Blood, bloody and bloodier

“Blood” … the red liquid that circulates in our bodies and spills out crimson red when we cut ourselves. “Bloody” …. the adjective of blood. It also happens to be my most favourite punctuation and exclamation, much to the chagrin of my sister. (I can almost hear her – “will you stop using that word!”).

The Bible is graphic and does not pull any punches, blood is splattered everywhere in the Biblical narratives. In Genesis 4 there is a story of the murder of a younger brother, Abel in the hands of his elder brother, Cain. After the killing, you can almost hear God shouting out in grief at Cain –  “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.[1] Abel’s blood cried out to God for justice even as his life ebbed away. There is an association between life and blood. We die when our blood runs out.

Then there is a story of Passover, the story of Israel’s deliverance from slavery from the Egyptians. The Lord instructed the Israelites to slaughter the sacrificial lambs and to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they ate the lambs. The blood was an indicator that it was the house of an Israelite. On that night when the Lord passed through Egypt, He struck down every firstborn – both men and animals – and brought judgment on all the gods of Egypt. However for the houses of the Israelites with the blood-smeared door frames, the Lord saw the blood on them and He passed over the Israelites. And He did not allow the destructive plague to touch them[2]. The blood of the lambs brought forth deliverance, freedom and protection from the destroyer.[3]

In the New Testament, in John 6:53 -58, we read that Jesus did not mince His words when he said, “drink My blood”.

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me…”

Jesus speaks of drinking his blood 4 times in this short passage. What is clear is that if we don’t, inter alia, drink his blood we have no life, no eternal life, we have no real drink, in short we will have no part of Him.

Why is there this emphasis on blood? Why are the passages so … bloody? The whole idea of blood and drinking it makes me squeamish.

However, recent events have given me a new appreciation of blood. My beloved developed gangrene in her big toe. Gangrene or necrosis is a horrible thing. It started with a small black line that just grew and grew. The reason for this necrosis was poor circulation. In short, there was no blood flow. When there is no blood flow, the area of flesh starts to die. Then there was this excruciating pain. It is called ischemic pain. We were at wits end. What are we to do? What can give blood circulation? How can we make blood flow? The only solution was that my beloved needed angioplasty to open up the blood vessels to allow blood to flow into her foot. Failing which it would be amputation. But how are we to locate a vascular surgeon at such last-minute notice? By God’s miracle, He led us to a vascular surgeon, and we managed to make an appointment to see him the very next day. Lo and behold, the operating theatre was available and in a matter of hours the vascular surgeon performed the angioplasty – on the same day. The angioplasty cleared the blockage and blood could flow into the leg and feet again and my beloved’s leg was saved. However, the blackened toe and tendon had to be removed, leaving a gaping open wound. Only with good blood flow could healing begin. Blood is essential.

Then there were ancillary emergencies after this. On one occasion my beloved bled too much and had to be pushed into emergency. Her haemoglobin was low. This caused some irregularity in the heart readings. Then she was given a blood transfusion. With the transfusion, my beloved’s countenance blossomed pink with good health and she positively glowed. Blood really holds and gives life. Thanks be to God!

In the same vein, the Blood of Christ is essential to our spiritual life. Without His Blood we have no life. Without His Blood the areas of our life will develop gangrene and start to die off. Without the Blood of Christ we develop spiritual gangrene. In one sense Sin(s) is/are spiritual gangrene. Only through His blood is there forgiveness of sin.[4] Only through the precious blood of Christ are we justified and saved from God’s wrath through him.[5] Only with the blood of Christ can healing begin – For by His stripes we are healed[6].

Now I am beginning to realise why Jesus hates Sin/ sins so much. Sin(s) separates us from having communion with the Divine Trinity. Sin(s) separates us from experiencing Heavenly Love and true communion with others. In short, Sin(s) brings pain and death.

When we drink His blood, we partake in His Divine life. Just like how my beloved glowed with the transfusion of fresh blood, we too will glow with the life of Christ when we partake in His life giving essence.

Dear Friends, do not take Sin(s) lightly, I saw with my own eyes the destructive power of gangrene. Just imagine if within some areas of our life we have harboured sins, have not repented, and have not allowed the blood of Christ to penetrate our lives? What does spiritual gangrene look like to Christ? I shudder in fear. Therefore, take His blood, drink it deep so that it enters our entire being. Let His Life enter our lives, let our life glow with His life blood and let us enter into freedom and eternal life. It’s bloody good.

[1] Genesis 4:10

[2] Genesis 12:1 -13

[3] Genesis 12:23

[4] Ephesians 1:7a “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins….”

[5] Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”

[6] Isaiah 53:5

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *