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Oh, the Blood of Jesus
March 7, 2004
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST has stirred souls into a healthy controversy. Whole congregations of churches are seeing the movie together. One Catholic congregation in Miami chose to study the gospels for themselves prior to viewing the movie. Here at Craighouse, we have been studying "Who is Jesus?" and as many as could, saw the movie together. It is a "bloody" movie, rated "R" for real, a wake-up call to the Church to stop being ashamed of the Blood that bought their redemption. And, I believe it to be Godís spiritual counter move in the media to the releasing of the Harry Potter books and movies and others in the same genre.
There are churches, today, which refuse to honor the Blood of Jesus in their services. They call it "too offensive" for worshipers. I know of Christians who remain ignorant of the Blood of Jesus and of Godís requirement that "without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins."
Why so much blood? Of what value is it to you and me? Is this Godís way of reaching people so used to violence, so used to Law and Order and injustice? What makes it so different, the shedding of the Blood of Jesus?
In Matthew 24, Jesus said that in the last days that lawlessness would increase and the love (agape) of many would grow cold. We have entered that season. As sin abounds, we must pray that grace will more abound. We need grace to have faith, to repent, and to grow in our relationship with Christ.
It is the season when we are to remember the Lordís death until He comes. Every believer can enter into the fellowship of the Lordís suffering by remembering the five aspects of Christís atonement.
Jesus Christ in obedience offered Himself up as a substitutionary sacrifice to God for our sins on the cross. This work of Christ overcomes and presupposes our human sin and guilt. (1 Cor. 5.7; Eph. 5.2; Hebrews 9.23, 26; Hebrews 10.12, and many others)
Jesus Christ fully satisfied Godís wrath against us by the offering up of Himself on the cross. This work of Christ overcomes and presupposes previous divine wrath against us. (Romans 3.25; Hebrews 2.17; 1 John 2.2)
Jesus Christ "reconciled" us to God Ė restored us through His sacrifice on the cross to God. (the meaning of "atonement") This work of Christ overcomes and presupposes our previous state of alienation from God. (Romans 5.10, 11; 2 Cor. 5.17-21; Eph. 2.14-17; Col. 1.19-22)
Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse, dominion of and bondage to satan (Genesis 3), purchasing us back to God through His blood shed on the cross. This work of Christ overcomes and presupposes our previous slavery or bondage. (Matt. 20.28; Mark 10.45; 1 Peter 1.18, 19; Rev. 5.9; Rev. 14.3, 4)
5. Cross work of destruction.
Jesus Christ destroyed the works of the devil through His work on the cross. This work of Christ overcomes and presupposes a kingdom of evil (satan). (1 John 3.8; Matt. 12.29; Luke 11.21, 22; John 12.31; John 16.11; 1 Cor. 15.24-25; Col. 2.13-15; Hebrews 2.14, 15)
We are not to be ashamed of the gospel. We are not to be ashamed of Christís crucifixion. We are not to be ashamed of the Blood of the Passover Lamb (Jesus). We are not to fear men more than God. We are in need of a reminder that our God is a Covenant Lord. He has provided the Blood of Christ that we might be in the presence of His glory forever (Ephesians 1.4, 3.21). It is His Blood of the covenant that was shed for the remission of sin. We overcome sin, sickness, the curse, death, hell, and the grave by applying the Blood of the Cross. We overcome satan and self by the Blood of the Lamb. The Lamb is Lord and rules over all creation. We are to humble ourselves and to honor the Blood.
The Blood is applied through faith in our speaking and singing. We overcome by the Blood, as it is the word of our testimony. We testify as to its necessity and as to its sufficiency. Consider.
