STATION 5: THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD
If you are at all familiar with any of my other writings, you know that one of the fundamental precepts upon which I base much of my religious writing is Psalm 19. "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the Earth shows His handiwork."
The power of symbolism is, that through a simple act, like a tree growing or like a cloud flowing through the sky, .via the language of symbolism, we can, in fact, see the wisdom and truth and power of God's revelation.
You saw this applied in Station 2, where we discussed the classic stations of the cross. Here in Station 5, we are going to talk about blood. This is the most highly symbolic station within this writing. We will look at blood and many of its attributes to discover the ways in which this relates to the gospel of Christ and the death and resurrection of Jesus. We will present this in 14 parts.
Part 1 Red, Blue Liquid
As blood flows through the lungs, it picks up oxygen and turns a bright red. As it flows through the body, it delivers its nutrients, especially oxygen, and turns blue, wherein it needs to return to the lungs for a fresh supply of oxygen.
It is a very flowing liquid, with many, many wondrous magical properties. What in the world does this have to do with the passion of Christ?
The truth of the matter is that Jesus' death was a very ugly, bloody event. This is another element which we tend to ignore from our religious icons. The paintings and the statues are almost never bloody enough or gory enough to show the true pain. Jesus had a thorn of crowns upon His head, from which blood flowed. He had nails in His feet and in His hands, from which large amounts of blood flowed. He was pierced in His side, from which yet more blood flowed. He had whips and marks upon His back, which were covered with dried blood. This was a very bloody disgusting event.
Christianity goes so far as to say that there is power in that blood. There is healing in that blood. There is life in that blood. Well, what we need to do is understand blood as much as we possibly can, so that we can use the biological and chemical makeup's of blood to help us to understand, again symbolically, the nature of Christ's blood and what it can mean for us.
We are talking about the red/blue liquid. Air is a symbol for the spirit of God. God breathed into Adams nostrils, and that breath became his life. On Pentecost, the apostles felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as a mighty rushing wind. John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus as a dove, which is a creature which flies through the air, animated air. That air is life; blood is life. They work together.
As the blood picks up the air, the blood begins to flow red. As it loses its air, it becomes drained and turns blue.
Symbolically, there is immense power here. The blood of Christ, simply as a physical presence, has no power or value whatsoever. This harkens back to some of my comments in the introduction. If Jesus' death is only a fact of history, then it has no power. It is this blue, useless blood.
His death must become reanimated. It must be charged with the present spirit. It must be filled with God's breath. It must be full of air, at which point it comes back to life, so to speak, and is capable of nourishing us.
If we look only through the eyes of a literalism or the eyes of a materialist, we will see and understand nothing. Once again, that videotape of Jesus hanging on the cross would serve no purpose. He is no longer on the cross; His body is no longer in the ground; His blood is no longer to be found on this earth. Therefore, if there is any power or any goodness to be derived for us, it must happen through the presence of the spirit.
The air of God, the breath of God, the Ruach Elohim, the spirit of God, must touch that blood and transform it from its lifeless, blue state into its animated, red, beating, rich state. In short, one of the amazing attributes of blood indicates to us that the blood of Christ must be appropriated through the power and revelation of the Holy Spirit, in order for it to have any value for us whatsoever.
Part 2 Blood is absolutely necessary
Without it, nothing can live. Christianity, void of the blood of Christ, has absolutely no power. It is only in the very earthy bloodiness of it all, that there is salvation and power to be seen. An early Christian Hierarchy was know as Gnosticism. Gnosticism came from the Roman world, which believed that flesh, by its very nature, was evil.
God floats through the heavens, and the Gods and Goddesses occupy celestial kingdoms and places like Olympus. Flesh is a fall from grace. Flesh ought not to be, and for a divinity to take upon itself flesh, would be to profane the divinity.
So the Christian Gnostic heresy was that Jesus was pure God and came to the Earth, but he only appeared to be of human flesh. He didn't really have a body, because He couldn't have a body. Bodies are ugly; bodies are awful. On those times where He appeared to be eating or drinking, or when He appeared to be hanging on the cross, so the Gnostics taught, He was only performing a magic show. It was smoke and mirrors; it was an illusion. Jesus never had a real body.
Well, this Gnostic Hierarchy has been rejected throughout the centuries. In partial response to them, we have our various creeds which state quite clearly that Jesus was true God and true man. He had a physical body, and inside of that body beat a heart which pumped blood. To remove that physical body of Jesus, to remove the blood, is to deny Christianity its power. The essence of the message, in its fullness, is an encounter which God had with the human race, and God takes upon Himself the form of flesh and bone, unable to acknowledge that we are incapable of learning all of the other great and wondrous revelations which God has for us through this passion.
But, there is a second way in which the blood of Christ is absolutely necessary. That is in discussion of His death and resurrection.
Some people in modern liberal circles attempt to disassociate Jesus from His passion. In a modern secular scientific age, they discount any notions of a resurrection. Since there wasn't a resurrection, they reason there's no point in talking about His death.
He died just like all the great teachers died. Everyone has to die, therefore dwelling upon Jesus' death doesn't accomplish anything. These liberal modern theologians see Jesus as a great teacher. His sermon on the mount is the high point of His career. His death and resurrection are not as important as His teachings. To them, the blood is not necessary, because what we have to learn from Jesus is the living Jesus, is the teaching Jesus, is the prophet and priest and king. It has nothing to do with Jesus' blood.
Once again, this is a very sad viewpoint. The blood of Christ is absolutely necessary. All of His teachings and all of His miracles are there to help explain to people what the truth of His passion would be about.
If you look at the highpoint of the gospel of Matthew, where Jesus is asking His disciples who am I, He has walked with them, He has talked with them, and they have heard His wondrous teachings. They have seen Him perform miraculous deeds, and the whole structure of the book of Matthew centers around a question. Who is this guy?
Jesus comes to the point where He asks His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" Oh, Elijah, John the Baptist, a variety of answers. Then Jesus says, "All right, but who do you say that I am?" Peter says, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God."
Jesus then immediately acknowledges the truth of this, how God has revealed this to Peter. He immediately begins to tell them that He, Jesus, must die; that He must be taken to Jerusalem and be crucified.
It is quite clear from the Biblical record, that Jesus did not become the Christ, Ha Mashiach, the messiah, until and apart from His death and resurrection. He could, at least in theory, have said, "You are right, Peter. You have seen me teach; you have seen me heal; you have seen me perform miracles. That makes me the Messiah."
Jesus did not do that. He intimately linked His Christhood with His death and resurrection. That is why, as we discuss the power in the blood, it is absolutely necessary to focus on the very bloodiness of Jesus.
If he did not have a body, if he did not have flesh, then there is nothing to learn from Him. And, if we ignore or discount His death and His crucifixion and His resurrection, then we have nothing at all of eternal value to learn from Him either.
Blood is absolutely necessary, and so is Jesus' blood.
Part 3 There is life in the blood
Without blood, there can be no life, at least on the human level. There are, of course, many organisms who do not have blood in them. Plants, for example, do not have blood as we know it, although they do have a certain fluid which passes through their system which provides the same function as blood does for us. But, that is another subject.
In terms of Homo sapiens, mammals, without blood, there is no life. You see blood carries all things which are necessary for life. It carries the nutrients; it carries oxygen. It does many things. When blood disappears from the body, all life fails. Now, why is this important?
The power and life which God wishes to transfer to us can only be found in the blood of Jesus. Jesus said even when you have an abundance, your life does not consist in your possessions. What does that mean?
Your life is more than what you own. Most people take that to mean your couch, your car, your collection of paintings, your clothes, your record collection, your material objects. And, while certainly those are possessions, we also possess many other things. We possess a body. Our body changes, yet we remain the same. Our body is not something that we are, it is something which we have. It is a possession.
In exactly the same way, our opinions are a possession of ours, but they are not who we truly are. Our thoughts are something which we have, but they are not the embodiment of our essence. Our thoughts can change, our emotions can change, our opinions can change, but we, this mystical wondrous thing called "I," remains the same.
From the cradle to the grave, I am who I am. And that "I-ness" is the essence of my life. Beyond my material objects of possession, beyond my body, beyond my desires, beyond my thoughts, beyond my opinions, is the subtle essence of myself. That is called life.
Life is an immense mystery. In the Garden of Eden, there were two trees. There is the Tree of Life, which is eternal, and opposed to that, is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We must overcome the difficulties and temptations of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in order to return to the Tree of Life.
Life, you see, is not a chemical. Life does not proceed from the body. The body proceeds from this thing called life. Why do I bring this up? It is quite simple. Where there is no blood, there is no life. And, if you wish to truly understand your life and what that means in all of its fullness, if you hope to catch a glimpse of the mysterious unknown which transcends even your thought, to catch a glimpse of the essence of your life, you can only do this through the blood of Jesus. Without that blood, there is no life at all. You'll never comprehend the fullness of your life beyond all possessions without the ability to tap into and meditate upon and experience the blood of Jesus.
