Sermon 621. The Precious Blood Of Christ
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, MARCH 26, 1865,
BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"The precious blood of Christ." 1 Peter 1:19.
IT is frequently my fear I should fall into the habit of preaching about the Gospel rather than directly preaching the Gospel.And then I labor to return to the first principle of our faith and often take a text upon which it would not be possible tosay anything new, but which will compel me torecapitulate in your hearing those things which are vital, essential and fundamental to the life of our souls. With sucha text as this before me, if I do not preach the Gospel I shall do violence both to the sacred Word and to my own conscience.Surely I may hope that whileendeavoring to unfold my text and to proclaim the saving Word, the Holy Spirit will be present to take of the things ofChrist and to show them unto us and make them saving to our souls.
Blood has from the beginning been regarded by God as a most precious thing. He has hedged about this fountain of vitalitywith the most solemn sanctions. The Lord thus commanded Noah and his descendants, "Flesh with the life thereof, which is theblood thereof, shall you not eat." Man had everymoving thing that lives given him for meat, but they were by no means to eat the blood with the flesh. Things strangledwere to be considered unfit for food, since God would not have man became too familiar with blood by eating or drinking itin any shape or form. Even the blood ofbulls and goats thus had a sacredness put upon it by God's decrees.
As for the blood of man, you remember how God's threats ran, "And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the handof every beast will I require it and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his bloodbe shed: for in the image of God made He man." It is true that the first murderer had not his blood shed by man, but thenthe crime was new and the penalty had not then been settled and proclaimed. And therefore the case was clearly exceptionaland one by itself. And, moreover,Cain's doom was probably far more terrible than if he had been slain upon the spot-he was permitted to fill up his measureof wickedness, to be a wanderer and a vagabond upon the face of the earth-and then to enter into the dreadful heritage ofwrath, which his life ofsin had doubtless greatly increased.
Under the theocratic dispensation, in which God was the King and governed Israel, murder was always punished in the most exemplarymanner and there was never any toleration or excuse for it. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life was the stern inexorablelaw. It is expressly written, "Youshall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer which is guilty of death: but he shall surely be put to death." Evenin cases where life was taken in chance medley or misadventure, the matter was not overlooked. The slayer fled at once toa City of Refuge, where, after havinghis case properly tried, he was allowed to reside. But there was no safety for him elsewhere until the death of the highpriest.
The general law in all cases was, "So you shall not pollute the land wherein you are: for blood defiles the land: and theland cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed there, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not, therefore, theland which you shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I,the Lord, dwell among the children of Israel." Strange is it that that very thing which defiles should turn out to be thatwhich alone can cleanse! It is clear, then, that blood was ever precious in God's sight and He would have it so in ours.
He first forbids the blood of beasts as food of man, then avenges the blood of man shed in anger. And, furthermore, takescare that even accidents shall not pour it out unheeded. Nor is this all. We hear within us the echo of that law. We feelthat God has truly made blood a sacred thing. Thoughsome can, through use and habit, read the story of war with patience, if not with pleasure-though the sound of the trumpetand the drum and the tramp of soldiery will stir our heart and make us, for the moment, sympathize with the martial spirit-yet,if we could see waras it really is, if we could only walk but halfway across a battlefield or see but one wounded man, a cold shiver wouldshoot through the very marrow of our bones and we should have experimental proof that blood is, indeed, a sacred thing.
The other night, when I listened to one who professed to have come from battlefields of the American war, I felt a faintnessand clammy sweat steal over me as he shocked and horrified us with the details of mutilated bodies and spoke of standing upto the tops of his boots in pools of human gore.The shudder which ran through us all was a sure confirmation of the sanctity with which God has forever guarded the symboland nutriment of life. We cannot even contemplate the probability of the shedding of blood without fear and trembling.
And comforts which entail high risks in their production or procuring will lose all sweetness to men of humane dispositions.Who does not sympathize with David in his action with regard to the water procured by his three mighties! The three heroesbroke through the hosts of the Philistines to bringDavid water from the well of Bethlehem. But as soon as he received that water, though very thirsty and much longing forit, yet he felt he could not touch it because these men had run such dreadful risks in breaking thrice through the Philistinehosts to bring it to him! He,therefore, took the water and poured it out before the Lord, as if it was not meet that men should run risk of life forany but God who gave life!
