nothing-but-the-blood

The ‘Scarlet Thread of Redemption’ that runs through the Bible traces our need for an innocent blood sacrifice which God ultimately provides in Jesus Christ. Romans 3 is one of the places in the New Testament where God’s provision of that innocent blood sacrifice in Christ shouts to us from the page:

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. (Romans 3:21-25 NAS)

‘Propitiation’ is a key word that helps us understand our need for an innocent blood sacrifice. Our ‘sin’ – our bent towards running our own life our own way – rightly and justly brings God’s wrath upon us, giving Him every right to damn us to eternal punishment. But God in His great love for us sent Christ to bear the full force of that wrath for us. Christ’s suffering and death satisfies, placates, and appeases God’s just wrath. That’s the basic meaning of the New Testament (Greek) word ‘propitiation’. To ‘propitiate’ means to satisfy, to placate, to appease. It means to do what needs to be done to effectively deal with and satisfy/placate/appease wrath. The effect of propitiation is that God’s wrath against us is removed and we are forgiven, opening up the way for us to be reconciled to Him.

God set the model of propitiation in the Old Testament, teaching the Israelites that only the sacrifice of an innocent life (in that case, an animal) could turn aside His wrath brought on by their sin. In the New Testament God shows us the complete and final sacrifice through Christ’s “blood” (His innocent life being sacrificed).

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

“Nothing But the Blood” – Words & Music by Robert Lowry

 

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