In a higher and deeper way however, we can take this statement literally. Whatever was happening upon the cross, and obviously this writing takes many, many pages to attempt to examine that, whatever that was through His bleeding and His death, that incarnation of God is itself what your true life is all about.
In other words, not only is the blood of Jesus a method by which we can learn what our life is, what it means to talk about this mystery of life, but on a higher deeper level, the blood itself of Christ is our life.
The power of God, the infinite limitless light and life, the word of creation, as it comes to the Earth, bled and died. That blood, which flowed through His body, is you. That is your life.
Without blood there is no life. There is no religious life; there is no spiritual life; there is no physical life. If you deny the bloodiness of the cross, you remove its life. If you remove Christ's blood, you remove the source of life itself. And, if you ever hope to discover the essence of who and what you truly are, you can only do this through the very blood of Jesus.
Part 4 Blood is very complex
On a chemical level, blood is one of the most involved substances known to man. Gold is a very wonderful beautiful creation, and it has a very complex structure of interlocking atoms made up of electrons, protons, neutrons and uncountable subatomic particles. But, gold, in all of its mystery and majesty and might, is a trivial piece of meaningless nothing compared to a single blood cell.
A blood cell is, in the structure of chemistry, a very almost unbelievably complex creation. We spend billions of dollars every year continuing to examine and study the nature of this deeply complex subject. Presently, there are over 300 different blood tests which can be performed. My purpose here is not to go into a detailed scientific investigation of the chemical makeup of blood. There are plenty of books you can peruse on your own, should you find this a fruitful topic, which I hope you do.
The blood is not just a simple red liquid. It contains uncountable tens of thousands of different aspects. Blood is alive. How does this pertain to the cross of Christ? Hopefully it is clear.
It harkens back to the exact point of this writing itself. The blood of Christ is not mono-dimensional. It's not just a simple red blood, not just a simply, thick red liquid. No, the blood of Christ is incredibly complex. The comprehension and understanding which we can gain of God through meditating upon Christ's blood is not one dimensional.
It is not to say that Jesus bled to pay the price for my sins. That is like calling blood a thick red liquid. It isn't even remotely that simple. There is depth and mystery and wonderment within the blood of Christ which goes far beyond any of our small, normal comprehension. The blood is quite complex, multi-dimensional and that is oh, so important to remember.
Part 5 Blood is essentially the same for all people
There are different blood types, and since blood is so deeply complex, if we are going to perform a blood transfusion, we have to be very careful to make sure that all of the different particulars match up. But, this is a function not so much of the totality of blood, but of its very complexity.
If we step back from the details, in summary form, all blood is indeed the same for all human beings. Cut us and we all bleed. We all bleed red blood. It always has certain chemical properties. Yes, we have different blood types and certain blood types do not interact well with others, due to their complexity. But, the truth of the matter is, that there is one blood for all mankind.
The heart pumps the blood in every human being. The veins and arteries carry that blood, and it becomes oxygenated through the lungs. The blood cells, the specific densities of blood--all of these remain the same for every person.
As this pertains to Christ's passion, I think the message is, once again, quite clear. Through the language of symbolism, we can see two things. Number 1, essentially, the death and resurrection of Christ means the same for all people. It does apply universally. At the same time, due to its complexity, no two blood cells are ever exactly the same. So no two human beings are ever going to see the death and resurrection of Christ from exactly the same perspective. That is the purpose of this writing--to try and give you as many different view points as to what this passion means, as I possibly can.
So, while the blood is the same for all, because there is only one life, and that universe, that center, that one God who has breathed into all of us is obviously a very unifying harmonizing force, we all have the same life. We all have the same blood. The power of Christ, through His passion, is equally applicable to every human being on this planet.
At the same time, since there are different complexities, we should be patient with ourselves when we have slightly different views. If someone doesn't see something quite the way we do, we should allow tolerance for that. That is a part of biology. That's the way the world works.
It is the wonder and mystery of blood, that while it is the same for everyone, it is uniquely different for everyone. That is its power. That is its mystery. So too with Christ, though the death and resurrection of Jesus is the same for everyone, as we become personally involved with Jesus, His blood takes on our own personalities. We, in essence, personalize it and it becomes uniquely our own.
This, once again, I find to be truly, inspirationally beautiful.
