Luke 22:14-20 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
When you read the Bible with a scientific mindset you will see that God instructed His people very practically to follow certain procedures that kept them physically safe and healthy. There are references to washing or cleansing under running water in the Old Testament. While that practice had spiritual implications it also had very practical ones. All we hear about today is “Wash your hands.” “Washing is the single most effective way to prevent disease from spreading.” When you go to the bathroom in any restaurant, you’ll see the sign: “Employees must wash hands.” When I took my training class in order to obtain a hospital badge at least an hour was spent on the reasons for and proper way to wash your hands! It ought to be common sense to frequently wash your hands, but it was a foreign concept when God introduced it to the ancient Israelites.
God also introduced the idea of quarantine among His people. Persons who were known to be infected with dreaded diseases were to be removed from the general population. Quarantining wasn’t meant to shun the person with the disease, but rather to preserve and spare those who didn’t have one and didn’t want one.
Perhaps the single greatest scientific revelation God pronounced to His people is found in Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of a creature is in the blood, (or as the KJV says, “the life of the flesh is in the blood) and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
Let me try to unpack what makes blood so life giving. I don’t know that we have taken this principle seriously. Respect the blood. Preserve the blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood! The life of our souls is in the blood.
I Peter 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Blood is PRECIOUS!
Let’s just have a science lesson this morning. Think about how blood impacts your body. It moves through every part of your body. It brings life to every single cell. It is flowing all of the time to accomplish a purpose. It is the only fluid in your body that is meant to impact every part of your body.
Your blood is traveling through your entire body twice in a minute. It is constantly circulating through your body to do what it does. It is never “off duty!” While it moves through your body it drops off oxygen and nutrients to each cell. In other words, as your blood travels through your body, it deposits life to each part and it never stops. Not only is it making a deposit, but your blood is also making a withdrawal. The blood gives life and literally takes away death. It removes the things your body doesn’t need, getting rid of toxic contaminates.
Inside your blood there are red cells which carry the oxygen and nutrients to your cells and there are white blood cells which serve as a protection to ward off germs and infection. Blood that is loaded with white blood cells will rush to the place of injury in your body which is why you might see some swelling. In other words, your blood is there to help you whenever you are hurting!
No wonder the song writer wrote, “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the blood of the Lamb!” Just using these briefs examples we can get a glimpse of what the blood of Christ that is shed for us does to help us spiritually. Even in the creation of our bodies, God designed our blood to point to the kind of work that Christ’s does for us by His blood.
Just as our blood gives help and life and strength to every single cell in our bodies so too the blood of Christ impacts every part of our lives. Your whole life in Christ is made possible through the Blood of Jesus. Forgiveness comes to us through the Blood of Christ and sets us in a right relationship with God the Father (Ephesians 1:7). “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus! Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus!” Just like our blood takes away the toxins in our body, the Blood of Christ removes the toxicity of sin from our beings. There is no spiritual life without the removal of sin. That makes Jesus’ blood so precious! The white blood cells which offer protection and ward off infection are nothing compared to the protection we have through the Blood of Jesus! Is anyone excited this morning?
Jesus’ blood is not only PRECIOUS, but it is also PRESCRIPTIVE. We are all sick and in need of God’s medicine for sin. We are born with a sin problem. The first people, Adam and Eve, sinned against God. Their sin came with huge consequences. Because of their sin, their blood literally became tainted with sin. This blood infection, called the sin nature or inclination to sin was passed on from them through their disobedience so that every person that was subsequently born was born into sin with a blood disease, if you will.
The problem is that sin separates us from God. That is spiritual death. To deal with that separation, to deal with that death, to deal with that tainted blood problem, God established an opportunity for people to be cleansed through the sacrifice of animals’ blood. In other words, God chose to deal with a blood problem by providing a blood solution or sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” Just as human blood restores our lives, Christ’s blood restores our spiritual life and puts us in a condition of righteousness just as if we had never sinned!
Why blood? Because blood is the most precious thing that can be offered to take care of sin which is of the greatest offense to a Holy God. Remember, the life is in the blood. Life=blood. Therefore, the shedding of blood represents the shedding of life. In the shedding of that blood (or the shedding of that life) sin dies or is atoned for.
