The life and power of the Gospel
Chaplain Bertram Bobb
Easter is the commemoration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. My favorite Choctaw Hymn on Easter is Choctaw Hymn No. 47. It is entitled, “Christ Bled for Me.” This hymn describes the Gospel. I translate only the first verse of three verses: “Jesus, my Savior Who gives life, was nailed to the Cross, He suffered as He hung there, He shed His Blood, He died in my place.”
This Hymn is precious for those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin. The Bible is a Book of Blood. We soon learn that as we read the Bible. And it is only the Blood that gives life to our teaching and power to the Word of God. The Blood is the life and power of the Gospel. The Gospel is Good News described in Paul’s letter in First Corinthians 15:1-4.
The Bible claims for itself it is a “Living” Book, and the only living Book in the world, and is able to give life to those who will believe with their hearts what it teaches. We read in Hebrews 4:12:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The word translated from the Greek word “quick” in this verse, is “living” or “alive.” The Word of God is a Living Word, wholly distinct from all other books for just one reason, that is, it contains blood circulating through every page and in every verse. Without the blood in the Bible it would be like any other book, for the Bible plainly teaches that the life is in the Blood. This truth is given to us in Leviticus 17:11:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
Life, God said, is in the blood of the flesh, so that there can be no life without the blood. No man ever dies until his blood stops circulating.
All this is true of a physical body and it points to a greater spiritual truth. The Church of Jesus Christ is called His body, and born again believers “are members of His body” and members one of another.
In this body Jesus Christ is the head and all believers are the members. These members are related by the blood of Jesus Christ. The life of each member depends on His blood and is dependent for life, nourishment, cleansing and growth upon the blood of the Lamb of God for “the Life is in the Blood.” These members may be separated in the body like the hands and feet.
So it is with the body of Christ the Church. They may differ in other ways but all who have trusted Jesus Christ, the head of the body, are brothers by blood – the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, he sinned, he died. He died spiritually and eventually he died physically. Since life is in the blood, when man sinned, something happened to the blood. Sin affected the blood of man.
For this reason sin is not in the flesh, but in the blood. And flesh can only be called “sinful flesh” because it is nourished and fed and sustained by sinful blood. And sin is transmitted through the blood to all of Adam’s descendants. “For in that one sinned all have sinned.”
You remember how Adam and Eve after their sin had tried to make fig leaf aprons to cover their shame. That is the history of man, instead of realizing that sin needs not covering but to be taken away, man has ever after been trying to save himself by the work of his own hands.
Adam and Eve failed and man will always fail when they try to save themselves by the work of their own hands. After Adam and Eve’s sin and failure to cover their sin by their own works God came to them and we read in Genesis 3:21: “Unto Adam also and unto his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
In this first record of sacrifice, we have the whole story of the blood. Notice three things about this act of God which was a preview of His Plan of Salvation.
First, it must be God’s work and not man’s. God made the coat of skins. Salvation must be all of the Lord.
Second, salvation must be by death of an innocent substitute. Since these coats were made of skins an animal had to die to provide the covering a substitute.
Third, it must be the shedding of blood, for the animal must be killed to give its skin and in this sacrifice the blood must be shed. Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The teaching of blood shed in this first sacrifice runs like a scarlet line all through the Bible. Today we see on the Cross God’s perfect Lamb of which all the other lambs sacrificed were a picture and a type and we see the One who met the three conditions of the Father.
Have you seen the uselessness of saving yourself by your own efforts, your own good works?
In closing, I ask, “Have you been washed in the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ?” Repent means to turn around, change your mind and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You can pray, “Lord, I realize I am a sinner. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior.” Will you do that?
Thank you for your prayers. Pray for our Nations and for its leaders. Pray for our brave men and women in our Armed Forces.