Part 6 The blood is very healing
It clots. This is one of the wonders of blood. Blood wants to flow internally within the body, yet it does not like to escape from the body. If you cut me, I will bleed. But, as soon as that happens, that cut sends a series of incredibly complex signals to the body. The body begins to heal that cut by placing very complex clotting agents around the cut to stop the bleeding. This is, at least for this author, an absolute miracle. How something can encounter such a difficulty, and have the blood be able to fix its own problem, is simply nothing short of miraculous. There are approximately, 12 different clotting agents in the blood that help rebuild this wall of flesh to stop the bleeding.
Now, why does this matter? How in the world can we learn anything from this? Well, we will discuss a little bit later the notion of the body of Christ. But, for purposes here, it is clear that we are all part of the body of Christ, and many times we become hurt. A member of the church or a member of the family becomes harmed. Either they have a falling from grace, or they have a tragedy in their lives. Something horrible happens, and there is a cut in the body. There is a break in the natural flow of the blood.
When that happens, Christ's blood wants to go and heal that hurt. Christ's blood, if we understand it, wants to clot and block off that bleeding, so that there is no more hurt. You see, the Christian church is endowed with one truly remarkable property. It is the only hospital that beats up on its patients when they become sick. The church really is supposed to be, at least in theory, a place where both saints and sinners can gather to encourage one another, help one another, and enable them to draw closer to God, closer to themselves and closer to each other.
In theory, it should work that way, but, of course, it never does. In reality, it has been my experience and the experience of scores of my friends, that the real purpose of the church is to get people together so that they can expand their egos and criticize one another endlessly for the teeniest tiniest flaw in their personality. And, that if one of the members of the body gets out of line, the purpose of the church is to cause as much havoc and pain and discomfort to that person as is possible.
We, as I've said before, beat up on any member within our hospital who dares to get sick. But, it ought not to be that way. Blood has over 12 different clotting agents. When we bleed, when one part of the body of Christ is hurt, God wants to step in and begin to block that flow of blood, to heal the cut and make things better. That's how it should be.
Maybe some day if God is gracious enough and we are willing we can become that way.
Part 7 The blood carries all nutrition
The real purpose of eating is to nourish the body, to give it health and strength to carry out its functions. Most of the time, as normal people in America, we tend to think more in terms of how good that chocolate covered twinkie is going to taste, rather than how nourishing it's going to be for our bodies.
Once we eat that food, it becomes broken down in our stomach, and the nutrients are transported to every single cell in our body. How is that transportation done? It's done by the blood. The blood carries all of the nutrients to every single cell. This is one of its magnificent properties--that the blood is able to pick up the proteins and the carbohydrates, the iodine, the vitamin C, attach it to itself, carry it to where it is needed, and deposit it throughout the body.
This is exactly the same with the blood of Christ. The purpose of holy communion is to partake in the body and blood of Jesus--not just the body, but the body and the blood. We wish to become nourished by Jesus. The power and the purity and perfection of God, as it came to the Earth in this holy man, is poured out for us all through His body and blood. And, that becomes what you could call health food for the soul. Because in this world, there are an awful lot of twinkies. There's an awful lot of poison. The blood of Christ is health food for the soul. It nourishes us and strengthens us.
The blood of Jesus carries every nutrient which we need to be healthy and strong, physically as well as spiritually. The blood of Christ conveys notions, as we've seen already, of obedience, of love. It contains notions of healing, notions of peace, forgiveness, and salvation itself. And, all of these ideas, all of these powers, nourish our spirits and make us healthy and strong as human beings, as saints of God. Just as a child needs to eat the proper foods in order to grow up healthy, we, as baby Christians, need to be properly nourished by constantly meditating and feeding upon the blood of Christ, so that we can become strong and grow up to be complete adult saints of God.
The blood carries all that nutrition for us. Everything that you need to become a perfect saint of God is available to you through Jesus' blood and through meditating upon His death and His resurrection.
Part 8 Blood Carries Oxygen
In a similar vein, although slightly different, the purpose of the blood is to carry all of the oxygen. We saw this in Part 1, the difference between the red and the blue blood. The oxygen is a symbol for the spirit of God. Just as the blood carries all nutrients, so too the blood of Jesus carries with it the absolute holy spirit of God.
Our bodies can be nourished, but if we do not have a constant supply of oxygen, then we pass out. You can live, indeed for several weeks without any food, but you cannot live for more than 4 minutes without oxygen. So of the two--oxygen and nutrients--oxygen is clearly more important.
