The Precious Blood of Christ
April 1, 2009
By J. Wilbur Chapman
All too little is said these days about the blood of Christ. Some of us seem to avoid the subject as much as possible. If there is one truth more than another that Satan would oppose, it is the truth of 1 Peter 1:19, that we were bought by the precious blood of Christ. If there is one subject that he would like to turn our minds away from, it is this. Satan tells us that we can be saved by reformation, by good deeds. He tells us that we can be saved by doing our best.
But all the way through the New Testament we find that the only way to God is a blood-marked way—the precious blood of Christ!
Jesus Christ died, and in dying He paid the penalty for my sins. His death, therefore was a penal death. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). He came into this world and suffered in my stead. He bore the shame of the cross. He was made a curse for me. As by faith I lift my eyes to Him and take Him as my Savior, I take His place in the love and favor of God.
His was also a voluntary death. “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:18). I wish that I could help you to see what our salvation cost. He turned away from the joy of Heaven to the shame of earth. He turned away from the vast throngs saying “Holy, holy, holy,” to this world where they veiled His face and smote Him. He turned away from the immediate presence of the Father, and came down into this world where men spat in His face and heaped shame upon Him, and even placed the cross upon His tired shoulders.
They did even more than this. They put Him on the cross and drove nails through His hands and feet. They lifted Him up between Heaven and Earth, as if He were unfit for Earth and as if they would hold Him back from Heaven. He came down to Earth to meet all this, and He did it willingly. He was ready to suffer, ready to die for you and me. All you need to do to have the bondage of sin taken away and to have sin cast behind God’s back, is to take Him as your personal Savior and, with His help, turn away from sin.
And His death was substitutionary. He takes my place and offers up Himself for me. I find this throughout the Word of God, and it takes hold of my soul and grips me. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He was made sin for us. When the man who was a drunkard comes to Him, or the lecherous man, or the dishonest man or the woman who is weak, my blessed Redeemer knows all about their trouble, and knowing their trouble and staggering beneath the weight of the world’s woe, He hurries to the cross and dies. Peter knew this when he spoke of the precious blood of Christ!
Hear me, too, when I give you this text from the Old Testament: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). What does this mean? It means that when Jesus Christ came into this world and lived and loved and suffered, when His heart broke on Calvary’s cross and the blood poured from His veins, He was laying down His life for you and for me.
No matter who you are, He is able to save you. Do not resist Him. Do not reject His precious blood. There is just one thing between you and judgment, and that one thing is the precious blood of Christ. I beg you not to treat it carelessly.
But someone is saying, “You don’t know my sins. You don’t know my habits. If I should start this evening, my old habits would come back at my heels like hounds scenting blood.” True, I don’t know your habits, but I do know my Savior.
Do you remember the story in Scottish history, when enemies were seeking to take Bruce the King? They heard that he was in his palace, and they started after him. The king heard that they were coming and escaped with his trusted few. They made their way through the fields and into the forests, and when they thought they had escaped, in the distance Bruce heard the baying of bloodhounds—his own bloodhounds. He gave himself up for lost.
But then he heard the babbling sound of a stream. With his followers he went into the stream, and by going up the stream some distance and across to the other side, they covered their trail. When the hounds came to the stream, so history tells us, they lost the trail and Bruce was saved.
But I know a story a thousand times better than this. I ask you to give your hearts to Christ. The moment you start, all the old habits of your life are after you again; the old passions and lusts and desires. You have only half started when you sink back and say it is hopeless. But wait a moment. You can cover your trail—with the blood of Christ.
A friend and I landed one night on the Fiji Islands to hold services. The people who gathered that night sang two songs. One was the “Glory Song,” and the other was a song that belongs to our subject today. We did not know the words, but we knew the music. We have heard this song in every land under the sun. We have heard people sing it with tears rolling down their cheeks. We have heard it sung while multitudes pressed up to the altar and sobbed their way into the Kingdom of God. This is the song they were singing in the Fiji Islands:
“There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins.”
Can you not see it? Plunge in! Today! Nobody is too sinful. Nobody is too far away. The precious blood of Christ can cleanse and save unto the uttermost. Nothing less than His blood can do this. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
I can say no more. I can only add this: I love Him. He is to me as real as you are. I want you to love Him. I want you to take Him.
J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1918) was a pastor and evangelist who also wrote the words to several hymns.