His words were very touching, "My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing! Shall I drink the blood of these men thathave put their lives in jeopardy? For with the jeopardy or their lives they brought it." I wonder at the cruelty of the greatcrowds who delight to see men and women runningsuch fearful risks of life in rope-dancing. How is it that they can feed their morbid curiosity on such dreadful food andgreet the man who is foolish enough to run such hazards with acclamations because of his foolhardiness? How much more Christ-likethe regret of David that heshould have led any man to risk his life for his comfort! How much more laudable was his belief that nothing short of thehighest benevolence to man, or the highest devotion to God can justify such jeopardy of life!
Further permit me to observe that the seal of the sanctity of blood is usually set upon the conscience even of the most depravedof men-not merely upon gentle souls and sanctified spirits-but even upon the most hardened. You will notice that men, badas they are, shrink from thedisgrace of taking blood money. Even those high priests who could sit down and gloat their eyes with the sufferings of theSavior would not receive the price of blood into the treasury. And even Judas, that son of perdition, who could contemplatewithout horror the treachery bywhich he betrayed his Master-yet when he had the thirty pieces of silver in his palm, found the money too hot to hold! Hethrew it down in the temple, for he could not bear or abide the sight of "the price of blood." This is another proof thateven when virtue has becomeextinct and vice reigns, yet God has put the broad arrow of His own Sovereignty so manifestly upon the very thought of bloodthat even these worst of spirits are compelled to shrink from tampering with it.
Now, if in ordinary cases the shedding of life is thus precious, can you guess how fully God utters His heart's meaning whenHe says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints"? If the death of a rebel is precious, what must bethe death of a child? If He will not contemplatethe shedding of the blood of His own enemies and of them that curse Him without proclaiming vengeance, what do you thinkHe feels concerning His own elect, of whom He says, "Precious shall their blood be in His sight"? Will He not avenge them,though He bears long with them?
Shall the cup which the Harlot of Rome filled with the blood of the saints long remain unavenged? Shall not the martyrs fromPiedmont and the Alps and from our Smithfield and from the hills of covenanting Scotland yet obtain from God the vengeancedue for all that they suffered and all the bloodwhich they poured forth in the defense of His cause? I have taken you up, you see, from the beast to man-from man to God'schosen men-the martyrs. I have another step to indicate to you-it is a far larger one-it is to the blood OF JESUS CHRIST.
Here powers of speech would fail to convey to you an idea of the preciousness! Behold here, a Person innocent- without taintwithin, or flaw without! A Person meritorious who magnified the Law and made it honorable-a Person who served both God andman even unto death. No, here you havea Divine Person-so Divine that in the Acts of the Apostles Paul calls His blood the "blood of God." Place innocence andmerit and dignity and position and Godhead itself in the scale and then conceive what must be the inestimable value of theblood which Jesus Christ pouredforth!
Angels must have seen that matchless blood-shedding with wonder and amazement, and even God Himself saw what never beforewas seen in creation or in Providence-He saw Himself more gloriously displayed than the whole universe beside. Let us comenearer to the text and try to show forth thepreciousness of the blood of Christ. We shall confine ourselves to an enumeration of some of the many properties possessedby this precious blood.
I felt, as I was studying, that I should have so many divisions this morning that some of you would compare my sermon to thebones in Ezekiel's vision-they were very many and they were very dry-but I am in hopes that God's Holy Spirit may so descendupon the bones in mysermon-which would be but dry of themselves-that they being quickened and full of life you may admire the exceeding greatarmy of God's thoughts of loving-kindness towards His people in the sacrifice of His own dear Son.
The precious blood of Christ is useful to God's people in a thousand ways-we intend to speak of twelve of them. After all,the real preciousness of a thing in the time of pinch and trial must depend upon its usefulness. A bag of pearls would beto us, this morning, far more precious than abag of bread. But you have all heard the story of the man in the desert who stumbled, when near to death, upon a bag. Heopened it, hoping that it might be the wallet of some passerby, and he found in it nothing but pearls! If they had been crustsof bread, how much more preciouswould they have been! I say, in the hour of necessity and peril, the use of a thing really constitutes the preciousnessof it. This may not be according to political economy, but it is according to common sense.