The problem with the blood sacrifices before Christ was that they were temporary. Hebrews 10 tells us that Christ took care of the problem once and for all with His death on the cross. Through the shedding of His blood, forgiveness was purchased for all people for all time. No more blood is required. The shedding of blood tells us how seriously God takes sin. It is a BIG deal to Him! God is Holy and He is also just. Therefore, sin cannot go unpunished. Precious blood is a big consequence. That’s a big price to pay, and guess what? Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe! Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow!
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” And the beautiful thing about the kind of forgiveness Jesus’ blood brings about is that it covers every kind of sin, those we can imagine and those people are still dreaming up. Your past will never be more impressive than the Blood of Jesus. Your present sin cannot compete with the Blood of Jesus. People who think God couldn’t want or love them because of what they have done couldn’t be more wrong. The Bible says He loved us completely in spite of what we had done wrong and that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God’s call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor’s son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans.
This was when the problems began. You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor’s son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor’s son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be.
He began to speak and his statement was this: “My fiancée’s past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?” The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (http://www.sermonillustrationlibrary.org/illustration57) Church, sinners who are plunged beneath the blood of Christ lose ALL THEIR GUILTY STAINS! The Blood of Jesus is the prescription for our sin sickness and it cures it completely!
With Jesus’ death, He instituted the New Covenant. The Old Covenant God had established with His people required animal sacrifices for the atonement for sin. On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus held up a cup of wine and told His disciples, “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). He poured out that wine to symbolize He would pour out His blood for anyone who would believe in His sacrifice. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished” from the cross, He wasn’t just saying His work was done, but that the Old Covenant was done. Eternal redemption from sin was a done deal (Hebrews 9:12) and Jesus was the New Way to forever deal with the sin problem!
Remember I said our physical blood impacts every cell in our being? The application of Christ’s blood in our lives completely saturates every part of our lives as well. It makes us completely well. Hebrews 9:14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Not only did Christ pay for our sin, but He also freed us from the pressure of sin. Our consciences are now at ease. We are now free in our minds to serve Christ. We don’t have to worry what God thinks about us. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) We don’t have to walk around with the pressure of guilt and shame! Don’t you love the Blood of Jesus this morning?
Spiritually speaking, this is what happens when a person becomes a Christian. You get a blood transfusion! Your blood that is tainted with the sin nature is now purified by the Blood of Jesus’ Christ. I John 1:7 says Jesus’ blood purifies us from all sin! Through the Blood of Jesus, we become unconscious to sin and conscious of righteousness! Jesus’ blood qualified to purify us all from sin because He was perfect. He was born of a virgin after being conceived of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wasn’t conceived the way you and I were, therefore, He didn’t possess the sin nature that was passed on through Adam and Eve. He was perfect and lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) which made Him qualified to be the sacrifice for our sins.
Not only is the blood of Jesus PRECIOUS AND PRESCRIPTIVE, but it is also POWERFUL. Through the Blood of Jesus we can have deliverance and protection from the enemy of our souls. When Jesus shed His blood on the cross He not only satisfied the wrath of a Holy God but He also defeated Satan.
Listen to these Scriptures: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)
“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
Hallelujah! It was the physical death of Christ that defeated Satan and all of his evil powers. You have an opportunity to apply that victory whenever you feel attacked, tempted, or oppressed by Satan. When Satan brings a charge against you, you remind him that all charges against you have been dropped through the Blood of Jesus. You have been acquitted forever by the Blood of Jesus!
“And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11) That is the last reference in the Bible to Jesus’ blood and it speaks of its power to help us overcome in all situations!
You will recall in Exodus 12 the Israelites were instructed to sprinkle the blood of lambs on their doorposts. God’s judgment was going to be pronounced on the Egyptian Pharaoh and his country. The death angel would be sent to take the lives of the firstborn sons and livestock, but wherever the blood was applied to the doorposts, that would be the sign for the death angel to pass over and spare the firstborn in that house. You could say that protection came to Israel through the blood or that the blood was a covering for them. The same is true for you and me today. Jesus’ blood is a protective covering for us to preserve and keep us from any enemy that would seek to destroy us.
