The Blood Applied
This article is written in three main sections. The primary purpose of each section is to point the reader to aspects of the Lord's Supper or Communion. The significance and relationship of the blood with Spiritual Laws, Covenants, Redemption and freedom of mankind are inter-related. The discussions here, rudimentary in nature, are intended to direct Bible students toward deeper personal study and appreciation for the complete love poured out for us. The comprehensive provision for all aspects of our being in God's redemptive plan is at the same time awe inspiring, humbling, reassuring and empowering.
The introduction tells of the first instance in Genesis of the blood poured out for mankind. It further points to Old Testament teaching about the importance of the applied blood. This section concludes with affirmation from the last book of the Bible showing the relevance of the blood and its power for "overcomers" through to the last days.
To refocus the article to what we're contemplating during the Lord's Supper the reader is directed to 1 Corinthians 11:23 -33. Paul's teaching relates how right and wrong attitudes and partaking of Communion have consequences.
The last section personalizes the precious blood of Jesus applied for us. This section may be the longest of the three but the topics covered by the seven sub-headings barely discuss the relevant significance of each. From the will of man through to the heart of man, Jesus applied the blood. We can see how the total "man" with his/her wholeness, image, dominion, healing, freedom and restoration in every way was purchased for us in our New Covenant. Jesus ratified that covenant with His own blood.
We read in both the old and new testaments of the Bible about the importance of "the blood". For the sake of background information, read how God spilt the blood of animals in order to clothe Adam and Eve; to give them covering after they had sinned and found themselves to be naked. (Genesis 3:21) God told Noah, the importance of the blood; that the life was in the blood. (Genesis 9:4-6) Abraham understood the significance of the cutting of a covenant and the requirement of the blood when God promised him the land. (Gen.15:9, 10, 17 & 18) He was prepared to uphold his part of the covenant even giving his own son. Abraham knew and trusted God's promise for his son. (Genesis 15:4 & 18) God upheld His part of the covenant and gave His own son.
We can look at the Old Testament for examples of the application of the blood. A Sin Offering required the blood of a young bull sprinkled seven times in Leviticus 4: 6. We read in Leviticus 16: 18-19 the Atonement for the people of Israel required the blood of a bullock and goat to be applied to the altar. The priest was to sprinkle it with his finger seven times, in order to cleanse it and make it holy. In the New Testament, we can look to where Jesus applied the blood, from Gethsemane to the Cross, and see it was sprinkled seven times as well.
A man who understood both the old and new covenants was the apostle Paul. He is believed to have written the book of Hebrews. Chapter 9 of this book explains the difference of the two blood covenants, old and new. Note verse
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Where priests had to sacrifice yearly, the blood of animals, Jesus took His Blood and offered it once and for all in the most holy place. (Hebrews 9:12). There is power in the blood of Jesus for eternal redemption!
...the blood of the Lamb
More than this, as the brethren we can still stand against the accuser Satan and overcome him "by the blood of the Lamb", "the word of our testimony" and "not loving our lives unto death" (Revelation 12:11). Our life is no longer limited because of the blood of Jesus. There is a great deal to realize about what Jesus did when He applied the blood on our behalf. It may take eternity to fully grasp the wonder of it. We can, however, continue to look at possible implications and patterns in order to grasp a deeper meaning of what Jesus accomplished by His Blood. It blesses the reader to look further into this subject in material by anointed teachers like Billye Brim, Andrew Murray and Kenneth Copeland.
We do not take Communion lightly
Paul admonished the church in Corinth for the way they partook of the Lord's Supper. Verses 20 and 21 would indicate they celebrated the observance as a feast. That seems reasonable as the culture understood that holy days were also feast days. However, they were admonished for not showing the love of God by their excesses, divisions, and lack of care in not sharing with everyone. Verse 21 states that some were hungry and others drunken. Paul then goes on to explain how he received from the Lord instruction commemorating the Lord's Supper in verses 23 to 26. We do this in remembrance of the Lord Jesus, honouring His body broken for us and His blood poured out for us.
1 Corinthians 11: Verses 23 to 33
Paul issues his warning about taking this communion carelessly.
In verses 27 to 33 Paul pulls no punches, he is absolutely clear that whosoever takes this communion unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Each man should examine himself. Has he walked in the "Love Commandment" of our Lord? We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul/mind and strength and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. This does mean we love ourselves because Jesus made us worthy of love and we love others in the same way. There is no envy, malice, strife or unforgiveness in our heart toward anyone. Hatred is equal to murder in God's eyes. Faith works by love. All of us need to keep short accounts with God in these issues. That means we repent and confess these sins to Him as instructed in 1 John 1:9
Verse 30 The Lord's body paid the price of redemption for us because it was broken for us. We are redeemed from every curse because Jesus took our place. We remember the Lord's broken body for this reason. We also discern the Lord's body by recognizing the Body of Christ is in the whole earth. Paul was offended not only by the drunkenness but also by the divisions and lack of care for others who were hungry (Vs. 18-21). We are to judge ourselves on how we care for other believers in the Body of Christ. Verse 33 says "We should tarry one for another". Remember our love walk in this area as well.
"For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and may sleep"
FROM THE WILL OF MAN THROUGH TO THE HEART OF MAN JESUS APPLIED THE BLOOD ON OUR BEHALF
This may not be official doctrine, certainly not a thing to be dogmatic about, but contemplation on the blood applied here can only add to a growing appreciation for what the Lamb of God purchased for us. Satan seeks to subvert the will of man, the image of man, the inner man, the healing of man, the dominion of man, the freedom of man and the heart of man. But Jesus applied the blood on our behalf that we may be "overcomers" in all these areas.
