As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you remember Christ's blood that has washed away your sins!
SUNDAY: The Cleansing Power of Christ’s Blood
...Jesus Christ...loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, ...to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
-Revelation 1:5-6 emphasis added
The blood of Christ has loosed us from our sins. Why do we need that power? From the dark hour of the Fall in the splendors of the Garden of Eden, every man, woman, and child has since been chained by the bondage of sin—stained by an indelible mark that grips our very souls. All pain, decay, fear, sorrow, death, and evil in our world traces its origins back to that very moment.
In the Bible, one of the pictures or metaphors for sin is found in the oldest and most feared of all diseases in history—leprosy. My first exposure to this feared disease occurred in a third-world country while riding a city bus through the squalor of the slum dwellers. In a billowing cloud of high-sulfur diesel, smoldering garbage, and filthy, dirt-laden air, we jerked to a stop as an oxcart lumbered across the road. Out of the corner of my eye a movement toward the bus caught my attention. A beggar pulled back his rag shawl that draped his shoulders and, in desperation, ran up to my slightly open window. Flinging his frail body at the bus, now just starting up again, he thrust a hand into the window. At least it used to be a hand: an oozing, ulcerated, gangrenous stump was all that remained. There in the window but for a moment, yet its image is indelibly burned into my mind.
Leprosy is the first disease recorded in the Bible. It is found in the mummified bodies of Egypt’s tombs. It was a horror in Israel, as Luke records: “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:27).
What we know today as Hansen’s Disease is terrible as it ravages the human body. A natural response to leprosy is revulsion. Lepers were ostracized and feared. They were under penalty of death, kept outside of the camp or city, and were to be avoided as unclean. God then used the disease’s physical disfigurement, and the resulting ceremonial uncleanness, as a spiritual illustration. Leprosy is a vivid and graphic physical picture of the spiritual defilement of sin.
It is in this context that the power of Jesus is so beautifully seen: Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him …, “If You are willing, You can make me clean” (Mark 1:40). Just as Christ’s power could heal that leper physically, so His power can wash us and loose us from our sin. All we will ever need was accomplished by the inestimable, infinite, power of the blood of Christ.
The New Testament details these powerful truths of salvation that are directly tied to the blood of Christ: His blood, our forgiveness, powerfully paid the penalty of our past sin; His blood, our victory, absolutely defeats the power of our present sin; and His blood, our security, totally secures us from the presence of our future sin.
There is power in the blood of Christ: power to cleanse, change, and keep us—power to redeem, restore, and renew us. It is all the power of God’s amazing grace in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus as He poured out His blood on the cross.
Jesus has taken care of our past lives. Christ has the power to purchase us (Acts 20:28), to remove God’s wrath from us (Romans 3:25), to justify us (Romans 5:9), and to scrub our minds clean (Hebrews 9:14).
Jesus is taking care of our present lives. Christ has the power to liberate us (Ephesians 1:7), to cleanse our sins (1 John 1:7), and to loose us from sin’s grip (Revelation 1:5).
Jesus will also take care of our future lives. Christ has given us the power to experience fellowship with Him (1 Corinthians 10:16), to know His intimacy (Ephesians 2:13), to have His peace (Colossians 1:20), to enter God’s presence (Hebrews 10:19), to live His life (Hebrews 13:20-21), and to live obediently (1 Peter 1:2).
Jesus is a wonderful Savior! For truly, there is power in the blood of Christ!
My Prayer for You This Week: Oh Lord, we pray that You will open this precious portion of Your Word to us! May the blood of Jesus Christ Your Son, shed to take away our sin, and to loose us from the bondage of sin, be the focus of our worship to You throughout this week. In His precious name, the lovely name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
MONDAY: The Saving Power of Christ’s Blood
… The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
—1 John 1:7, emphasis added
Jesus is the refuge for the unclean. There is no sin He cannot forgive; there is no stain He cannot remove; there is no failure He cannot forget. The leper in Mark 1:40-42 understood this well when he implored Jesus, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus, moved with compassion, touched him, and immediately he was cleansed. Jesus was the perfect refuge for this unclean leper!
Physically, leprosy is awful. Leprosy was the scourge of the ancient world. Nothing evoked more fear, more dread, or more revulsion than the sight of these “walking dead.”
