One of the most precious commodities that we have is blood. It is what keeps our bodies going — without it we will die! As one hears about tragedies and soldiers fighting in wars, as lives are lost, there is usually a reference to the loss of blood. In debates about whether a certain war should be fought the discussion usually comes down to the cost of “blood and treasure.”
A relatively few years ago it was discovered that one could take blood from one person and give it to another. Again, the lesson of the preciousness of blood could be seen. Think of the number of people who died before this discovery because of the lack of this precious commodity.
We are here this morning to remember and celebrate blood spelt for you and me. Jesus Christ willingly sacrificed himself and his precious blood for each of us. How do I know it was done willingly? Due to the fact that he foretold what was going to happen to him when he got to Jerusalem — the gospels record that on at least three occasions he explained in advance to his disciples what was going to happen to him. He didn’t get trapped in the city of Jerusalem. He did what he had come to do. In the Garden of Gethsemane he asked God that if there was another way to provide for our salvation, use it, yet willingly said, “Not my will but yours be done.” The Apostle John simply says, “Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward….” (John 18:4) and then the abuse, lies, torture, mocking and death process started.
Sometimes we reach an almost callous state when we talk about Christ shedding his blood. It seems like old news. “Yeah, Yeah, I know he died for me, let’s drink the juice and eat the bread and move on to other parts of the service.” I believe we need to stop and focus on what we are remembering. It is important to keep in mind that old adage: “There is no minor surgery when it is on my body.” We need to keep in mind that it was a big deal for Jesus, that he had every feeling that we would have if it were us facing a cross. Luke tells us that the sweat poured off Jesus “like great drops of blood”(Luke 22:43). That is not the picture of a calm, cool man who is unconcerned about what was going to happen to him! It is the picture of a man and son of God knowing what was needed and doing it.
As we think about that scene, we should contemplate the words of Peter regarding what happened: 1 Peter 1:18-19 “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
Then it would be well for us to listen to Peter about what God was thinking as the crucifixion took place: 1 Peter 2:4 “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious.”
So why was Jesus so willing to do this? Peter also answers that question: 1 Peter 2:6 “For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’”
It is the precious blood of Jesus that we come here to remember this morning. As we participate in the communion, let us focus on the fact that what we are remembering was precious: precious to Jesus because it was his blood, precious to God because it was his only begotten son and precious to us because it is the only commodity that was valuable enough to ransom us from the death we deserve.
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