The Power Of The Blood Of Jesus
By Andrew Murray
"The first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary….The priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second [part] went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people....But Christ being come a high priest…by His own blood, He entered in once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:1,6,7,11,12).
It is sometimes said that the words "…not without blood" belong to the Old Testament. But what does our Lord Jesus Christ say? Notice, first, that when John the Baptist announced His coming, he spoke of Him as filling a dual office, as "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and then as the one "who shall baptize with the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 3:11). The outpouring of the blood of the Lamb of God must take place before the outpouring of the Spirit could be bestowed. Only when all that the Old Testament taught about the blood has been fulfilled, can the dispensation of the Spirit begin.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself plainly declared that His death on the cross was the purpose for which He came into the world, that it was the necessary condition of the redemption and life which He came to bring. He clearly states that in connection with His death the shedding of His blood was necessary. In the synagogue at Capernaum He spoke of Himself as "the Bread of Life" (John 6:35) and that He would give it for the life of the world (John 6:33). Four times over He spoke of His blood: "Except ye…drink His blood, ye have no life in you"; "whoso…drinketh My blood hath eternal life"; "My blood is drink indeed"; "He that…drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him" (John 6:53-56).
Our Lord thus declared the fundamental fact that He Himself, as the Son of the Father, who came to restore to us our lost life, can do this in no other way than by dying for us, by shedding His blood for us and then making us partakers of its power.
Our Lord confirmed the teaching of the Old Testament offerings – that man can live only through the death of another, and thus obtain a life that through resurrection has become eternal. But Christ Himself cannot make us partakers of that eternal life which He has procured for us, save by the shedding of His blood, and causing us to drink it. Marvelous fact! "Not without blood" can eternal life be ours.
Equally striking is our Lord’s declaration of the same truth on the last night of His earthly life. Before He completed the great work of His life by giving it "as a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28), He instituted the Holy Supper, saying: "Drink ye all of it; for this [cup] is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:27-28). "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). But by the shedding of His blood He has obtained a new life for us. By what He calls the drinking of His blood He shares His life with us. The blood shed in the atonement frees us from the guilt of sin, and from death, the punishment of sin. The blood, which by faith we drink, bestows on us His life. The blood He shed was, in the first place for us and is then given to us.
Teaching of the Apostles under Inspiration of the Holy Spirit
After Christ’s resurrection and ascension, He is no longer known by the apostles "after the flesh." Now all that was symbolical has passed away, and the deep spiritual truths expressed by symbol are unveiled. But there is no veiling of the blood. It still occupies a prominent place.
Turn first to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which was written purposely to show that the temple service had become unprofitable, and was intended by God to pass away now that Christ had come. Here, if anywhere, it might be expected that the Holy Spirit would emphasize the true spirituality of God’s purpose, yet it is just here that the blood of Jesus is spoken of in a manner that imparts a new value to the phrase.
We read concerning our Lord that "by His own blood He entered in the holy place" (Heb. 9:12).
"The blood of Christ…shall purge your conscience" (Heb. 9:14).
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19).
"Ye are come…to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling" (Heb. 12:22-24).
"Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb. 13:12).
"God…brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus…through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb. 13:20).
By such words the Holy Spirit teaches us that the blood is really the central power of our entire redemption. "Not without blood" is as valid in the New Testament as in the Old.
Nothing but the blood of Jesus, shed in His death for sin, can cover sin on God’s side, or remove it on ours.
We find the same teaching in the writings of the Apostles. Paul writes of "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… through faith in His blood" (Rom. 3:24-25), of "being now justified by His blood" (5:9).
To the Corinthians he declares that the "cup of blessing which we bless is the communion of the blood of Christ" (1 Cor. 10:16).
In the Epistle to the Galatians he uses the word "cross" to convey the same meaning, while in Colossians he unites the two words and speaks of "the blood of His cross" (Gal. 6:14; Col. 1:20).
He reminds the Ephesians that "We have redemption through His blood" and that we "are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 1:7; 2:13).
Peter reminds his readers that they were "Elect…unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus" (1 Pet. 1:2), that they were redeemed by "the precious blood of Christ" (vv. 18-19).
See how John assures his "little children" that "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). The Son is He "who came not by water only but by water and blood" (5:6).
All of them agree together in mentioning the blood, and in glorying in it, as the power by which eternal redemption through Christ is fully accomplished, and is then applied by the Holy Spirit.
Our Attitude Toward Drinking the Blood of Jesus
We have here one of the deepest mysteries of the life of God in us. It behooves us to draw near with very deep reverence while we ask the Lord Jesus to teach us and bestow upon us what He means by this drinking of His blood.
Only the one who longs for full union with Jesus will learn aright what it is to drink the blood of Jesus. "He that... drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him." (John 6:56). He who is satisfied with just the forgiveness of his sins; he who does not thirst to be made to drink abundantly of the love of Jesus; he who does not desire to experience redemption for soul and body, in its full power, so as to have truly in himself the same disposition that was in Jesus, will have but a small share in this drinking of the blood.
He who, on the other hand sets before him as his chief object, that which is also the object of Jesus: "Abide in Me and I in you" (John 15:4), he who desires that the power of eternal life should operate in his body – will not suffer himself to be frightened by the impression that these words are too high or too mysterious. He longs to become heavenly minded because he belongs to heaven, and is going there; therefore he desires to obtain his meat and drink also from heaven. Without thirst, there is no drinking. The longing after Jesus and perfect fellowship with Him is the thirst which is the best preparation for being made to drink the blood.
It is by the Holy Spirit that the thirsty soul will be made to drink of the heavenly refreshment of this life-giving drink. We have already said that this drinking is a heavenly mystery. In heaven, where God the Judge of all is, and where Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant is, there also is "the blood of sprinkling" (Heb. 12:22-24). When the Holy Spirit teaches us – taking us, as it were, by the hand – He bestows more than our merely human understanding can grasp. All the thoughts that we can entertain about the blood or the life of Jesus, about our share in that blood, as members of His body; and about the impartation to us of the living power of that blood; all are but feeble rays of the glorious reality, which He – the Holy Spirit – will bring into being in us through our union with Jesus.
Where, I pray, in our human bodies, do we find that the blood is actually received, and as it were, drunk in? Is it not where one member of the body after another through the veins, receives the blood stream which is continually renewed from the heart? Each member of a healthy body ceaselessly and abundantly drinks in the blood. So the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus who unites us to Him, will make this drinking of the blood the natural action of the inner life. When the Jews complained that what the Lord had spoken concerning eating His flesh and drinking His blood was "a hard saying," He said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:60-63). It is the Holy Spirit who makes this divine mystery life and power in us; a true living experience, in which we abide in Jesus and He in us.
There must be on our part a quiet, strong, settled expectancy of faith that this blessing will be bestowed on us. We must believe that all the precious blood can do, or bestow, is really for us.
Let us believe that the Saviour Himself will cause us, through the Holy Spirit, to drink His blood unto life. Let us believe, and very heartily and continuously appropriate those effects of the blood, which we understand better, namely its reconciling, cleansing, sanctifying effects.
We may then with the greatest certainty and joy, say to the Lord: "Oh, Lord, Your blood is my life drink. You who have washed and cleansed me by that blood, You will teach me every day to eat the flesh of the Son of man, and to drink His blood so that I may abide in You and You in me." He will surely do this.
– From The Power of the Blood of Jesus by Andrew Murray.