Spiritually, leprosy is a vivid and graphic picture of the dreadful power of sin. The instructions given to the priests in Leviticus 13 help us better understand the true nature of sin:
Sin, like leprosy, is inside us, deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3) and cannot be helped by mere “surface” measures (see Jer. 6:14). Sin also spreads just like leprosy (Lev. 13:8). Sin always defiles (Lev. 13:45–46). People with leprosy were looked on as “dead” (Num. 12:12). Because of his defilement, a leprous person had to be isolated outside the camp (Lev. 13:46), so lost sinners one day will be isolated in hell. And just as leprous garments are fit only for the fire (Lev. 13:52, 57), so those who die while clothed in sin will burn forever. How important it is for lost sinners to trust Jesus Christ and get rid of their “leprosy”!1
We are all born infected with the sin virus that remains in our system. Like leprosy, sin becomes a part of every fiber of our life. It infects our every thought, motivation, word, and deed. Sin cannot be removed on our own; only Jesus Christ can loose us from its infection by thoroughly washing us in His blood.
The blood of Jesus Christ took a “leprous” man like John Newton and transformed him into one of the most respected men of his generation in eighteenth-century England. History notes that he had Alzheimer’s disease before he died. In the last two years of his life, as he lay in bed, many of the notable people of England would come to visit him. Newton had lost his ability to remember except for one thing. He would tell his visitors, “My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things; That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.”
Christ’s blood has the same power to cleanse and transform “leprous” men and women in our twenty-first-century world. Jesus Christ, through His blood, paid the penalty of sin, has broken the power of sin, and will eliminate the presence of sin. What a wonderful Savior!
TUESDAY: The Liberating Power of Christ’s Blood
… Jesus Christ … loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.
—Revelation 1:5, NIV, emphasis added
Sin is like barnacles that stick to your soul unless they are removed by one property in the universe: the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Listen to the testimony of one who experienced the amazing cleansing power of Christ’s blood that liberated him from a life of sin:
Who am I? My godly mother died when I was a young child. Reared by a sea-captain father, taken to sea at age eleven, I soon forgot the Scriptures she had taught me.
Several years later, I was pressed into the British navy and became a midshipman. By then I had earned the reputation of being able to curse for two hours straight without repeating a word. Restless and wild, I tried to desert, was caught, stripped, whipped severely, and degraded to the ranks. I eventually ran away to Africa, but only so “I might sin my fill.” And I did.
Debauched and distant from God, I fell into the hands of a Portuguese slave trader. For months the chief woman of the trader’s harem treated me like an animal, beating me and forcing me to grovel in the dirt for my food.
Reduced to a mangy cur of a man, I finally escaped and made my way to the shores of Africa. Picked up by a passing ship I earned the position of first mate because I was a skilled navigator. But while the captain was ashore one day, I broke out the ship’s rum and got the entire crew drunk. When the captain came back, he was so furious he hit me, knocking me overboard.
I would have drowned were it not for a sailor who pulled me back on board by spearing my thigh with a boat hook. The wound was so large that it left a scar big enough to put my fist in. Some weeks later, when the ship neared the coast of Scotland, it sailed into a storm and almost sank. For days I manned the pumps below deck in what seemed a hopeless nightmare.
It was then that I desperately called out to God. He answered my helpless cry, and I emerged from the hold of that ship to later become the chaplain of England’s Parliament and even to preach before the king. I am the vile blasphemer whom many would subsequently refer to as the second founder of the Church of England. And it was I who wrote:
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
These were the lyrics born out of my wayward, free-versed life. And to my ears, there is no sweeter sound than grace in all the world. Who am I? John Newton.2
“Amazing Grace” has become a beloved part of American culture. The song speaks of the amazing grace of God the Father who sent God the Son down to earth to become a sacrifice, to actually shed His own blood for each of us. I hope that you are clinging to the blood of Jesus as your only hope and assurance for the cleansing of your sin!
WEDNESDAY: The Deleting Power of Christ’s Blood
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
—Ephesians 1:7, emphasis added
Because I want you to really understand how wonderfully Jesus’ blood has met our deepest need, today we will study the theology of the blood of Christ. Consider again just what it is that He has done for us: “… I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
Christ’s blood has the power to purchase us: [Overseers] … shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28, emphasis added). In Greek, that word “purchased” is peripoieo, which means “obtained for himself.” Jesus bought us for himself and has taken care of our past lives—defective, defiled, and stained as they were. He bought us just like we were. That is incredible love and mercy!
Christ’s blood has the power to remove God’s wrath from us: … God set forth [Jesus] as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed … (Romans 3:25). “Propitiation is all that the Old Testament expiation [covering and putting away of sin] was, and very importantly, “THE PACIFYING OF THE WRATH OF GOD THEREBY.” It is the quenching of God’s wrath against us by obliterating our sins from His Holy sight.”3 In the Old Testament, God passed over all the endless sacrifices that never took away sins because He knew that Jesus would one day pay the ultimate price with His blood.