1. The precious blood of Christ has a REDEEMING POWER. It redeems from the Law. We were all under the Law which says, "Dothis and live." We were slaves to it-Christ has paid the ransom price and the Law is no longer our tyrant master. We are entirelyfree from it. The Law had a dreadfulcurse-it threatened that whoever should violate one of its precepts should die-"Christ has redeemed us from the curse ofthe Law, being made a curse for us."
By the fear of this curse the Law inflicted a continual dread on those who were under it. They knew they had disobeyed itand they were all their lifetime subject to bondage, fearful lest death and destruction should come upon them at any moment.But we are not under the Law, but under Grace, andconsequently, "We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have received the spirit of adoption wherebywe cry, 'Abba, Father.' " We are not afraid of the Law now-its worst thunders cannot affect us for they are not hurled atus!
Its most tremendous lightning cannot touch us for we are sheltered beneath the Cross of Christ, where the thunder loses itsterror and the lightning its fury. We read the Law of God with pleasure now! We look upon it as in the ark covered with theMercy Seat and not thundering in tempests fromSinai's fiery brow. Happy is that man who knows his full redemption from the Law, its curse, its penalty, its present dread!
My Brethren, the life of a Jew, happy as it was compared with that of a heathen, was perfect drudgery compared to yours andmine! He was hedged in with a thousand commands and prohibitions. His forms and ceremonies were abundant and their detailsminutely arranged. He was always in danger of makinghimself unclean. If he sat upon a bed or upon a stool he might be defiled. If he drank out of an earthen pitcher, or eventouched the wall of a house-a leprous man might have put his hand there before him and he would thus become defiled. A thousandsins of ignorance were likeso many hidden pits in his way. He must be perpetually in fear lest he should be cut off from the people of God.
When he had done his best any one day, he knew he had not finished-no Jew could ever talk of a finished work. The bullockwas offered, but he must bring another. The lamb was offered this morning, but another must be offered this evening, anothertomorrow and another the next day. ThePassover is celebrated with holy rites-it must be kept in the same manner next year. The high priest has gone within theveil once, but be must go there again. The thing is never finished-it is always beginning. He never comes any nearer to theend. "The Law could notmake the comer thereunto perfect."
But see our position-we are redeemed from this! Our Law is fulfilled, for Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness!Our Passover is slain, for Jesus died! Our righteousness is finished, for we are complete in Him! Our victim is slain, ourPriest has gone within the veil, the blood issprinkled! We are clean and clean beyond any fear of defilement, "For He has perfected forever those that were set apart."Value this precious blood, my Beloved, because thus it has redeemed you from the thralldom and bondage which the Law imposedupon its votaries.
2. The value of the blood lies much in its ATONING EFFICACY. We are told in Leviticus, that, "it is the blood which makesan atonement for the soul." God never forgave sin apart from blood under the Law. This stood as a constant text-"Without sheddingof blood there is no remission." Meal andhoney, sweet spices and incense would not avail without shedding of blood. There was no remission promised to future diligenceor deep repentance-without shedding of blood pardon never came. The blood, and the blood alone, put away sin and permitteda man to come to God'scourts to worship-because it made him one with God.
The blood is the great at-one-ment. There is no hope of pardon for the sin of any man except through its punishment beingfully endured. God must punish sin. It is not an arbitrary arrangement that sin shall be punished, but it is a part of thevery constitution of moral government that sin must bepunished. Never did God swerve from that and never will He. "He will by no means clear the guilty."
Christ, therefore, came and was punished in the place of all His people. Ten thousands times ten thousands are the souls forwhom Jesus shed His blood. He, for the sins of all the elect, has made a complete Atonement. For every man born of Adam whohas believed or shall believe on Him, or who istaken to Glory before being capable of believing, Christ has made a complete Atonement. And there is none other plan bywhich sinners can be made at one with God, except by Jesus' precious blood.
I may make sacrifices. I may mortify my body. I may be baptized. I may receive sacraments. I may pray until my knees growhard with kneeling. I may read devout words until I know them by heart. I may celebrate masses. I may worship in one languageor in fifty languages-but I can never be atone with God except by blood-and that blood, "the precious blood of Christ."
