face, made to carry the cross that He would be nailed to, and then ultimately nailed to the cross on Golgotha’s hill.  They took His beaten, bruised, and nailed body and erected it as they elevated the cross.  The weight of His body shifted between His pierced hands and feet, both causing excruciating pain.  They then allowed the cross to drop into the hole prepared for it, causing His bones to rattle and His body to shake.  For three hours He hung on the ‘old rugged cross’ (from noon to 3pm) in total darkness.  The sun refused to shine while the Son was shining.  Around 3pm, after enduring the most brutal death of all time, He cried “It is finished!”  With that, he bowed His head and gave up His spirit.  This day was a day of preparation, because the next day was a special Sabbath.  The Jews could not touch anything dead on the Sabbath and they did not want the bodies hanging there until the next day.  They knew they only had three hours to get the bodies off of the crosses and into the tombs.  They asked Pilate to have their legs broken and the bodies taken down.  This would ensure that all three men were dead.  The soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified with Jesus.  When they got to Him, however, they believed that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs.  They did need to verify His death.  So (this is where we pick up our text), one of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear.  Blood and water gushed out.

Many have connected the blood and water to Communion, to Salvation and Justification, or to Repentance and water baptism.  I am not sure that the text leans itself to these connections, but suffice is to say that the text makes it clear that Jesus was dead.  Let’s take a closer look:

1.       Roman soldiers were skilled in battle – they were the current world power.

2.       The Roman spears were tapered to a point and could penetrate easily.

3.       The soldier must have yielded the sword violently, because Jesus would later ask Thomas to thrust his entire hand into the wound (John 20:27).  This meant that the wound had to be at least five inches wide and very deep.

4.       Even a man that was completely alive would have died from such a wound, much less one that had been through what Jesus endured.

5.       And consequently, this method was used to verify His death and not the breaking of His legs, because it had been prophesied that not one of his bones would be broken (Ex12:46, Ps 34:20).  God was in control at every point, even the death of Jesus Christ.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that Jesus was completely dead, His death was no hoax, and His blood was surely shed.  Yes, He completely died, but He also completely rose on the third day!  He conquered death so that we could do the same.  Paul said that part of his aim in life was to know Jesus in the power of His Resurrection (Phil 3:10).  So no matter how dead your dreams, your goals, your marriage, your relationships, your career, etc.; may seem, know that through Christ, you can bounce back and experience Resurrection Power!  Jesus was totally dead, but He came back from total death to provide total life.  What dead issue needs to be resurrected in your life?  Whatever it is, take it to God in prayer and watch Him turn your hopeless situation around.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  Your Son was completely dead, but You resurrected Him to complete and total life.  I flow in that same vein this morning and I speak to every dead issue in my life and pronounce LIFE.  I speak to darkness and pronounce LIGHT.  I walk by faith and not by sight.  I believe that You can turn my hopeless situations around and I receive Your breakthrough by faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

An Equivalent Ransom (top of page)

(Eph 1:7 KJV)  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

This morning we start to wind down our series entitled ‘The Power of the Blood.’  This may not have been one of the most entertaining series, but I pray that it has been educational.  The Blood of Jesus and the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross is a neglected topic in many of our nation’s pulpits.  Today, so many are so focused on what they can ‘get’ from God that they neglect what He already provided for them through the vehicle of His own blood.

