Join us on our new podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
I doubt there is a more important subject in Scripture than blood—that is, Jesus’s blood. You can start with Genesis and go all the way through the book of Revelation and find it is a major theme of the Bible.
At the same time, it is not much spoken of by the church today except in Communion services, where the issue seems to be that of the need to acknowledge it as an important ordinance.
For more than 35 years, I’ve traveled extensively from church to church and have heard very little, if anything, as to why we are to acknowledge Jesus’ body and blood. Is it assumed most people know how important the blood is, and since that is not the subject of the day, they go on to the sermon at hand after a brief acknowledgment of the ordinance.
I’ve talked with many congregations, trying to get a feel for how much they understand about blood in the salvation process. My findings lead me to conclude that less than 5 percent of those who attend church understand anything about Christ’s blood.
When I was a young Christian and discovered, upon arriving at church, that Communion was going to be served that day, I often felt a sinking feeling. After all, the extra time spent on Communion would make the service a bit longer, and I had other plans for the day. But there was something else too. Now I had to figure out all the things I had done wrong since the last time I took Communion.
I failed to understand the point of the ordinance—that is, rejoicing because of the power of Christ’s blood to redeem us back to God, and furthermore, the weapon it is against a very real enemy. The service was usually very solemn and pointed toward sin rather than toward Christ.
Certainly, there should be an opportunity to examine our lives in the presence of a holy God, but not without the encouragement to celebrate joyfully in His presence as well.
As the years advanced and I grew more in Christ, everything I believed about blood and Communion changed radically. Today when Communion is served, I’m quick to respond. I hold the bread in my hand, recognizing that Christ's body was broken in the process of paying my debt for sin. Of all the things Satan has said to the human race, he hasn’t been able to say that he ever loved us. But the God of the cross can say it unequivocally, especially when He has the marks to show it.
Then holding the cup, two things come to mind. First, I am in a blood covenant relationship with God. Don’t miss this one; it may just get a harassing demon off your back. When I came to Christ, my heart broke before Him, similar to what God said He was looking for with heart circumcision. I was humbled.
The second thing concerns His blood in two ways. Holding the cup, I understand this whole process is to remind me that I am in covenant relationship with God and that He will not break covenant with me. I do some pretty stupid things that need repentance. But I’ve got forgiveness because the covenant holds us together. It doesn’t give me a license to sin, but it reminds me that I always have His love.
The next thing is that my sin has been removed from me, and any sin that comes into my life is taken care of by His blood: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). And, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Heb. 8:10).
Ray Beeson is the founder of Overcomer Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. He is the author of numerous books, including his latest, Signed in His Blood, which releases March 4.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!