Thursday, April 23, 2015

the blood of Christ

The past several weeks I have been spending some time thinking through the elements and meaning of communion, the Lord’s Supper.  Within the sacrament and celebration of this act of worship we see the love of God spelled out through the death of our Savior.

The piece that continues to stand out is the payment that was given for my sin, to connect me to God and to be shared with others.  God did so much for us.  His gift is our gain and the gift is the foundation of our eternal salvation.

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.

I may not be able to spell it out as well as other people can, and thus I point you to a text that is over 220 years old.  These words, though a bit odd in our modern language, well explain what Jesus did for us.

And Can It Be by Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

'Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

***hymn “And can it be that I should gain” by Charles Wesley (1738)

We have been blessed, no graced is a better word, by the hand and heart of God.  The one who is divine put on humanity.  God’s own son was given for my good, for my sin, for my new life. 

There is nothing more majestic and humbling than an understanding of God’s grace.  Words like undeserved, grateful, eternal, and more ring in my mind as I read that hymn and hear it sung in my head.  Without the gift of God and the blood of Christ given for us, we are without hope.

Thank God for His incredible gift that our Savior, God’s son, would die for us!

In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

1 John 5:6  NLT
And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony.

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happy birthday, Julie

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