What Blood Teaches

As “the mediator of a new covenant,” Jesus’s blood pleads not for justice but for mercy and grace. Justice says, “Level the scales!” Mercy says, “Don’t give me what I deserve.” And grace says, “You’re giving me all of this?” Jesus’s blood says what Abel’s couldn’t. It doesn’t speak retribution; it speaks redemption.

I never thought of blood as a teacher, as having a voice. Blood is just stuff, isn’t it? It’s sacred stuff—I know. “The life is in the blood” (Lev. 17), and blood has the mysterious power to redeem, to atone, to cleanse. The blood of Jesus Christ secured for us “an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12). Red blood can make a heart turn white. You can’t explain it; you can only put it to poetry.

Blood beckons to us in the dark,
And carries movement through our veins.
The red turns white the hearts God marks,
Sends souls to heaven dropping chains.

But does blood teach? Does it have a voice? “Only in a metaphorical sense, in a poetic sense.” Well, then God is a poet.

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. (Heb. 12:18-25)

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