Exhortation

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is a bloody business.  At the beginning of the plagues, Yahweh turns the Nile to blood, and in the last plague the Israelites protect themselves by slaughtering lambs and smearing blood on the doorways of their houses.  Passover is the beginning of new moons, and afterwards Israel sheds the blood of bulls and goats every day of the year.  Worship is a bloody business too.

In the new covenant too, every blessing we enjoy as Christians comes to us bloodstained.  We have redemption through blood; we are brought near by blood; our consciences are cleansed with blood; we have peace through the blood of the cross; without shedding blood there is no forgiveness; blood sanctifies us; blood purchases a bride from every tribe, tongue, people and nations.

This appears barbaric to prim moderns, but blood is inescapable.  We either trust in the blood of Jesus, or, Cainlike, spill the blood of our brothers and neighbors.  Modern nations recoil at the blood of Jesus, but that doesn’t keep them from reddening the earth with innocent blood.

Our only hope, the only hope for the world, is blood – but not just any blood.  It has to be the blood of God, the blood of the firstborn of creation, the blood of Jesus, the bleeding Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, whose robe of glory is purpled by blood.


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