Friday, January 20, 2012

Commentary: Blood


Blood is a constantly circulating fluid providing the body with nutrition, oxygen, and waste removal. Blood is mostly liquid, with numerous cells and proteins suspended in it, making blood "thicker" than pure water. The average person has about 5 liters (more than a gallon) of blood.

A liquid called plasma makes up about half of the content of blood. Plasma contains proteins that help blood to clot, transport substances through the blood, and perform other functions. Blood plasma also contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients.  About half of blood volume is composed of blood cells:

• Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues
• White blood cells, which fight infections
• Platelets, smaller cells that help blood to clot

Blood is conducted through blood vessels (arteries and veins). Blood is prevented from clotting in the blood vessels by their smoothness, and the finely tuned balance of clotting factors

Humans can't live without blood. Without blood, the body's organs couldn't get the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive; we couldn't keep warm or cool off, fight infections, or get rid of our own waste products. Without enough blood, we'd weaken and die.

Christ says that we should drink His blood and eat His flesh,

John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Is He calling us to cannibalism?  Is He not contradicting His own word?  In the Old Testament it says clearly to not ingest blood, for in it is life (Genesis 9; 4 -5; Leviticus 17: 11, 14; Deuteronomy 12:23).  Furthermore, Peter and Paul say that the blood of Jesus redeems us and brings us nearer to God.  Let us read the verses,

Peter 1:18, 19 “You were not redeemed with corruptible things . . . but with the precious blood of Christ".
Ephesians 2:13  "You who once w ere far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

So we are redeemed by blood and brought near to God by blood.  How does blood redeem, or how does blood bring us near to God? Physically, Christ's blood was no different than any of ours. It was composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

If Jesus had died by a bloodless method such as poisoning, or hanging by His neck, would we still be "redeemed" and "brought near" to God? Is there some magical or mystical power to Christ's literal blood – the fluid running through His veins – that enables us to be redeemed or get close to God? As we approach God, if we have a vial of Christ's blood to show to God, does that deflect any potential objections that God may have to our sinful condition, and thereby grant us redemption – a pass into heaven?  It is, rather, that Christ's "blood" is a representation of the giving of His life.  Now the verses from the Old Testament that say that the life is in the blood make sense. 

But, now we have another dilemma?  How is it that Jesus giving His life redeems us and brings us closer to God?  Does this mean that unless Christ died the Father would not accept us?  Does this means that Christ death was to change the Father’s mind?  Is "blood" necessary, because God requires it before He is able or willing to forgive and accept us? Is "blood" necessary, before can God relate to us with favor and acceptance? Does God stay, to some degree withdrawn and distant in His attitude towards us until we have "blood" to present before Him?

· Does blood move God towards us?
· Or, does blood move us towards God?
· Is God the one who requires blood before He will accept us?
· Or, are we the ones who require blood before we will accept and receive Him?
· Did God need to see a death, or did we need to see a death?

The truth is that as we perceive and understand Christ’s life and death (which redeems us), and inculcate the principles of that life into our experience, we are transformed to the point that we want to be near to God.  We are the ones estranged from God.  Notice in Ephesians 2:13 above: Who was brought near to whom by the blood of Christ? The blood (life & death) of Christ did not bring God near to us, but we who were "afar off" have been "brought near." The alienation, distance, fear, and even animosity were in our hearts towards God, but never in His heart towards us!! We were the ones who needed to be moved, to be brought near, because we were "afar off" from God in our hearts and minds and affections.  According to Paul in Corinthians the Father was in Christ reconciling us to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).  In this passage we are told that Christ died not to appease God and make Him love us, but the Godhead agreed to the plan of redemption because of their great love for us.  Without the blood of Christ we would weaken and die.