My dear Friends, many of you have felt the power of Christ's redeeming blood! You are not under the Law now, but under Grace-youhave also felt the power of the atoning blood-you know that you are reconciled unto God by the death of His Son. You feelthat He is no angry God to you, thatHe loves you with a love unchangeable. But this is not the case with you all. O that it were! I do pray that you may know,this very day, the atoning power of the blood of Jesus! Creature, would you not be at one with your Creator? Puny man, wouldyou not have Almighty God to beyour Friend? You can not be at one with God except through the at-one-ment. God has set forth Christ to be a Propitiationfor our sins. Oh, take the Propitiation through faith in His blood and be at one with God!
3. Thirdly, the precious blood of Jesus Christ has A CLEANSING POWER. John tells us in his first Epistle, first chapter, seventhverse, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from all sin." Sin has a directly defiling effect upon the sinner,from which comes the need of cleansing. Supposethat God, the Holy One, were perfectly willing to be at one with an unholy sinner which is supposing a case that cannotbe. Yet even should the pure eyes of the Most High wink at sin, still, as long as we are unclean we never could feel in ourown hearts anything like joy and restand peace.
Sin is a plague to the man who has it, as well as a hateful thing to the God who abhors it. I must be made clean. I must havemy iniquities washed away or I never can be happy. The first mercy that is sung of in the one hundred and third Psalm is,"Who forgives all your iniquities." Now we know itis by the precious blood that sin is cleansed. Murder, adultery, theft-whatever the sin may be-there is power in the veinsof Christ to take it away at once and forever! No matter how many, nor how deeply-seated our offenses may be, the blood cries,"Though your sins areas scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
It is the song of Heaven-"We have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." This is the experience ofearth, for none was ever cleansed except in this fountain opened for the house of David for sin and for un-cleanness. Youhave heard this so often that perhaps if anangel told it to you, you would not take much interest in it- unless you have known experimentally the horror of uncleannessand the blessedness of being made clean. Beloved, it is a thought which ought to make our hearts leap within us, that throughJesus' blood there is nota spot left upon any Believer, not a wrinkle nor any such thing-
"Though in myself defiled I am, And black as Kedar's tent, appear, Yet when I put Your garment on, Fair as the courts of Solomon."
You have no spiritual beauty, Beloved, apart from Christ. But, having Christ, He Himself says, "You are all fair, My Love,there is no spot in you." Oh, precious blood which makes the blackamoor white as snow and takes out the leopard's spots! Oh,precious blood removing the Hell-stains of abundantiniquity and permitting me to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding all the many ways in which I have rebelledagainst my God!
4. A fourth property of the blood of Christ is ITS PRESERVING POWER. You will rightly comprehend this when you remember thatdreadful night of Egypt, when the destroying angel was abroad to slay God's enemies. A bitter cry went up from house to houseas the first-born of all Egypt-fromPharaoh on the throne to the first-born of the woman behind the mill and the slave in the dungeon-all fell dead in a moment!The angel sped with noiseless wings through every street of Egypt's many cities.
But there were some houses which he could not enter-he sheathed his sword and breathed no malediction there. What was it whichpreserved the houses? The inhabitants were not better than others. Their habitations were not more elegantly built-there wasnothing except the bloodstain onthe lintel and on the two side posts-and it is written, "When I see the blood I will pass over you." There was nothing whateverwhich gained the Passover for Israel but the sprinkling of blood!
The father of the house had taken a lamb and killed it-had caught the blood in a basin. And while the lamb was roasted thatit might be eaten by every inhabitant of the house, he took a bunch of hyssop, stirred the basin of blood and went outsidewith his children and began to strike theposts and to strike the door. And as soon as this was done they were all safe, all safe-no angel could touch them-the fiendsof Hell themselves could not venture there.
Beloved, see, we are preserved in Christ Jesus! Did not God see the blood before you and I saw it and was not that the reasonwhy He spared our forfeited lives when, like barren fig trees, we brought forth no fruit for Him? When we saw the blood, letus remember it was not our seeing it whichreally saved us-one sight of it gave us peace, but it was God's seeing it that saved us. "When I see the blood I will passover you."