But, far more important than that, is the life giving air of God. That spirit, God is spirit. Those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. It cannot be stopped. And, if we, for one moment, become disconnected from the true spirit of God, then we begin to become very weak. This is a very high symbolic teaching which may not be clearly understood at first. You see there are lower "nutrients", the nutrients of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc., and yet there is something higher. That something higher is life itself. That life is spirit. God is a spirit, and He took His spirit and put that spirit into us, as He breathed into our nostrils. Spirit unto spirit. We are, in truth, not a body; we are a spirit. And, it is the blood of Christ which conveys to us all that non-corporeal spirit which will constantly animate our existence. Our spirit gives shape and form through our wills, places itself into our thinking, our desires, and ultimately makes our bodies move. Who and what we are is a spirit. And, if God for one moment took that away, we would cease to exist.
Just as we breath automatically, without thinking about it, and just as the air fills us and surrounds us every moment of our lives, though we do not see it or pay any attention, so too the highest truth is that God's spirit is the sum-total of who we are and what we do. God's spirit surrounds us everywhere.
The problem with God is not that He is so far away He cannot be seen, not that He is hiding somewhere so that He cannot be found. God is like air. He is not seen, because He is everywhere. He is not found, because He is so close we overlook Him. That is the power of the air. That is the spirit of God. That is who we truly are. And, all of this is conveyed through the glorious power of Jesus' blood.
Part 9 Bad circulation equals death
This is one of those things which people prefer not to think about. If you lose circulation to your legs, for example, they can become gangrenous. If you do not receive medical attention, eventually your entire leg can rot off and fall away from your body. What a surgeon must do is cut off the leg before the disease and death in the leg affects and pollutes the entire body. The blood must flow in order for there to be life. This is, probably in terms of practical application, the single most important understanding we have about the blood of Jesus. It is not enough for the blood simply to be present. The blood must flow or it accomplishes nothing.
If you have a heart attack, why do you die? You still have your blood. But your blood quickly loses its oxygen. It needs to be replaced because oxygen has to be maintained constantly. Your blood very quickly delivers all of its nutrients, and your body begins to die.
The applications for us, as human beings, as Christians, is obvious. It is not enough for the blood of Jesus to merely flow into you. It is not enough for you to take communion. It is not enough for you to pray. It is not enough for you to read this or any other booklet and find great truth and inspiration. If the blood of Jesus flows into you but does not flow out, you will die. The purpose of church, the purpose of religion, is not simply to become inspired or grow personally. You must share with others, reach out and give to others.
If you fulfill the spiritual pathway, you will quickly learn that the purpose of church is not what you can get from it. The purpose of church is what you can give to it. The purpose of the blood is to flow. As it flows in, it wants to flow out. It must circulate. The circulatory system in the body is a wondrous series of pipes, incredibly complex. It would stretch miles and miles, if it were laid end to end. That system knows how to make the blood flow into the heart and out of the heart, into the legs and out of the legs. You get your circulation going to increase your health and your strength. You must not let the blood of Jesus simply flow into you. You must also get it to flow out of you through helping other people, through sharing what you may have. If you have discovered truths, then you must share them. If you have talents, you must share them. If you have experiences, you must share them. To whatever extent the blood of Jesus has flowed into your heart, into your life, you absolutely must enable that blood to flow out.
The reason that the Dead Sea is dead is not because no water flows into it, but because no water flows out of it. This, I hope, will help inspire you. The blood must circulate. And, bad circulation equals death.
Part 10 Fights disease
One of the most important functions of the body is in fighting diseases. It does this in two ways. First, it helps to heal diseases or problems of the body by carrying healthy agents. We looked at this in Part 6, when we talked about the clotting abilities of blood. Any time that you have a sickness, it is only through the blood coursing through your veins, that you are able to get well. But, there is a more important aspect to fighting disease. That is your immune system.
You've all heard "an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure." And, as important as fighting disease is, it is much more important that the blood prevent disease. When someone has a cold, as he takes vitamins, eats good food and rests, the blood system is able to fight off the attack of that bacteria. That can take days. If he has the flu, it can take a couple of weeks. If it's a serious illness it can take months. It is far more important then that the body's immune system work efficiently.
There is somewhat of a controversy in the medical industry about this. Some people see germs as causing sickness. Others say that the germs are everywhere, that the germs of a common cold or of a flu are prevalent in the tiniest sneeze, that it is not the germs that make us sick. Yes, the germs are the catalyst, but what brings about sickness is when you become weak. When your immune system becomes run down, then you become open to and subjected to the germ.
Assume the illustration of a castle. One group of people think that the castle is safe and sound, but that occasionally a group of foreign soldiers will come in and attack the castle. The castle will be in a state of war. That's what we think of as a cold.
