First of all, Happy New Year to you! May you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) this year.
Quite a few years ago, I started a devotional book on Jesus’ blood. I had almost finished it but then put it on the shelf. Recently, I picked it up and only need to write two more devotionals to finish the book. Obviously, there’s still some editing to be done.
There are a total of 40 devotionals. What better way to start the new year than with a fresh emphasis on “Our Only Hope and Plea” (the subtitle).
Here’s the introduction …
“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Later on we sing: “This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus” (from Nothing but the Blood by Robert Lowry). This hymn is simple with its lyrics, but incredibly profound in its truth.
Throughout the Bible we see the importance of the shedding of blood. We read: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Heb. 9:22).
The Old Testament sacrificial system has one main message: the death of an animal and the shedding of its blood are vital for our forgiveness and acceptance with God. It’s the sole means for our atonement—the turning away of God’s wrath against our sins.
The sacrificial system was only “a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities” (Heb. 10:1). No blood of an animal can atone for sin. Rather, it pointed to “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). His blood is all-sufficient to remove our sins—all of them.
Why is the blood so central in the message of the Bible? It contains the life of a person. Thus, it signifies the giving of one’s life for someone else. That is the message of the gospel. Jesus gave His life—shed His blood—in order for us to have eternal life.
How does that affect you today? As Nothing but the Blood so clearly states, your forgiveness and wholeness is due to Jesus shedding His blood. While the full benefits will only be realized in glory, you can already experience God’s forgiveness and the process of becoming whole, which you daily need.
Jesus’ Blood contains forty devotionals about His blood and its eternal worth. We may well end this introduction with heaven’s song: “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10).
Indeed, as the hymn ends: “Glory! Glory! This I sing—Nothing but the blood of Jesus, All my praise for this I bring—Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” His blood is our only hope and plea!