The death of Jesus is meaningless to many people. The mention of Christ’s blood is distasteful to them. The message of Jesus death, His blood and the work of redemption are still foolishness to a people who would like to believe that man could save himself by his own goodness.
The first shedding of blood
In the book of Genesis chapter 3:7, we learn that Adam and Eve were naked and ashamed when they disobeyed God. ‘So they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths.’ For the first time, blood was shed that the nakedness of Adam and Eve might be covered. ‘Yahweh made clothes out of skins for man and his wife and they put them on.’ (Gen.3:21).
Jesus Blood – The object of our faith
Man is unable to redeem himself because he is a sinner. By shedding His blood, Christ became the ‘way’ to provide forgiveness for sin, there by satisfying the holy demands of the Heavenly Father. This is why St.John says, ‘He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world.’ (1Jn.2:2). Jesus blood is the object of our faith, as St.Paul states, ‘And we are justified through the free gifts of His grace by being redeemed in Christ Jesus who was appointed by God to sacrifice His life so as to win reconciliation through faith.’ (Rm.3:25).
Without the Blood of Jesus Christ and His grace it would be impossible for man to have victory over sin. And during the Last Supper, Our Lord offered Himself in an unbloody yet real sacrifice when He uttered the following words,’For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.’ (Matt. 26:28). Truly, this ‘shedding of blood’ or ‘pouring out of blood’ took place and formed one of the glorious mysteries of our faith.
Why is there Power in Precious Blood of Jesus Christ?
There is power in the Precious Blood of Jesus because the Blood represents His Divine Life. The blood that Christ shed right from the time of His circumcision till His death on Calvary was not that of goats and bulls, but His very own divine life blood. ‘Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’ (Heb.9:22). In the Old Testament, the forgiveness of sins is related to the slain animals symbolically bore the punishment for sin that the people deserved. People were forgiven and pardoned for their sins, but the blood of their sacrifice did not justify them. But the death of Jesus Christ who knew no sin, who was Holy and blameless and pure, was able to pay the penalty for our sins. This one sacrifice Christ accomplished ‘once for all’ brings us back into fellowship with God. This ransom penalty was paid for every believer in Christ and the entire world over.
The believer is not only a pardoned sinner, but also a justified saint declared righteous in the sight of God, because the benefits of Christ death at Calvary have been applied to his account. ‘Having died to make as righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? For the power of the Precious Blood to be appropriated in one’s life, one has to turn to Christ in sincere faith and repentance.It is said that the Blessed Virgin venerated the Most Precious Blood of her infant Son on the day of His circumcision as she collected the first relics of His Precious Blood on a piece of cloth. On that momentous occasion she united her tears with that of the Word Incarnate on account of not so much of the sensible pain but of His supernatural sorrow for the hard-heartedness of mortals.
Healing of painful memories and cleansing of guilt conscience
Millions of people live in a never ending cycle of hopelessness and despair because they cannot forget about the past hurts, trauma and sorrowful experience they have undergone in life. They are constantly tormented by past memories that can lead to mental depression, anxiety and even suicide. These haunting memories of the past cannot be simply erased just be medication or by seeing a psychiatrist or by consuming alcohol or by morbid ways because I want them to be, when I have lived a life of sin and have not been for confession for several years and receiving the Holy Eucharist in the state of mortal sins and have become a slave to it.
‘A good confession is like deliverance.” And so anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be behaving unworthily towards the body and blood of the Lord.’ (2 Cor.11:27). Satan knows our weaknesses and uses our past to trap us, to let us dwell on our past sins, guilt and traumatic experiences. Praise and thank the Lord Jesus Christ that His Precious Blood washes away every dead work from our conscience, and also cleanses our minds from every thought of past and present sins.
‘How much more effectively the blood of Christ who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from the dead action so that we do our service to the living God.’ (Heb. 9:14). The healing of our painful memories takes place when we call on the name of Jesus and humbly ask His Precious Blood to set us free from this bondage.
The Precious Blood of Jesus is pure, and cleanses our minds and hearts from every past and present sins and hurts. We become pure in God’s sight. The moment the shed blood of Jesus has been applied to our hearts and minds, our past is buried; it is gone forever and no longer remembered in glory. To dwell once again on it is an insult to Jesus. There was never a sin believing confessed and taken to Christ that has ever baffled His power to cleanse it. This fountain has never been tried in vain, but that blood is available for all our sins.
The Old fulfilled in the New Covenant
Sacrifice is the highest form of religious worship which man offers to God as an act of praise, thanksgiving, petition or atonement. The most singular and pre-eminent sacrifice of the Old Law was the immolation of the Paschal Lamb which celebrated the sparing of Israel’s firstborn from the fatal sword of the Angel of Death in Egypt at the time of Moses and Pharaoh. The imagery of sacrificial blood from slain animals is made more vivid and meaningful if we recall Moses’ words from the Book of Exodus,’And he took the blood and sprinkled it upon the people, and he said: This is the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words.'(Exodus 24:8). This old sacrifice took a new form in the New Testament when the Immaculate Lamb of God offered Himself on the altar of the Cross to redeem mankind from sin and the slavery of Satan.
Christ Teaching on His Blood
Jesus Christ, in His teaching as well as by His death, emphasized the importance of His blood. He said,’ I tell you most solemnly if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you will not have life in you.’ (Jn.6:53). Here He stressed the literal necessity of His blood, and referred directly to His blood. At the last Last Supper Jesus called attention specifically: ‘Drink all of you from this , for this is MY Blood of the covenant, which is to be poured for many for the forgiveness of sins.’Christ was not the only one who stressed the importance of His Blood, for the apostles also emphasized this.
The Apostles teachings on Christ’s Blood
The Apostle Paul emphasized the efficacy of Christ’s blood in his ministry. St.Paul the Doctor of the Precious Blood owing to his evident fondness to preach on it in his epistle (Rm.3:25; Eph.1:7; Heb.9:12). St.Peter also highlights the role of Christ’s blood in our salvation in (1Pt.1:16-19).St. Johnstated in the book of Revelation (Rev.1:5-6).
As was true of the Old Testament sacrifice, Christ could have died in any one of several ways, For reasons known to Him, God found it necessary to become man to die physically by shedding His blood, so that man would be redeemed. If Christ had not shed His blood, His death would not have fulfilled the prophetic Scriptures. Jesus shed His Precious Blood for all who shall believe in Him. He is not the Christ of a caste or a class, but the Christ of all conditions of men. . His Precious Blood is absolutely essential and indispensable for our salvation.
Without its mark upon us, we are unfit to come into the presence of the Holy and righteous God, it is the message that every believer needs to understand. In a prayer of deliverance the Precious Blood of Jesus is always mentioned, as it is very efficacious. Even demons recognize the Power of the Precious Blood of Jesus. If demons know it, the how much more should we?
July: The Month of Precious Blood
Pope Pius IX instituted this feast in thanksgiving for his return to Rome from Gaeta after the revolution of 1848. The month of July is the month of Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The Feast is celebrated on July 1st. St. Gaspar Buffalo founded the order of the Precious Blood.
The lives of saints are replete with devotion to the Precious Blood making special mention of St. John Chrysostom, St. Austin, St. Gertrude and St. Catherine of Sienna who is considered the Prophetess of the Precious Blood for putting emphasis on it as the solution to the ills of her time. The Scriptures makes it clear that if we reject Jesus Christ’s Precious Blood we have offended God’s Holy Spirit. (Heb.10:28-29).
– – – written by CAPT Mervin John Lobo