And today, if my eye of faith is dim and I see the precious blood so as to rejoice that I am washed but I can scarcely seeit, yet God can see the blood and as long as the undimmed eyes of Jehovah look upon the atoning Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus,He cannot smite one soul that is covered with itsscarlet mantle. Oh, how precious is this blood-red shield! My Soul, cower yourself down under it when the darts of Hellare flying! This is the chariot, the covering of purple-let the storm come and the deluge rise, let even the fiery hail descendbeneath that crimsonpavilion-my soul must rest secure, for what can touch me when I am covered with His precious blood?
The preserving power of that blood should make us feel how precious it is. Beloved, let me beg you to try and realize thesepoints. You know I told you before I cannot say anything new upon the subject, neither can I embody these old thoughts innew words. I should only spoil them and be making afool of myself by trying to make a display of myself and my own powers, instead of the precious blood. Let me ask you toget here, right under the shelter of the Cross. Sit down, now, beneath the shadow of the Cross and feel, "I am safe, I amsafe, O you devils of Hell, or youangels of God-I could challenge you all and say, 'Who shall separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus, or who shalllay anything to my charge, seeing that Christ has died for me?' "
When Heaven is on a blaze. When earth begins to shake. When the mountains rock. When God divides the righteous from the wicked,happy will they be who can find a shelter beneath the blood! But where will you be who have never trusted in its cleansingpower? You will call to the rocks to hide youand to the mountains to cover you, but all in vain. God help you now, or even the blood will not help you then!
5. Fifthly, the blood of Christ is precious because of its PLEADING PREVALENCE. Paul says in the twelfth chapter of his Epistleto the Hebrews, at the twenty-fourth verse, "It speaks better things than that of Abel." Abel's blood pleaded and prevailed.Its cry was, "Vengeance!" and Cain waspunished. Jesus' blood pleads and prevails. Its cry is "Father, forgive them!" and sinners are forgiven through it.
When I cannot pray as I would, how sweet to remember that the blood prays! There is no voice in my tongue, but there is alwaysa voice in the blood. If I cannot, when I bow before my God, get farther than to say, "God be merciful to me, a sinner," yetmy Advocate before the Throne is not dumbbecause I am and His plea has not lost its power because my faith in it may happen to be diminished. The blood is alwaysalike prevalent with God. The wounds of Jesus are so many mouths to plead with God for sinners-what if I say they are so manychains with which love is leadcaptive and sovereign mercy bound to bless every favored child?
What if I say that the wounds of Jesus have become doors of Divine Grace through which Divine love comes forth to the vilestof the vile and doors through which our wants go up to God and plead with Him that He would be pleased to supply them? Nexttime you cannot pray. Next time you are crying andstriving and groaning up in that upper room, praise the value of the precious blood which makes intercession before theeternal Throne of God!
6. Sixthly, the blood is precious where perhaps we little expect it to operate. It is precious, because of its MELTING INFLUENCEon the human heart. "They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him, as one that mourns for hisonly son and shall be in bitterness for Him,as one that is in bitterness for his first-born."
There is a great complaint among sinners, when they are a little awakened, that they feel their hearts so hard. The bloodis a mighty melter. Alchemists of old sought after a universal solvent-the blood of Jesus is that. There is no nature so stubbornthat a sight of the love of God in ChristJesus cannot melt it, if Grace shall open the blind eye to see Christ. The stone in the human heart shall melt away whenit is plunged into a bath of Divine blood. Cannot you say, dear Friends, that Toplady was right in his hymn-
"Law and terrors do but harden All the while they work alone. But a sense of blood-bought pardon, Soon dissolves a heart of stone"?"
Sinner, if God shall lead you to believe this morning in Christ to save you-if, then, you will trust your soul in His handsto have it saved-that hard heart of yours will melt at once! You would think differently of sin, my Friends, if you knew thatChrist smarted for it. Oh, if youknew that out of those dear listless eyes there looked the loving heart of Jesus upon you, I know you would say, "I hatethe sin that made Him mourn and fastened Him to the accursed tree." I do not think that preaching the Law generally softensmen's hearts.
