CLAY CENTER — Freedom. It is a gift available to every person in the world regardless of race, income, education, culture, or what type of government they live under. It is not a freedom of religion or speech. It is something better than all those? A prisoner once remarked, “I am freer in here, than I ever was out there.” What is he talking about? A freedom of the soul.
How can one obtain this for themselves? Through the blood of Jesus. Read what Matthew, one of His disciples wrote, “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:27-28)
Perhaps you have participated in a solemn act of worship in the church that goes by different names. The Lord’s Supper, The Eucharist, Communion, The Lord’s Table. It contains a significant feature: the cup. Jesus gave the meaning of it when He said, “for this is my blood of the covenant …”
Why is the blood of Jesus necessary in order to receive divine forgiveness? Because of the severity of sin. The Lord God is the Creator and Judge of all humanity and has a moral law, of which all are held to account. Have you entertained a selfish thought? Have you used God’s name as a curse word? Have you bore a grudge against someone? God tells us that if we violate just one of His many laws we are condemned to eternal death. Since all of us have, from the first man and woman until now, then all of us are under this sentence.
There is only one way humanity can be saved from this everlasting punishment. It is not by religion, trying to be morally upright or through service to others. God has declared it must come through a sacrifice. There is no other way. And not just any sacrifice. It must be a perfect one. In other words, we ourselves, are not good enough. It must be someone more holy, virtuous and honorable than you. This leaves only one man standing – Jesus.
When He left heaven and came to earth, He was on a mission. One to sacrifice Himself and pour out His blood for you and me. And His blood was not that of a mere man. Human sacrifice God forbids. Instead, as strange as it may sound, it was the blood of the Son of God. And it was not a forced sacrifice. No! It was a willing one, where He chose to lay His life down, and it came from a heart filled with love and mercy for the whole world.
Every drop of Jesus’ blood that came from the crown of thorns, the whips on His back, the blows to His head, the nails in His hands and feet and a spear in His side – every drop was a sacrifice for you. It was to spare you from the wrath of Almighty God against your disobedience. It was to cleanse you from the stain of your sin, and remove its divine penalty.
When the cup is taken in honor of the blood He shed, it is a symbolic and worshipful remembrance of His sacrifice. And the benefits of this holy work are available to all. It is both free and costly. Free, meaning you can do nothing to earn or deserve it, but it will cost something that is most valuable to you – your life.
Remember, God requires life for life. Jesus shed His blood for you, so you must lay down your life for Him. How do you do that? By turning from your sin and to Christ by faith, with all your heart. Not 10% or 50%, but 100% of your heart. Are you ready? Freedom is moments away!
A prayer for you: “Holy and Glorious God! We praise you for your most precious sacrifice – your only begotten Son. Thank you for His blood that was shed for the whole world. Today, bring people to cry out to you, to be cleansed and set free by its power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Share comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow his blog at clintdecker.blogspot.com.