Our appeal to a holy God who is a consuming fire is through the Blood. The Blood calls and cries in the courtroom of God: You are justified, redeemed, clean, washed. You belong to God. You are at peace with God. You have eternal life. You triumph in the glory of His grace. (Ephesians 1, 2; Hebrews 12)
Our approach to God is through the Blood. The Blood covers us, atoning for us (Leviticus 17.11). The Blood cleanses us (Hebrews 9, 1 John 1.9). The Blood cancels the debt note of sin and its liability (Hebrews 11.28; Hebrews 12)
Our access to God is through the Blood. The Blood carries us into the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10.19). The Blood causes God to deliver us from judgment. It was a lamb for a household (Exodus 12), and Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world for the family of God.
Our accuser before God is defeated through the Blood. The Blood closes the door of opportunity on the devil (Hebrews 2.14).
Today there are those who circumvent the Way. They seek to sidestep the way of the Blood to a way more to their own liking. They dance and praise and skip and shout, hoping that their sacrifices will prove more acceptable than Christís blood.
Today there are those who corrupt the truth. They pervert and debase the truth, neglecting and leaving out the way of the cross. They want a bloodless atonement, or they want an atonement based on the blood of chickens or other animals or even human sacrifice instead of Godís unique Son, the Messiah Jesus Christ.
Today there are those who counterfeit the life. These do not come through "the Door." They want the gifts without the Giver. They want life apart from the Blood of Christ. This is a pretense of life, a masquerade. These devise their own religious system, bringing sacrifices and offerings of their own making and choosing, seeking acceptability through works of their own righteousness.
Let it not be so of us. Let us be encouraged by the courage of Mel Gibson to provide a "real" rendering of the passion of the Christ. Let us sing and speak of the Lamb slain and honor the Blood of Godís Son as God the Father does. Let us sing our hallelujahs to the Lamb and join the choirs of Revelation, singing their songs. And then let us watch and see the Holy Spirit come in power to the Church, and in love.
All that the Father did in sending the Son was in love. All that Jesus did in living, dying, and rising from the dead was in love. The love of God is shed abroad in the heart of every believer by the Holy Spirit.
The crucifixion of Christ was indeed bloody. It was a gross injustice. Evil had its day and time. In the heart of man lies a desire to kill the Creator and take His place. But it didnít end there. Jesus rose from the dead and today sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Heís coming again, and when He does, the kingdom will come in power and great glory.
The question will be, "What did you do in response to the gospel?"
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Pastor Jim and I thank you for your faithfulness, your commitment to Jesus, and your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries. Your gifts of love enable us to continue ministering to those coming to Craighouse and to the recipients of the Barnabas Project and our home visitation ministry. We will be taking a mission team to Africa in August and need your help! We need your prayers. We need funds. We need clothing for 100 children ages 5-20 who are ministered to by the Ebenezer Orphanage in Livingstone, Zambia. Some of these children, 48 of them, are living in the streets because there isnít enough space at the orphanage. We will be taking "stuff" with us when we go there to minister. Will you help? Even gift cards from places like Wal-Mart or Target help us to buy things for the children.
The anointing has never been stronger, and many coming are being born again and healed by the Lord. More are ministering, able to use their gifts and anointing to benefit each other in our meetings and worship times. We are growing, as more and more people are bringing people to the help and hope that are in Jesus, to the refuge that is Craighouse.
We thank God for you. God is our Source and Sustainer, and we are pleased as He touches you with the desire to be a part of MCMís call and global outreach. Will you join me today in giving generously, graciously, gladly, and with His guidance? May God richly bless you as you send your most generous gift todayÖand remember to send in your prayer requests so that we might pray for you.
By His grace,
P.S. Check out the marycraig.org calendar for more on upcoming events, directions to Craighouse, updates on missions projects, the teaching catalog section, and the latest on Africa. Read what God has done in Madagascar and pray for what He will do in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him
Which is, and which was, and which is to come;
And from the seven Spirits which are before His throne;
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
And the first begotten of the dead,
And the Ruler of the kings of the earth.
Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins
In His own blood,
And has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father;
To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 1.5, 6)
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