Other people say, no, the soldiers from the enemy camp are always walking around outside the castle. Occasionally, the fortress wall protecting the castle becomes weak. Once that happens, the enemy soldiers come storming in.
Based upon the little bit I know of biology, that appears to make more sense to me. In a single sneeze, there are some 4 billion germs. If simply having the germs present meant that we got a cold, then any time one member of a family got a cold, everyone else in the family would be guaranteed to do so. But, this does not happen.
The mother, more often than not, does not wind up getting sick, usually because she "can't get sick." She has too many things going on, so she gets enough rest, takes her vitamins, does her exercise, eats right, whatever, keeps a positive healthy mental attitude, and keeps therefore her immune system in full strength. The walls of her fortress are strong.
That seems to me to make the most sense, based upon all of the evidence. Yes, germs actually cause sickness, but it is the weakening of your immune system that enables that germ to attack you. This immune system, I find to be a miracle. I know that I seem to use that word a lot, but it is no more true than in this context.
The immune system is capable of encountering a germ is has never met before and figure out an antibiotic for it. Figure out the best way to attack this thing and kill it. And in the course of so doing help the body to generate new greater immunities to this attacking agent.
One of the things that pediatricians find is that some parents mis-apply their love for their children in the their early years. They keep their children away from all germs, isolate them basically in a sterile environment, wherein they are not subjected to the croup and colds and flu and ear aches, and eventually around the age of 5 or 6, when that child goes to school and is subjected to all sorts of germs, he gets deathly ill.
Why? Because the child wasn't "allowed to get sick." He or she wasn't allowed to have normal everyday colds and didn't interact with everyday germs.. Therefore, the body did not learn how to attack these germs, did not learn from experience its immune system's strengthening agents. His immune system never developed.
What does this have to do with the cross of Christ? I think it is quite obvious that it has everything to do with the cross of Christ.
It is very fashionable these days in many evangelical circles to hear the testimonies of people whose lives were completely wrecked--alcoholics stumbling around in the gutter, murderers, gang warfare people who have hit the absolute pit of human existence. These people have had their lives turned around and redeemed.
We celebrate these people. We publish their books. The Satanists, who find the Lord, can make a lot of money telling their gruesome story and their glorious story of redemption. In many ways, that is unfortunate. It is far more important to have lived a life where you do not fall into the absolute abject pits of endless Satanic darkness. It is much more of a blessing to have stumbled a bit, fallen a bit, learned and grown so that you can lead a healthy life as a human being.
It is important and much more valuable to have a healthy immune system. And, the blood of Jesus is the agent wherein our immune system can be strengthened to carry all of those healing agents which can eliminate disease and help us to develop immunities. If we pay attention to the cross of Christ, then we learn about forgiveness. We learn about being a good person.
We learn about the wrongs we have done to people and how to overcome them. We learn how to avoid them in the future. One problem that we have today in the church as a whole, is this daily and weekly confessional of sin. To constantly be confessing that we are, by nature, sinful and unclean and worthy of God's present and eternal punishment, first is a violation of the scriptural principle to consider ourselves to be dead, to sin, but alive to God through Christ. And, also it does not attune us properly to the grievous nature of sin.
It is as though we have this cold, and the cold arrives on Monday morning. We get sicker and sicker and sicker all during the week. Until, finally Sunday morning, we go to the hospital, God gives us a shot, and we walk out healthy, only to get sick again on Monday morning.
Our immune system is very weak within the church, and we need to become transformed to be able to live a life of health. The blood of Jesus, and all that it has to teach us, is here not just to cleanse us from sin, but to lead us into all righteousness, so that we might not be constantly subjected to the fall, so that we might grow up to be healthy, whole people.
Our immune system can prevent us from constantly dipping into the well of ugliness and sin. We can, if our hearts are attuned to it, learn from our actions, and allow the witness of God's holy blood to purify us, strengthen us and increase our immunities to the same problems in the future. I hope this is clear.
Part 11 Blood Carries Disease
While it is true that the blood can heal and cure diseases and, while it is true that blood can create immunities and fight off disease, it is also true that the blood carries disease.
Now in context of this discussion of Jesus' blood, I want to make it quite clear that I am not saying that there is anything wrong or polluted or diseased regarding Jesus' blood. No, that is not my purpose here. The blood, which is capable of carrying the healthy agents and the healing agents and the preventive agents, is also the mechanism that carries disease. The most famous one currently is AIDS.