Hitting men with a hard hammer may often drive the particles of a hard heart more closely together and make the iron yet morehard. But oh, to preach Christ's love-His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in sins and to tell tosinners that there is life in a look at theCrucified One-surely this will prove that Christ was exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins! Come forrepentance, if you cannot come repenting! Come for a broken heart, if you cannot come with a broken heart! Come to be melted,if you are not melted. Come tobe wounded, if you are not wounded.
7. But then comes in a seventh property of the precious blood. The same blood that melts has A GRACIOUS POWER TO PACIFY. JohnBunyan speaks of the Law as coming to sweep a chamber like a maid with a broom. And when she began to sweep there was a greatdust which almost choked people and got intotheir eyes. But then came the Gospel with its drops of water and laid the dust and then the broom might be used far better.
Now it sometimes happens that the Law of God makes such a dust in the sinner's soul that nothing but the precious blood ofJesus Christ can make that dust lie still. The sinner is so disquieted that nothing can ever give him any relief except toknow that Jesus died for him. When I felt the burdenof my sin, I do confess all the preaching I ever heard never gave me one single atom of comfort. I was told to do this andto do that and when I had done it all, I had not advanced one inch farther.
I thought I must feel something, or pray a certain quantity. And when I had done that, the burden was quite as heavy. Butthe moment I saw that there was nothing whatever for me to do, that Jesus did it long, long ago-that all my sins were puton His back and that He suffered all I ought tohave suffered-why then my heart had peace with God. Real peace by believing peace through the precious blood!
Two soldiers were on duty in the citadel of Gibraltar. One of them had obtained peace through the precious blood of Christ,the other was in very great distress of mind. It happened to be their turn to stand sentinel, both of them, the same night.And there are many long passages in the rock, whichpassages are adapted to convey sounds a very great distance. The soldier in distress of mind was ready to beat his breastfor grief-he felt he had rebelled against God and could not find how he could be reconciled-when suddenly there came throughthe air what seemed tohim to be a mysterious voice from Heaven saying these words, "The precious blood of Christ."
In a moment he saw it all-it was that which reconciled us to God-and he rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Nowdid those words come directly from God? No. They did as far as the effect was concerned-they did come from the Holy Spirit.Who was it that had spoken thosewords? Curiously enough, the other sentinel at the far end of the passage was standing still and meditating when an officercame by and it was his duty, of course, to give the word for the night and with soldier-like promptness he did give it-butnot accurately, for instead ofgiving the proper word, he was so taken up by his meditations that he said to the officer, "The precious blood of Christ."
He corrected himself in a moment. But he had said it and it had passed along the passage and reached the ear for which Godmeant it-and the man found peace and spent his life in the fear of God, being in after years the means of completing one ofour excellent translations of the Word of Godinto the Hindu language. Who can tell, dear Friends, how much peace you may give by only telling the story of our Savior!If I only had about a dozen words to speak and knew I must die, I would say, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of allacceptation, that Christ Jesus cameinto the world to save sinners." The doctrine of Substitution is the pith and marrow of the Gospel, and if you can holdthat forth, you will prove the value of the precious blood by its peace-giving power.
8. We can only spare a minute now upon ITS SANCTIFYING INFLUENCE. The Apostle tells us in the ninth chapter and the fourteenthverse that Christ sanctified the people by His own blood. Certain it is that the same blood which justifies by taking awaysin does, in its after-action, act upon the newnature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so greatas that which streams from the veins of Jesus. If you want to know why you should be obedient to God's will, my Brethren,go and look upon Him who sweat, as itwere, great drops of blood and the love of Christ will constrain you, because you will thus judge, "That if one died forall, then were all dead: and that He died for all that we which live might not henceforth live unto ourselves, but unto Himthat died for us and rose again."
9. In the ninth place, another blessed property of the blood of Jesus is ITS POWER TO GIVE ENTRANCE. We are told that thehigh priest never went within the veil without blood. And surely we can never get into God's heart, nor into the secret ofthe Lord which is with them that fear Him, nor intoany familiar communion with our great Father and Friend, except by the sprinkling of the precious blood of Jesus.