Plead the blood around your family, your relationships, your finances, your health, your jobs. Whenever you are feeling the attack of Satan, speak it out in faith, “I apply the Blood of Jesus to this situation, and in Jesus’ name, Satan, you must flee!”
Cult leaders and those propagating false religions will always minimize or deny the power of the Blood of Christ. Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Science movement wrote, “The material blood of Jesus is no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon the cursed tree than when it was flowing through His veins.” There could be no more false a statement.
After Jesus took the cup of wine and introduced it as a symbol of His blood, the bleeding started and it didn’t stop until He was pierced in His side and blood and water flowed out.
Luke 22:44 tells us that after that meal, the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He was in agony there and as He prayed, great drops of blood starting falling from His brow. He surrendered His will to the will of the Father. He knew it was only going to get worse from there and yet He committed to the whole process to purchase your salvation. I think it is interesting that this episode took place in a garden. For it was in the Garden of Eden that the first sin was committed God shed the blood of an animal on behalf of Adam and Eve’s sin. Authority and dominion were lost in a garden. Jesus set out to reclaim both for all humankind in another garden, and He literally did it with blood, sweat and tears!
Jesus continued to bleed as we read in Matthew 27:26 that Jesus was handed over to be flogged. Lashed. Heavy leather whips with pieces of bone and likely metal were used by the Romans to beat Jesus to a point of bloody disfigurement.
We know He had to suffer many bruises due to the beatings as well. Bruising is a form of internal bleeding. Isaiah 53:5 says “He was bruised for our iniquities.”
Matthew continues the blood details by telling us in 27:29 that a crown of thorns was pressed into Jesus’ head. As the thorns pierced His brow, more blood would have been drawn.
Blood continued to flow as Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced with spikes.
Even after it was finished and Jesus had died, the flow of blood continued to be on display as a soldier pierced His side just to make sure He was dead. You see, the love of God for you and me is seen in the blood. That’s why Jesus said “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out FOR YOU.
Jesus’ blood is precious, prescriptive, powerful and intensely PERSONAL.
For you. For me. Jesus couldn’t have been more serious about loving you, wanting you, saving you, than He was. You were His motivation. You were His reason. What will you do with the blood? How close are you to the blood of Jesus?
You can’t get any closer to a person than by being “blood.” Jesus has come as close to you as He can get. Now you must decide what you will do. Will you accept Jesus’ blood sacrifice? Will you let Him wash you and make you clean? Will you let Him come into your life as your Lord and Savior and like the blood in our physical bodies, impact every part of your life? There is only one way to God, one way to Heaven. It isn’t through good deeds, church attendance or through religious ritual. It’s through the Blood of Jesus Christ.
In just a minute we are going to observe communion, the symbolic meal Jesus introduced to His disciples on the night He was betrayed. Those of you who have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior are invited to share communion with us, even if this is your first time here. Those of you who would like to accept Jesus’ invitation to have a blood transfusion, the forgiveness of your sins, and the power of His blood in your life to protect and deliver you only need to pray, “Jesus, save me. I know I’m sick. I need You to make me well. Be my Lord and Savior. Wash and make me clean. Forgive me of all sin. Make me new. I take You to be my Lord and Savior by faith right now. In Your name, Amen.”
Church, as you take these elements, be reminded that the cup you hold symbolizes something precious. Don’t take it lightly. Don’t take it routinely. Let it wash over your spirit just how much Christ has done for you. Listen to this verse:
Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
The Blood of Jesus deserves our utmost respect and heart’s devotion. Take a minute to examine yourself and ask for God to give you a heart of passion and thanksgiving for Christ’s sacrifice as we enter in to this time. After a moment of silence I would like the ushers to come and serve us. You will notice that there are two cups stacked together. The cracker representing the broken body of Jesus is in the bottom cup and the grape juice representing Christ’s precious blood is in the top one. Please hold the cups until all have been served and we’ll take them together. Please bow your heads for a moment of silent reflection on all you have heard today.