The Will of Man
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed in agony laying down His will to do God's will knowing what He had to endure in order to accomplish it. His sweat became like great drops of blood. (Luke 22:44) This is the first time the blood was applied as Jesus surrendered His will for all mankind. God gave man free will to choose in his life. It is the first step, the will of man, which makes any decision.
The Image of Man
The image of mankind is challenged continually. Jesus applied His blood and gave us a better self image, high above base animalistic natures some would reduce us to. The words self image have often portrayed a distorted dangerous concept in the world today. But of course this would be a way of attack. Man was made in the image of God. We should see ourselves higher rather than base.
Isaiah 50:6 "I gave my back to those who struck Me, and My cheek to those who plucked out the beard: I did not hide My face from shame and spitting."
In fulfillment of scripture Jesus endured great wounding, applying His blood. Pondering the significance of the plucking out of the beard leads one to think about the image of the man. In a culture where care of the beard had its own laws, these people understood the significance of this action. Jesus gave His image and His blood was applied. The appearance or face of Our Lord Jesus was so marred (Isaiah 52:14) even His own disciples did not immediately recognize Him. His body carried the scars (John 20:14, Luke 24:13). The image of man was further attacked by the crowd spitting in Jesus' face. As the Son of Man made in God's image Jesus was spat upon, disfigured and shamed, (Matt 26:67, Mark 14:65). The Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus endured it all applying His cleansing blood for our sake.
The Inner Man
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
Jesus bore our grief and carried our sorrow and by His blood, paid the sacrifice for a covenant of peace for us in the inner man. Peace or, in Hebrew, Shalom means nothing missing or nothing broken. Psalm 89:30-32 tells of the price to be paid for forsaking the Law, judgments, statutes and commandments of God. For transgression there was the rod and for iniquity, stripes. Jesus paid it all. He applied the blood for the inner man when He was bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).
Isaiah 53 tells of what the Righteous Servant of God endured in order to justify many. Bearing their iniquity, He was made "an offering for sin" (Is.53:10 & 11).
10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand
11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities.
The Healing of Man
Jesus applied the blood in his own body for our chastisement and healing. Linked to the healing of the inner man or soul of man is the healing or wholeness of the outer, physical body of man. Pilate would not stand against the chief priest, (Mark 15:10-15) ordering Jesus to be scourged (whipped almost to the point of death) before He was to be crucified.
"...by whose stripes ye were healed." l Peter 2: 24
"...and with His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53: 5
The Dominion of Man
In Genesis 3:17-19 we read that God told Adam the ground was cursed for his sake and that it would bring forth thorns and thistles. Thorns represented the loss of dominion that God had given man. This was the result of Adam's disobedience. From dominion of the earth to slaving in it for food, both man and the earth were cursed because Adam listened to the serpent and Eve rather than obeying God. Jesus applied His precious blood to this curse of "thorns" on our behalf.
The soldiers clothed Jesus with purple robes of royalty, put a plaited crown of thorns on his head and mocked Him as the King of the Jews. They hit the crown of thorns and again the blood was applied. The soldiers also spat on Him and mocked him with a bended knee in worship, but their actions again point to man's rule on the earth. Little did they know they were serving God's great love and purposes (Mark15:17, John 19:2 & 3).
The Freedom of Man
The blood which flowed when Jesus was nailed to the cross was through His hands and feet. He was bound to the cross and applied the blood to that bondage for our freedom. We have freedom from any curse, law, judgment or shackle of any kind by the power of the blood here. The cross was the ultimate price for sin. Galatians 3:13 tells us that cursed be everyone that hangeth on a tree (cross). Murderers who had spilt blood in hatred were hung from a tree. (Deut.21:22 &23). Remember God told Noah the life was in the blood.
When Jesus returned from the wilderness (where Satan had tried to tempt Him) he went into Nazareth, where He grew up. Then on the Sabbath He stood up to read from Isaiah 61 verse 1 (Luke 4:18) and showed through the scripture reading what His purpose was here on earth. That included liberty for the captives and opening of the prison to those who are bound.
John 8:36. If the Son therefore shall make your free, ye shall be free indeed.
In the Old Testament, God removed bonds when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. Only their bonds were burned and they came out without even the smell of smoke upon them. The story is in Daniel 3 where we learn in Verse 25 of the fourth man like the Son of God walking with them in the fire. These are all lessons for our understanding. God has a purpose for every word He had written in both the old and new testaments of the Bible. By this example we can know that when the Son of God sets us free not even the smell of smoke remains with us. There is nothing to keep such an individual bound to his or her past.
The Heart of Man
When a preacher shared his observation on this last point it was an epiphany or light bulb moment for most who listened. He was also a doctor, it was Easter Friday and he wanted the congregation to consider what Jesus had done on the cross. The man was wonderfully extreme and illustrated his point by drawing his own blood and leaving it in a test tube for all to see. Blood separates and looks clear like water on the top while the red blood cells pool in the bottom of the container. He said that Jesus had died of a broken heart and that his heart had very likely ruptured with all the stress placed upon it. The physical pressure of outstretched hands nailed to the cross created even more pressure. The blood had then pooled in the thoracic cavity. When one of the soldiers pierced the side of Jesus water and blood poured out. (John 19:34) This was foretold in the Old Testament (Zechariah 12:10, John 19:37) Jesus applied the blood to the heart of man as he "gave up the ghost." (John19:30) and said "IT IS FINISHED".
Jesus endured all the pain and shame from Adam's downfall to eternity. From being made in God's image to being spat upon, disfigured and shamed, hanging naked on the cross Jesus endured it all applying His cleansing blood for our sake. We are now clothed in righteousness, able once again to come near God without being consumed by His holy pure glory. We, who are made in His image, have a new boldness to approach our Heavenly Father. From the will of man to the heart of man Jesus made us the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).