Last night at church we kept singing songs about Jesus’ blood. “There’s power in the blood…” “There’s healing in the blood”…and I had a memory pop up.
Long ago, when I worked at IDC (Industrial Design Corporation) as a project assistant, I befriended a guy I’ll call Tom. We lived in the same part of town and sometimes we would ride home together. He was like a big brother to me. Tom was a Telecommunications engineer. At that point in time, it was a fairly new discipline. The typical order of operations as far as the drawings went was : Civil, Structural, Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical, Telecommunication and Life Safety. Telecommunications encompassed where computers and telephones would be wired in the new buildings. The Life Safety engineers installed the smoke detectors, exit signs and all that jazz. Anyway, we met during the Fab 12 project, a campus of 7 buildings we were designing and erecting for Intel down in Chandler, Arizona.
Tom was from Wyoming and a fellow believer. He was the straightest arrow you ever met. As proof of this, at one point, he applied to enter the CIA. Then he found their investigations so intrusive he stopped the process. They started investigating friends of his friends and he had to nix it.
One day, we talked about being a Christian. He assured me he still was saved even though he no longer attended church. Tom had married an unbeliever, something the Bible is pretty clear about forbidding. I didn’t question his decision at the time but asked how his bride felt about Christianity in general.
“Well”, he said, as we bumped along in his Suburban. “She doesn’t like it. She says it’s too bloody. It’s off-putting.”
I could see her point. It is a bloody religion. Yes. All that talk about the blood, singing about it in songs, praying about the blood covering us…I guess to an outsider it would seem rather gruesome. Kinda like religion dressed up for a horror movie.
As I looked around the room last night, I thought, We’re all here because of that blood. It brings healing and life and wholeness. It restores. It’s the symbol of new birth. After all, you can’t have a natural birth without blood. The spiritual is no different.
Let’s not be offended at the blood in our faith. It’s part of the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. We symbolically drink it when we take communion, publicly consecrating ourselves again to the covenant we made to the One who made us. The blood of Christ reunites us with the Father, washing away our sins. Isaiah 53 says: But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He took the place of the former animal sacrifices. He is our Passover Lamb. His shed blood is our blessing.