A few years ago Mel Gibson starred in a movie entitled “Ransom.”  This was a thriller where a rich man’s son was kidnapped and kept by his captors until a large sum of money was paid.  The tagline to the movie was ‘Someone is going to pay!’  In the movie, however, Mel Gibson was able to get his son back without actually paying the captors, but rather by offering a reward to anyone who would turn them in.  In our real life drama, we were all born captors, in need of a ransom to be paid.  It is not that we had freedom and our freedom was taken away at some point, but rather literally that we were born as bound to sin as the child was bound to his captors in the movie.  We needed someone to pay our ransom before we could receive deliverance.  The problem was that our captor was not willing to accept money.  The only suitable payment for our life would have to be another life.  Someone would actually have to trade their life for ours before we would be able to escape the clutches of sin.  Our text speaks of “redemption through his blood.”  Webster defines redemption as the repurchase of captured goods or prisoners; the act of procuring the deliverance of persons or things from the possession and power of captors by the payment of anequivalent ransom.  The key here are the words “equivalent ransom.”  Luke told us (Acts 20:28) that Jesus purchased (redeemed) us with His own blood.  In the Old Testament, the blood of animals could only serve as a temporary ‘covering’ for sin, because this payment was not an equivalent ransom.  The only proper payment for the deliverance of a human from the power of sin would have to be the blood of another human.  God offered his own Son as the payment.  He purchased us with the ultimate price.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.       All human beings were born captured by sin and satan because of the actions of Adam in the garden (Eph 2:1-3, Ro 3:23).

2.       The blood of goats and calves served as a temporary solution to a permanent problem (Heb 9:12).

3.       God sent His own Son (the Last Adam) to die in our stead, paying an equivalent ransom and delivering us from the power of sin and satan (Gal 3:13, 1 Jn 1:7, Rev 5:9).

4.       The Ransom is paid, the captor has been defeated and the captured have been released – Hallelujah!

Wouldn’t it be foolish for a released prisoner to go back to a defeated captor and willingly imprison himself again? Well, that is exactly what we do when we go back to sin and satan.  Stay away from sin and enjoy your freedom in Christ today!  Jesus became the equivalent ransom for us, we ought never to forget it as we honor Him with our lives!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am covered by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus paid the price that I could not afford for a debt that He did not owe.  He died that I might live.  He laid down His righteousness and clothed Himself with my sin that I would lay down my sin and clothe myself in His righteousness.  I enter this day as a cleansed, delivered, purified, and set apart warrior in the Kingdom of God.  I do not entangle myself again with sin and satan.  I am redeemed and have been bought with a price.  I honor You with my life and actions!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

From Outward Performance to Inward Praise! (top of page)

(Heb 13:15 MSG)  Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.

This will be the last message in ‘The Power of the Blood’ series.  Like I stated yesterday, I know that this was not the most entertaining series, but I do believe that the Blood of Jesus is a neglected message that we need to be reminded of today.  With that in mind, we will wrap up the series in the last chapter of the Hebrew letter.

Here the writer explains to us that the high priest carried the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp.  He goes on to explain that Jesus also suffered outside the camp and His body became the ultimate sacrifice.  He died outside of the city walls to make the people holy through his own blood (v.12).  Although most of us live outside of Jerusalem, Jesus gave all of us access to God through His blood.  We now we do not focus on an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come (v14).  This is where we pick up our text.  The writer states, “Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.       In biblical times God dwelled in the Most Holy Place of the temple.

2.       The only person allowed to enter this place (His presence) was the High Priest, and then only once a year.

3.       This ritual and outward performance was instituted after Adam sinned in the garden.  Before sin, God lived inside of Adam and Eve.  They had an intimate relationship with God and no need of ritual, nor outward performance.

4.       Adam’s sin caused a separation from God and ritual of the Old Testament was a temporary solution, until the ‘equivalent ransom’ (spoken of yesterday) was given.

5.       There was a huge thick veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (the presence of God).

6.       The moment that Jesus died, this thick veil was ripped in two, from top to bottom (Mat 27:51).  This symbolized the fact that the presence of God no longer dwelled in the Most Holy Place.

7.       On the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2) the Holy Spirit was poured out on men, the New Testament church was birthed, and we finally received what Adam originally had in the garden.

8.       Finally, our text teaches us that the only sacrifice we need to make today is the sacrifice of praise from our lips to God in Jesus’ name!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  You delivered me from ritual to relationship, from the covering of sins to the cleansing of sin.  You allowed Your Son to die that I might live and I praise You for it all the days of my life.  I do not entangle myself again with dead rituals, but I live in the freedom wherewith Christ has made me free.  I honor You with my actions.  I worship you with my heart.  I praise You with my lips.  I glorify You with my life.  None of me and All of You!  Thank You for turning my life around and helping me to live a life that is pleasing in Your sight!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!