Christ’s blood has the power to justify us: … Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:9). In justification, a sinner stands before God as the accused and is declared free (Romans 8:33). It is like standing accused at a tribunal before the judge of the universe and being declared not guilty. We are guilty; we committed those sins, but Jesus steps up and says, “Not guilty! I took the penalty.” God the Father then imputes His Son’s righteousness to the sinner’s account (Romans 4:11b).
Justification is an outside or external event that changes our standing before God: … Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Justification does not make us personally righteous; sanctification does that (Romans 3:28). The end result of justification is that we have eternal peace with God, and endless life with Him that can never be taken away from or lost by us.
Christ’s blood has the power to scrub our minds clean: How much more shall the blood of Christ … cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14). He will cleanse us of memories of sins that we have committed, pictures of things we should not have seen, feelings that we should not have felt, and all those things that were leading us to death and drying up the vitality of our lives. In other words, God has the power to scrub our consciences clean so that we do not persist in a self-defeating guilt life in which so many Christians live (also see Hebrews 10:22).
Every time Satan comes with his two-edged sword of doubt and discouragement, and you feel helpless and guilty (thinking you’ve done something one too many times and God is not going to forgive you), you can resist Satan by reciting these truths: Jesus has already died for my sins; they are paid for; I am forgiven; God has forever accepted me in Christ—and my earthly life is daily catching up, bit by bit, to that eternally settled reality! (See Galatians 2:20.)
Jesus has removed guilt—the curse and sting of sin. However, when we sin and offend God, He wants us to acknowledge that sin so He can cleanse us. We are to confess it to God, and not try to “work it off” by flailing ourselves with guilt. According to 1 John 1:9, it is as simple as saying: “I confess; I agree with You that I committed that sin, and thank You that Your blood cleanses me.”
God wants to clean out everything that fuels defeat in your life. For sin to defeat you, you have to keep feeding those memories by remembering them. It is not that the memories will be totally forgotten, but that through Christ’s blood their power to disable, discourage, and defeat you will be broken. If you are struggling with guilt feelings, I exhort you to ask God to scrub your mind clean!
THURSDAY: The Securing Power of Christ’s Blood
… He is … able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. … Having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith ….
—Hebrews 7:25; 10:21
What security it is to be owned by Christ! In the Levitical system, people were kept outside of God’s presence, but believers can now boldly draw near to God! Because we have a High Priest who intercedes for us before the Father’s throne, we are wonderfully saved “to the uttermost”—and are eternally secure through the power of Christ’s blood.
Christ’s blood has the power to liberate us: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). Redemption could be described as “when I stood before God as a slave and He bought me from the slave market of sin.” This is present power to liberate us from our sins. Have you experienced this today?
Christ’s blood has the power to allow us to experience Him daily: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16). In the Greek, the word “communion” is koinonia, or fellowship. “It is the blood that unites us into perfect fellowship. In the book of Acts, this is seen by the use of the term “brethren” over forty times. “It describes those who share a common heritage, like citizens of the same country, though it carries the additional force of brethren born of the same Spirit, when applied to Christians.” [Acts 1:16; 6:3; 9:17; etc.] In brief, disciples must have devoted Christian friends to follow, and this can only be facilitated by being together over a period of time.”4
Christ’s blood has the power to draw us near: … In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Christ’s blood has the power to let us experience intimacy with God—to know Him personally. Do you know Him so well that any lack of fellowship with Him grieves your heart? Do you know Him so well that you look forward to meeting with Him daily? People are creatures of habit: most get up early, have a cup of coffee, and read the newspaper to see what is going on in the world. But if we love Jesus, we should begin our day by reading God’s Word and seeking intimate fellowship with Him—the One who so greatly loves us and wants to spend time with us!
Christ’s blood has the power to give His peace: For it pleased the Father … by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, … having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:19-20). When we are still in our sin, God is at war with us. So the Father wants to reconcile us to himself by giving us peace with God (no guilt over the past) and of God (no anxiety for the future). When we accept the sacrifice of Christ, His justice is satisfied, and we become at peace with Him. The more we get to know God intimately, the more we can then experience the peace of Jesus, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7)!
As you meditate upon today’s verses, Christ will open God’s presence to you so that you may live in the power of His blood!
FRIDAY: The Providing Power of Christ’s Blood
… Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ ….
—1 Peter 1:2, emphasis added
Have you ever considered that the blood of Jesus Christ provides the power to live obediently? If you are a genuine, born-again saint of God, according to 1 Peter 1:2, you can live obediently because God provides the way to do so. Every time you disobey Him, He won’t strike you in punishment, and you don’t have to somehow earn His forgiveness. God bought you in Christ in spite of knowing your liabilities. He knows not only what you have done in the past but also everything you will do in the future. God loves you unconditionally!