"We have access with boldness into this grace wherein we stand," but we never dare go a step towards God except as we aresprinkled with this precious blood. I am persuaded some of us do not come near to God because we forget the blood. If youtry to have fellowship with God in your graces, yourexperiences, your believing-you will fail. But if you try to come near to God as you stand in Christ Jesus-you will havecourage to come. And on the other hand, God will run to meet you when He sees you in the face of His Anointed. Oh, for powerto get near to God! Butthere is no getting near to God except as we got near to the Cross. Praise the blood, then, for its power of giving younearness to God.
10. Tenthly-a hint only. The blood is very precious, in the tenth place, for ITS CONFIRMING POWER. No covenant, we are told,was ever valid unless victims were slain and blood sprinkled. And it is the blood of Jesus which has ratified the New Covenantand made its promises sure to all theseed. Therefore it is called "the blood of the Everlasting Covenant." The Apostle changes the figure and he says that atestament is not of force except the testator is dead. The blood is a proof that the Testator died and now the Law holds goodto every inheritor because JesusChrist has signed it with His own gore.
Beloved, let us rejoice that the promises are yes, and amen, for no other reason than this-because Christ Jesus died and roseagain. Had there been no bowing of the head upon the tree, no slumbering in the sepulcher, no rising from the tomb, then thepromises had been uncertain, ficklethings-not "immutable things wherein it is impossible for God to lie"-and consequently they could never have afforded strongconsolation to those who have fled for refuge to Christ Jesus. See, then, the confirming nature of the blood of Jesus andcount it very precious.
11. I am almost done. But there remains another. It is the eleventh one, and that is THE INVIGORATING POWER of the preciousblood. If you want to know that, you must see it set forth as we often do when we cover the table with the white cloth andput the bread and wine on it. What do we mean bythis ordinance? We mean by it that Christ suffered for us and that we, being already washed in His precious blood and somade clean, do come to the table to drink wine as an emblem of the way in which we live and feed upon His body and upon Hisblood.
He tells us, "Except a man shall eat My flesh and drink My blood, there is no life in him." We do therefore, after a spiritualsort, drink His blood and He says, "My blood is drink, indeed." Superior drink! Transcendent drink! Strengthening drink-suchdrink as angels never taste though theydrink before the eternal Throne. Oh Beloved, whenever your spirit faints, this wine shall comfort you! When your griefsare many, drink and forget your misery and remember your sufferings no more!
When you are very weak and faint, take not a little of this for your soul's sake, but drink a full draught of the wine onthe lees, well refined, which was set abroad by the soldier's spike and flowed from Christ's own heart! "Drink to the full.Yes, drink abundantly O Beloved," says Christ to thespouse. And do not linger when He invites. You see the blood has power without to cleanse and then it has power within tostrengthen. O precious Blood, how many are Your uses! May I prove them all!
12. Lastly and twelfth-twelve is the number of perfection. We have brought out a perfect number of its uses-the blood hasAN OVERCOMING POWER. It is written in the Revelation, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise?He that fights with the preciousblood of Jesus fights with a weapon that will cut through soul and spirit, joints and marrow-a weapon that makes Hell trembleand makes Heaven subservient and earth obedient to the will of the men who can wield it!
The blood of Jesus! Sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death-Hell itself would be dried up if that blood could operatethere. The blood of Jesus! Heaven's gates are opened! Bars of iron are pushed back. The blood of Jesus! My doubts and fearsflee, my troubles and disastersdisappear! The blood of Jesus! Shall I not go on conquering and to conquer so long as I can plead that? In Heaven this shallbe the choice jewel which shall glitter upon the head of Jesus-that He gives to His people "Victory, victory, through theblood of the Lamb."
And now, is this blood to be had? Can it be got at? Yes, it is FREE, as well as full of virtue-free to every soul that believes.Whoever cares to come and trust in Jesus shall find the virtue of this blood in his case this very morning. Away from yourown works! Turn those eyes of yours tothe full Atonement made, to the utmost ransom paid! And if God enables you, poor Soul, this morning to say, "I take thatprecious blood to be my only hope," you are saved and you may sing with the rest of us-
"Now, freed from sin, I walk at large; The Savior's blood's my full discharge. At His dear feet my soul I'll lay, A sinner saved and homage pay."
God grant it may be so, for His name's sake. Amen.