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We overcome the devil and his works when we testify to what Jesus’s blood has accomplished. We become like those believers who are already in heaven, having followed Him faithfully all the way: “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11 NIV).
Jesus’s triumph over the powers of darkness is reinforced whenever we agree with and declare the benefits of His precious shed blood.
But before we fully grab hold of the benefits, we must understand the problem.
The Problem of Sin Demands a Solution
Jesus’ blood “speaks better than the blood of Abel,” (See Hebrews 12:24.) which means it perpetually calls down justice and mercy from the throne of our almighty Father. We read in the fourth chapter of Genesis how Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, were together in a field, and Cain killed Abel in a fit of jealousy. (See Genesis 4:1-8.) This is what happened next:
“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’ And He said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.’” (Genesis 4:9-10)
The blood-soaked earth was crying out for recompense, saying, “Do something! Punish this man for murdering his innocent brother!”
The blood cried out because of the following principle, which runs throughout Scripture: “The life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Abel was innocent of wrongdoing, and that fact gave loud voice to the silent, red pool saturating the soil around his fatally injured body.
Sin persisted in rampaging throughout the world. Over the passage of years, Abel’s innocent blood continued to cry out in vain wherever human sin did its dirty work. Nothing could permanently take away the stain of sin, certainly not eye-for-eye vengeance or the blood of animal sacrifices instituted under the Law of Moses. Nothing sufficed until Jesus, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, came onto the scene. His bloody crucifixion paid the price for sin once and for all.
Pleading the Blood
As believers, when we stand in the gap in prayer for others, we “plead the blood” of Jesus before God’s throne. We cry out for God’s mercy, knowing that, because of His blood, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). When we pray like this, our prayers strike the mark without fail.
We overcome Satan when we testify personally about what the Word of God says the blood of Christ does for us. (See Revelation 12:11.) Therefore, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary” (Psalm 107:2 nasb). The most powerful plea before God, the devil, and the world is the blood of Jesus Christ. Yes, “there’s power in the blood!”
Christ’s Blood Sprinkled Seven Times
Jesus, the ultimate High Priest, shed His blood seven different times to atone for sins for all eternity. Why seven times? Seven is the number of completion. With this in mind, let’s review the crucifixion account of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus.
1. Sweating Blood
The night before the cross may have been even more agonizing for Jesus than actually being crucified. The act of deciding to accept the harrowing torture that would end in death—with full foreknowledge of what it would entail—was so grueling that blood actually exuded from the pores of Jesus’s forehead: “He was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with great drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly” (Luke 22:44 tlb). This is the initial blood-shedding of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament high priests had to slaughter bulls and goats to obtain the sacrificial blood, but Christ became the sacrificial Lamb, shedding His very own blood to atone for the sin of fallen humanity.
2. Struck and Beaten
Jesus was arrested in the middle of the night and taken forcibly from Gethsemane to the house of the high priest, Caiaphas, where the scribes and elders had assembled. There He was questioned and handled roughly:
“‘Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death!’ Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists [or with rods]; and others slapped Him.” (Matthew 26:62-67 NASB)
Surely, this beating drew blood, although it was nothing like the scourging that was to follow.
3. Beard Plucked Out
In biblical times, if you wanted to express utter abhorrence and dishonor toward a man, you would not only beat him and slap his face, but you would also spit in his face and tear out his beard. This would get ugly, undoubtedly, because as each chunk of beard was ripped out, it would take a piece of the flesh of the man’s cheek or chin with it. We believe that this form of dishonor happened to Jesus because the prophet Isaiah foretold it: “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).
No wonder Isaiah spoke of the Messiah’s appearance as being “marred” (Isaiah 52:14), or “disfigured” (TLB, NLT) beyond recognition.
4. Back Scourged
To be scourged under the Roman system was a brutal punishment, sometimes resulting in the death of the one who had been whipped: “The punishment of scourging was common among the Jews.… Under the Roman method the culprit was stripped, stretched with cords or thongs on a frame and beaten with rods” or with metal attached to leather thongs.
Do you get the picture? Not only would Jesus’s face no longer have been recognizable, but also, His back would have been plowed open. I do not want to imagine this scene! For love’s sake, our Lord Jesus endured this fourth profuse blood-shedding.
5. Head Pierced with Crown of Thorns
Jesus’s precious blood was shed in a fifth way when the Roman soldiers plaited a mock crown from thorny branches and pressed it into His scalp, causing the blood to run down over His face: “And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him” (Matthew 27:28-29). The thorns pierced His skin like sharp needles, penetrating down to the bone of His skull.
Bleeding profusely, Jesus was forced to carry His own cross through the streets to the site of crucifixion. There, spikes were driven into His wrists and feet to attach Him to the rough wood of the cross. (See Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:22-24; Luke 23:32-33; 24:38-40; John 19:18.) This was at least the sixth time that Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb, willingly spilled His blood.
Suffering the cruel death of crucifixion, this one sinless Man was penalized by being executed like a criminal.
7. Side Pierced
Even after His death, Jesus’s blood was shed one more time: “One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out” (John 19:34).
Seven times, the innocent blood of the Lamb of God was shed so that you and I could be freed from our slavery to sin and certain death.
Seven Benefits of Jesus’ Shed Blood
In Christ’s blood, we receive life that death cannot conquer. Jesus has established a new covenant through His blood, and He intercedes on our behalf to enable us to enter more fully into His blood covenant with us. (See Romans 8:34.)
Once again, the number seven comes into play as Jesus’s blood accomplishes at least seven distinct benefits to complete our salvation:
1. Forgiveness. You and I have been forgiven through the blood that Jesus shed when He gave up His life. “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 NASB).
2. Cleansing. Our consciences have been washed by the blood of Christ Jesus because we have truly been purified from all sin. (See Hebrews 9:14.)
3. Redemption. Forgiven and cleansed, we find that we have been redeemed from the clutches of the powers of darkness. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7 NIV)
4. Justification. It is one thing to believe that you are forgiven, cleansed, and redeemed, but it is another to believe that it is just as if you had never sinned in the first place. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). When I am justified, it is “just as if I’d” never sinned. I am righteous.
5. Sanctification. Now we can take it one step further and declare that we have been set apart for a holy calling—sanctified. Each believer is a special vessel set apart for God. Only Jesus’s blood can make this possible. Because of Him, we can walk on the straight and narrow way. (See Matthew 7:14.)
6. Peace. Because of Jesus’s blood, we can have perfect peace. There will still be plenty of battles to fight, but the outcome has been determined on Calvary: “It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood” (Colossians 1:20 TLB).
7. Access to the throne. Jesus’s blood has made possible your complete reconciliation with the Holy Father in heaven. Now, covered as you are in the blood of Christ, you are like the high priest who was invited to enter the Most Holy Place—without being struck dead. You can enter the most holy throne room of heaven with perfect impunity: “And so, dear brothers, now we may walk right into the very Holy of Holies, where God is, because of the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19 TLB).
In your own life, how have you testified to what the blood of Jesus Christ has accomplished? How have you spoken of it (out loud) and declared with joy the benefits He has won for you? Even when you proclaim it within the privacy of your prayer closet, the enemy gets blinded with the glory of heaven!
All praise, honor, and worship to the Lamb of God for what He has done on the cross! The blood of Christ avails for you and for me! Let’s each declare with thanksgiving what the Blood of the Lamb has accomplished for each of us!