Christ’s blood has the power to cleanse you and loose you from its grip: … The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). Jesus can cleanse every sin in the past, present, or future because of His once-and-for-all sacrifice on the cross. For He loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood … (Revelation 1:5). His blood sacrifice provided the power to break the hold of any sin!
Christ’s blood has the power to elicit our proper response: … “God be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). The loveliest picture I know of Christ’s forgiveness is the story of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, deserted by her companion in sin, and dragged before Jesus. John 8:3 tells us that The scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And … set her in the midst … (emphasis added). The word “set” connotes “throwing down or dumping.” This woman was literally dumped in front of Jesus!
Next, they said to Jesus, … “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” (John 8:4-5). Apart from Christ, this is how all of us are in God’s presence. We are guilty, vile, helpless, and hopeless. We are crumpled before Him, unable to look up because the Law points out every sin we have committed, and our accusers scream that we deserve death.
Jesus insightfully told the accusers that whoever was without sin should throw the first stone at the woman. After they departed, one by one, with no one left to condemn her, Jesus compassionately said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (see John 8:6-11).
This incident clearly reveals the difference between how Satan and Jesus want to treat us: Satan’s goal is “… to steal, and to kill, and to destroy …” (John 10:10a), while Jesus, who forgives and does not condemn, desires that we “may have life, and … have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). Our proper response to Jesus Christ is to thus cry out: What a Savior—To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. (Revelation 1:6b)!
SATURDAY: New Beginnings by Christ’s Blood
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him …. And all … will mourn because of Him. … “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Are you ready to meet this Jesus—the almighty God who is coming soon? You will be if you let Him “… give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; … and cause you to walk in [His] statutes …” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, emphasis added).
God’s Word offers a life of new beginnings. The ultimate new beginning is called the new birth, or being born again by God’s Word. Being born a second time is the ultimate new beginning because you get to start life completely over again—like the woman caught in adultery.
Christ’s blood gives us a new beginning in our assurance of God’s complete forgiveness. In Christ, rather than crumpling before Him with the law pointing out all our sins, the law becomes our delight: Let Your tender mercies come to me … for Your law is my delight (Psalm 119:77). The words “tender mercies” remind us that none of us get what we deserve. That is what mercy is all about. Grace is getting the undeserved favor of God; mercy is not getting the rightly deserved punishment of God. When God is merciful, He is withholding what we deserve. “For Your law is my delight” translates into “As I read Your Book, I realize that You have made provision for my sins.”
Here is the good news of salvation: The only thing that you and I have to give to God is our sins. We don’t have anything good enough to give to God. So He says to us, “Do you know that you are a guilty sinner? Then give Me your sins, and let Me put them upon Christ!” He became sin for us, so we can now say: “I have a new beginning in my assurance of God. Because of Your tender mercies, You are withholding Your wrath from me. That has revived me that I may live, for Your law is my delight!”
Christ’s blood gives us a new beginning in praise: Let my soul live, and it shall praise You … (Psalm 119:175). “Let my soul live” simply means “Let my soul be energized to worship You!” Instead of being dead in our sins, like the “walking dead” of the leper colonies, we are alive in Christ who gives us new life. He revives us so that we can praise Him!
Can you, with all your being, worship, magnify, and praise the Lord? If not, you need a new beginning. The good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ says to you, “You don’t have to live with a hard heart. You don’t have to live with a sin-stained heart. You don’t have to live in despair—feeling hopeless, helpless, and having no purpose in life. My power is ever-present to provide a new beginning for you!”
Make a choice to live in hope: When you are born again, you become … a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). And through the power of Christ’s blood, God wants to give you:
• A new beginning in the Word.
• A new beginning in love.
• A new beginning in obedience.
• A new beginning in repentance.
• A new beginning in spiritual renewal.
• A new beginning in the assurance of God.
• A new beginning in trusting the Lord.
• A new beginning in boldness.
• A new beginning in understanding God’s plan.
• A new beginning in the only lasting help.
• A new beginning in hope for your troubles.
• A new beginning in strength.
• A new beginning in patience.
• A new beginning in praise.
• A new beginning in what is truly worth living for!
Not only do we have a new beginning in this lifetime—one of hope as we face the end days—but also soon, very soon, we will experience the ultimate new beginning! For Jesus tells us that “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying [or] pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who [sits] on the throne [will say], “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:4-5a).
Are you ready to meet Him? Are you safely “under the blood of Christ”? There is wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb! Oh, how I pray that the words of this great song will bring as much joy to your heart as they do to mine!
There Is Power in the Blood
Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
There is pow’r, pow’r, Wonder-working pow’r
In the blood of the Lamb; There is pow’r, pow’r,
Wonder-working pow’r In the precious blood of the Lamb.
—Lewis E. Jones, 1865-1936
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.