AIDS is transferred through the blood, attaches itself to the blood cells, and destroys the immune system. As a result, the body cannot fight nor prevent disease. Once disease enters the body, there are no healing agents left to eliminate that disease.
One thing that is confusing to some people is that no one has ever died of AIDS, technically. What they die from is any number of other diseases which enter the body, because AIDS destroys the immune system. That's what "AIDS" stands for, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Your immune system, that prevents diseases, becomes weakened to the point that it is depleted. At that point, a simple common head cold can actually kill you. The cold can lead to pneumonia, and that can lead to all sorts of complications, including high fever and death. In fact, there are a large number of diseases which are not normally death threatening to a healthy person, that cause death in the AIDS inflicted person.
It seems to me that tragic and unfortunate as it is, AIDS is a very powerful illustration of much of what is happening inside of Christendom today. The blood of Jesus is carrying disease, not on His account, but on ours. You see, we have taken the holy word of Jesus, the holy proclamation, and we have polluted it. We have placed within it all sorts of misunderstandings, doctrinal errors, and human misconceptions. But, we haven't stopped there. We have sought to use the blood of Jesus for all sorts of ugly, holy abominable things.
On the large scale, we have the history of the crusades, wherein people were forced at the point of the sword to accept Jesus, or else they would be killed. And, though we have for most part in Christianity put away our swords, we still fight the holy wars. Within Christianity, we have over 700 different denominations, wherein we have splintered ourselves up into all these tiny factions. We are all individual people, and there is never any reason for any two people to agree entirely on anything, especially not something as multidimensional and deep as religion. Take the subject of eternal life, salvation. How can we ever hope to have two people agree on such deeply important matters? So, the fact that there are disagreements is not the problem. The problem is that we allow those disagreements to become so important, that they become a wall of separation between them and between us.
The blood of Jesus then becomes a battle cry around which different camps struggle. No, that's not in the Bible; no, that's not Jesus' will; no, you are wrong. And, all of a sudden the blood of Christ, which is supposed to cleanse, harmonize, and purify our lives, is being used to separate, divide and hurt.
Even on the local church level, where there may not be a doctrinal split, people will fight and argue, allegedly as to the best way to serve God. What that often boils down to is whose ego is going to be the strongest, and use the name of Jesus to get their own way and enforce their will upon others. Certainly, this ought not to be this way. We have polluted and diseased the blood of Christ. As a result, our immune systems are weak, because churches, which should be dedicated to love and peace and healing and prevention of sin, are actually a festering hot bed of contention and evil, and are themselves, one of the greatest causes of sin.
I have heard many people, throughout my life, say that if it weren't for their upbringing as children, they could probably be interested in God. But, they had such horrible experiences of such evil dark situations, that they have no interest whatsoever in church or God. I think most of us have met many people like this.
So, the Christian church has AIDS, there is no doubt about it. And, with that AIDS we are transmitting via the blood of Jesus, we will go so far as to fight over who can and cannot receive communion. We will enter into factions and divisions as to who is and is not a true Christian, because of the different words we might say during communion; whether we're to use real wine; whether it's a sin to use wafers or if it has to be bread; or can it be leavened bread? Jesus didn't use leavened bread the night of the Passover.
What should be the agent for healing? The pure blood of Jesus has become a transmitter of AIDS. We have "acquired" an immune deficiency syndrome within the church. Because of our ego, because of our sin, because of our stubborn pigheaded ways, we are no longer capable of transforming lives. We cannot fight off sin, and once that sin enters our sanctuaries, it is almost impossible to eradicate.
However, unlike the current state of biological AIDS, spiritual AIDS is curable. Because just in the same manner that we have polluted that blood, that blood in it's pure spiritual sense, remains absolutely clean. And, we can have fresh blood brought in. We can have a total transplant and get rid of all of our darkness by being infused by the blood of Jesus.
That leads me to the next section.
Part 12 Blood transfusions
The life of the body is in the blood. Many Christians on this earth find the idea of a blood transfusion to be against the will of God. I do not wish to debate the moral nature of that. It is a personal decision which simply doesn't have anything to do with the current discussion.
We know that during a blood transfusion, one person's, hopefully healthy blood, is transfused into our bloodstream. One of the unfortunate facts of the modern condition is that many people received blood transfusions from very dark tainted blood. Blood which even the authorities knew to be AIDS infected was less left in the blood pool. As a result, many people have become infected, through no fault of their own.
