This is my blood

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In 2 Thessalonians 2, the Apostle Paul speaks of “the lie.”  It’s a deception which the human race falls for every time.  Essentially the lie is this: We believe that the Lord is grudging.  We imagine that, if He’s gracious at all, He doles out blessings with a teaspoon.

Ever since Satan first spoke to Eve he has been peddling this same deception: “You mean to tell me God’s withholding all this fruit from you?  What a miser!”  Eve fell for it.  Adam fell for it.  The world falls for it.  Every day.  And so do I.

The greatest battle in my Christian life is to fight “the lie.”  Because every day I am tempted to view God as a distant, tight-fisted, kill-joy.  It makes me mistrust Him, shut down and close off from Him.  Then I try to manage life out of my own resources.  This lie will kill my spiritual life.

So how should I fight the lie?  With the blood of Christ.

After handing out bread at the last supper…

Jesus took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  (Matthew 27-28)

It’s a shocking dramatization of the cross.  Bread torn apart – this is my body. Red wine poured out – this is my blood.  Jesus would be utterly consumed and exhausted on the cross.  Broken and expended… for us.  That’s the whole point – it’s for us.  Jesus takes death, we get the feast.  He gives His blood, we get the banquet.

And just think of what blood means in the Bible.  In Leviticus 17 the LORD speaks of the blood of the sacrifices:

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. (Leviticus 17:11)

To pour out blood is to pour out life.  And this is what Jesus does for us.  He gives His infinitely precious blood – the blood of God (Acts 20:28) – in atonement for our souls.

Who can look to the cross and doubt the generosity of our Lord?  Here is no grudging miser.  Here is Life expended to the very last drop.  Here is a gushing forth of self that we might live.

This God does not dispense blessings with a teaspoon.  He pours Himself out – for us and to us.  At the cross, ‘the lie’ is unmasked.  Satan is the miser.  We are the selfish ones.  God is Giver – though it cost Him everything.  And He doesn’t merely give us things, He pours out His own blood.  He expends Himself in complete self-offering.  And all we can do is gratefully receive.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross Hymn
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did eer such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads oer His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

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