Good Friday to you, my dear readers! Did you know that “Three out of four Americans don’t believe that God loves them.”? (quote from Kyle Winkler; firstname.lastname@example.org) In this time of remembering Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, the ultimate display of God’s love for us incarnate, let’s pause and think about the quote I just shared.
If a person doesn’t believe God loves them, how will they believe He wants them to be healed and whole? How will they understand why Jesus had to die for our sins while we were yet sinners? How can they joyfully follow where He leads? How can they freely give tithes and offerings? How can they truly love themselves or others? Let me share some Scriptures that impressed me this week.
Psalm 50:7 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak,
O Israel, and I will testify against you;
I am God, your God!
8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices
or your burnt offerings,
which are continually before Me.
9 I will not take a bull from your house,
nor goats out of your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is Mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the mountains,
and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
I break in here to acknowledge: God created every living animal, person, plant and tree; the earth and all that is in it. He doesn’t NEED anything from us, but because He is the epitome of LOVE, He wants our company; wants to love us and have a relationship with each and every one of us.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God thanksgiving,
and pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
and to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.”
Guess what? From the moment Adam and Eve severed their relationship with God the Father, He has used blood to repair that relationship. We think of blood in terms of death, but how does God see it?
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 atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
atonementatone·ment | \ ə-ˈtōn-mənt \
The first blood was shed to prepare animal skins to cover Adam & Eve’s nakedness; to give them life to cover their relational death. The next blood I want to point out is the blood of Abel, the first person murdered. His blood cried out from the ground to God; it was his life calling to Father God. On the first Passover, the blood of the lambs and goats was shed to bring life to the Israelite’s first born. Next I want to look at the blood of Jesus.
John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
In Hebrews 9, Apostle Paul speaks about how the blood was used for remission of sins; atonement for the soul. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice, used of God to wipe out all sins, even what the blood of animals could not cover. (see Leviticus). This takes us back to John 3
John 3: 14 …as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
So, God out of love for all of us, came down in the form of a human baby; fully God/fully man. This perfect sacrifice was God’s [Father/Son/Spirit] idea from the beginning. The eternal love relationship among the parts of the Godhead created humans to join in that love relationship. Through doubt, disbelief and disobedience, we all mess up and can’t believe God could love us as we are. We try to buy the grace Jesus gave freely as part of the Zoe life He talks about in John 10:
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly [zoe].
Did you know there are churches that refuse to have blood mentioned in their midst, especially sung in their hymns? Did you know most of the hymns that speak about the blood were written during the Azusa Street Revival in the early 1900’s? During that move of God, the people gained a revelation of the blood of Jesus, grace, and the heavy presence of the Lord. Even back then there were many who did not want to hear about the blood of Jesus, grace, or the tangible presence of God. Let’s press in ever closer to the relationship that’s available with the Creator of the Universe, one of the precious things we gained through the blood of Jesus Christ. He IS a good, good Father, and YOU are loved by HIM! Experience it yourself, then share it with others who need to know the hope you’ve found in Him, the freedom in His love.
(from a song a friend wrote) ‘Friday’s here, but Sunday’s coming. Friday’s here, but the story doesn’t end! He who was crucified has now arisen and His glory days will be forever without end!’
I hope these thoughts and Scriptures have inspired you to dig deeper. Spread the good news far and wide and let’s join together to change the statistic quoted at the beginning of this post!