Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22)
Christianity is unlike anything man can produce.
Modern man, if imagining religion, may think of different images. He may believe that religion for its adherents is a hobby, like some who make it a priority to go for a swim every week. It may have benefits, but of course, swimming is not for everyone. Another might conceive of a medicinal pool used to strengthen people who can’t stand on their own. For whatever reason, they’ve sprained their hope and need spiritual rehab to get them back on their feet.
But Christianity is different. It is not primarily a recreational swimming pool nor a hot tub to fix a midlife crisis. Christianity is about a pool filled with blood. It is graphic. It is gory. It is not a pristine pond found next to our manicured lawns. It is a crimson tide that we must submerge in.
Drawn from Immanuel’s Veins
So whose blood is it? The Sunday school answer is correct: Jesus. But to put it in more stark contrast, it’s God blood. The God-man was not spared what others in the redemptive narrative were.
The Red Sea did not part for him. The Father struck him with Abraham’s flint knife. He drowned in Noah’s flood. Daniel’s lions devoured him. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s furnace consumed him. The spear that missed David impaled his Lord. He was cast overboard and swallowed by Jonah’s beast. He was crushed for David’s adultery, Abraham’s cowardice, Noah’s drunkenness. The squeals of every sacrificed animal ever bled on the altar were in anticipation of his cry.
They, like all of God’s people since, were spared because Christ was not.
There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
God passed over former sins. The debt had accrued for God’s chosen. Man could not pay for his crime with money, time, or life-change. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6). Jesus paid all of our IOU’s, and he did so with blood.
Sinners Plunged Beneath that Flood
Christianity is unlike any other religion. Not merely because it is true, but because it is beautiful. But it offends a man before it can save him. It tells him that he is dead in sin. It tells him that he is a rebel. It tells him that unless he plunges himself underneath the flood of Christ’s blood by faith, he will die and his own blood will be on his head forever.
But as plainly as it tells a man that he is condemned before God, it commands him to draw near and receive mercy.
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6–7)
God calls criminals near that he might have compassion on them. He threatens you if you will not turn from evil thoughts and ways and receive his abundant pardon. The Great Husband calls his adulterous bride to return to him and find complete forgiveness and endless love.
Why should we be confident to draw near to this God? Because his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Often, this verse is used to prove God’s omniscience. But it is more specifically about his thoughts of mercy and compassion towards repentant sinners. His grace is above our grace. His ways of mercy are not like ours. You would not forgive you if you were God. But this God displayed his love in filling a fountain with his own blood. No man could conceive of it unless God revealed it.
Rejoiced to See
The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day.
And there may I, though vile as he wash all my sins away.
One of the first to plunge under the flood of Christ’s blood in the Gospels is the dying thief. Crucified at the same time as Christ, he initially began ridiculing him. But, after hearing the crowd, hearing his words and his prayers, watching him die as the sun fled in shame and the other criminal had his eyes poked out, he, by the mercy of God, saw Jesus for who he was: the King of heaven (Luke 23:42). In his death, this criminal found the fountain being filled next to him and has now been in Paradise for 2,000 years.
Christianity is unlike any religion. The Father is unlike any god. Christ the Son is unlike any savior. And the Spirit is unlike any helper. Seek the Lord while he may be found because there is now a fountain filled with blood.