708) Washed in Blood? (b)

         (…continued)  Four things about blood as a symbol:

     1)  Blood is symbolic of death.  We’ve all seen photos of car accidents or from battles or crimes, with bodies are on the ground, surrounded by blood.  The life-blood has drained out.  All that blood spilled often means death.  Jesus wants us to remember that he died for us.  His blood was shed for us.  Blood is not a pleasant image.  Crucifixion was not an easy way to die.  It was painful, it was slow, and it was bloody.  Every time you receive communion, you hear about it.  “The blood of Christ, shed for you.”  Jesus wants you to keep that image in your mind and remember it.

File:Gustave Doré - Crucifixion of Jesus.jpg

     Crucifixion of Jesus, Gustav Dore, 1866

     2)  Blood is a symbol of life.  ‘Give blood and give the gift of LIFE,” we are told when the bloodmobile comes to town.  The Red Cross organization exists to save lives, and the cross is RED, like blood.  Jesus died, and Jesus rose again, and he said, ‘Because I live, you shall live also.”  “The blood of Christ, shed for you;” so that YOU can live again.

     3)  The verse I began with talked about robes being washed in the blood of the lamb.  Blood will never work as a fabric cleaner, but it is, in fact, the very most important cleaner.  Every red blood cell going through your body is always doing two things.  On the way out from the heart and lungs, it is delivering life to every part of the body, life in the form of oxygen and nutrients.  On the way back, it cleanses the body, taking back deadly carbon dioxide and whatever else the cells of the body need to discard.  The blood brings life, and then, it cleanses the body.  The death of Jesus on the cross wins for us eternal life, because he cleanses us from our sins.  We could not live ten minutes if our blood was not cleansing us.  We could not live eternally unless cleansed from our sins and forgiven.  The blood of Christ cleanses us.  It is not only a striking symbol, but an accurate one of what blood really does.

<br /><br />
Image: Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images<br /><br />

     Red Blood Cells

     4)  The purpose of a symbol is to call to mind many things by just the image of one simple thing.  “The blood of Christ, shed for you,” may sound strange to someone the first time they hear it.  But for someone who knows the story, those words symbolize everything one needs for eternal salvation.  Not only is it symbolized, it is there given, “Given and shed for you,” says the Bible, “For the forgiveness of your sins.”


Hebrews 9:22  —  In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

I Corinthians 11:23-26  —  For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:  The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.


Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

–Charlotte Elliot  (1789-1871)