After last week’s devotion, “This Is My Body,” I had to follow up with the communion remembrance “This Is My Blood.”
The symbolism may sound gory, but the grape juice or wine we take during the Lord’s Supper represents the blood Jesus shed on our behalf.
Prior to Jesus’s death on the cross, according to Old Testament law, a blood sacrifice was required to pay for sin. The sin offering typically involved the sacrifice of a young bull, ram, goat, lamb, dove, or pigeon. The animals offered were to be the very best, without defect or blemish.
The wonderful thing about Jesus’s death was that He was the better and final sacrifice. The author of Hebrews beautifully writes, “But when the Messiah arrived . . . He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God” (Hebrews 9:11-15 The Message).
Trace His steps as Jesus bled from the garden to the cross, from Gethsemane to Golgotha.
- As Jesus prayed earnestly in the garden, His sweat was like drops of blood.
- At the house of the high priest, Jesus was beaten by guards.
- Pilate had Jesus flogged, receiving at least 39 lashes.
- The soldiers jabbed a crown of thorns on His head and then repeatedly struck His head with a staff.
- Finally, Jesus was led to Golgotha to have spikes driven through His hands (or wrists) and feet.
Jesus truly bled out to pay for our sin and provide forgiveness for the world. When we believers stand before the Father, He will see us as perfect because of the sacrifice of His Son.