I can certainly understand the hesitancy many people would have about blood transfusions; however, in exactly the same way, if we can get a transfusion of fresh blood, then our immune system can be strengthened. If we have a low amount of blood, we can get more. I think the image is clear. We could change holy communion, from being a ceremony wherein we eat bread and drink wine, to one wherein symbolically people have a needle placed into their arm and the bags of blood tied to the cross drip into their veins. We all need a blood transfusion from Jesus.
We need His holy, pure, perfect blood coursing through our veins. Symbolically eating and drinking His body and blood is a nice symbol, but even if we want to believe that Jesus is actually, literally physically present in communion, drinking blood is not the way to get a transfusion.
No, you must open yourself up. You must be cut. You must have that healthy blood injected into you. Here's a very powerful image--a cross in a Christian church with hundreds of bags of blood attached to it, everyone of which has a tube and a needle. As we walk up to the altar, we bear our arm, and the priest sticks the needle into our arm for a blood transfusion.
Only in this way, can the pure blood of Jesus overcome our AIDS. Only in this way, can our spiritual bodies be cleansed and purified. The Bible is clear, that through our sin and our selfishness, we have done such a good job of destroying our lives, that our own systems are weak and beyond our own abilities to repair. We are sinful and cannot save ourselves. In other words, our blood has become so tainted, that it cannot, by natural means, fight the disease which we have and enable us to be cured and healthy.
We have passed the point of no return and must have a blood transfusion, if we are to survive. But, survive we can. And, survive we will.
Part 13 The Body of Christ
One of the most powerful images in the Bible is one which I think the Christian church would do very well to spend more time and attention on--the image of the body of Christ.
We usually think of the body of Christ as being a symbol that we are all put together and going to work in the church to be one with God. But, the body of Christ is one of the Biblical images which I far prefer to take absolutely literally. Once we have this transfusion of blood, the only way this can happen is for us to share in Jesus' blood type.
You cannot give a B+ person a transfusion of O- blood. That person will die. And, in order for us to receive that transfusion we must become cleansed. The two work together. If Jesus simply injects His blood into us, then we will reject it. That happens all the time. But, through prayer and meditation, through repentance, through a desire to turn to the light and live a life that is good and loving, our bodies become attuned to His. We share in His blood type. We can then receive that transfusion, and we eventually become an individual cell in the literal body of Christ.
God wants to become reincarnated in each of us. The Bible is abundantly clear on that. In order to do so, God is carrying on many steps through the ministry of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Word and the Sacraments of Faith, to enable us to become one with Him, that Christ might live in our hearts, that we might come to the point, as St. Paul did, to say that it is no longer I who lived, but Christ who lives in me.
If the entire planet was full of people who could make that proclamation, and we would all be working in harmony with each other, there would be no more hatred. There would be no more war. There would actually be no more need for money. Everyone would share, and they would share alike.
We would then see that this one presence, this one Mind Of God, was living Himself out through all of us. That is the power of the blood. We are becoming, slowly, for many of us far, far too slowly, the body of Christ. We are the flesh, the individual cells. He is the animating spirit. His is the life giving blood, and we are being formed up into a unity of the one holy church, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ. For a bride's body, the Bible is also clear, is not her own, but her husband's, just as a husband's body is not his own, but his wife's. The two shall become one flesh. Christ and His church are becoming one flesh. This too, is through the powerful miracle of the blood.
Part 14 God's blood pumps through your veins
For me, this is the encapsulation, the summary, of everything we have said before. God's blood is real. It contains all life. It transports the oxygen, which is the revealing spirit. It brings all nourishment to the soul. This blood is universal for all people. It will heal your hurts; it will fight your diseases; and, it will build us up into one holy body.
What the cross of Jesus says, in part, to me, is that God's blood courses through our veins as we are being built up into His holy temple. This is a beautiful image, which I think we need to meditate upon. That is why I have spent so much time in these 14 sections looking at the power in the blood. There is power in the blood of Jesus, and that power is not something which stays outside of us. That is a power which we can actually feel, which symbolically we eat, which we drink, with which we become transfused. God's blood pumps in your veins.
If we meditated upon this and this alone, this contains the
power to transform our lives. You are not some ugly disgusting
creature. You have been redeemed. You have had your blood
cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The entire mechanism by which you
are to receive the enlightened spirit of oxygen, the entire power
by which your life is to be nourished with hope, with joy, with
ecstasy, with love, the entire way in which you are going to
prevent further diseases from happening, and, if you have
problems, the way in which you will be cleansed and healed is
none other than that blood which dripped from Jesus on Mt.
Calvary. God's blood pulses through your veins. You are the
literal actual body of Christ.
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