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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Blood in the New Testament

I a post a few years ago, I mused on why the Bible demands a blood sacrifice for sin. I don't know all the answers, but speculated about some of them, based on some of the science of blood. I also quoted an important passage on the subject from Hebrews, and quoted a relevant fictional passage by C. S. Lewis. Here are some more New Testament passages on blood, all using the ESV. They shed more light on what the shedding of the perfect God-man's blood makes possible in us. (The very word, Testament, is related to blood in Hebrews 9, although called a Covenant there.)

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25a whom God put forward as a propitiation* by his blood , . . .

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “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, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

*Propitiation has to do with appeasing, satisfying a strong claim. God's strong claim on us is that death is the punishment for sin, and we are all sinners.



"Let us say I have forgotten it," answered Aslan gravely. "Tell us of this Deep Magic."
"Tell you?" said the Witch, her voice growing suddenly shriller. "Tell you what is written on that very Table of Stone which stands beside us? Tell you what is written in letters deep as a spear is long on the trunk of the World Ash Tree? Tell you what is engraved on the sceptre of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea? You at least know the magic which the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning. You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill."
. . . "And so," continued the Witch, "that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property." (C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; A Story for Children. New York: Macmillan, 1961. p. 114)

At last they heard Aslan's voice. "You can all come back," he said. "I have settled the matter. She has renounced the claim on your brother's blood." (p. 115) [The settlement was that Aslan, the great lion, and Christ-figure, agreed to take the place of Edmund, the traitor, thus becoming a propitiation for his traitorous behavior.]

"And now, who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased. . ." (p. 125)

Thanks for reading.

4 comments:

Keetha said...

Greg loved your "typical hubby" comment and asked me to tell you so. I thought he could talk for himself, but perhaps not - - -

Martin LaBar said...

Perhaps not.

Thanks.

Katherine said...

Good post - I like your matter-of-fact, even-keeled approach to such interesting questions that most people forget to even ask, never mind answer! Thanks - and I love the C.S. Lewis excerpts. Such a great writer.

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you, Katherine!