I have heard the true story of a young broken hearted man who wrote a letter to his fiancée in blood. It is said that he died after writing the letter. The story of this lover and his message written in his own blood is a moving one, especially at this time in which we celebrate human love, Valentine’s Day. There is another moving love story written in blood, one I want you to consider now. That love is the love of Jesus Christ for a lost world.
1. Christ’s blood pictures God’s love
A. Christ’s death shows love’s duty:
“Now my soul is greatly distressed. And what should I say? ‘Father, deliver me from this hour’? No, but for this very reason I have come to this hour.” (John 12:27)
I. Christ did not reject the cross, rather he awaited it. He did not attempt to avoid it. He embraced it.
II. The attitude our savior demonstrated throughout his life shows us when duty calls that is when character counts.
III. So many have failed in their hour of greatest testing, but not Crist, because He loved us.
B. His death shows love’s determination:
“Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
I. To endure means to “abide patiently” The phrase “set before him” is one word in the Greek and means to be placed in the line of sight.
II. Saw the ‘joy,’ the occasion of gladness; yet future and it helped Him press on with determination.
III. Jesus’ purpose was nothing less than to die for sinners. He had nothing to gain but us.
C. Christ’s death shows the depth of love:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love,Ephesians you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
I. How far will a person go for love? Most people have a limit to their love. Jesus didn’t.
II. Hosea modeled the love of God for His people. His wife was a whore and his children were fathered by others But he still stayed with her.
III. Jesus doesn’t quit us no matter how we treat Him. That’s the depth of His love.
2. Christ’s blood proves God’s love
A. There was a legal requirement:
“For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
I. Someone said, you can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
II. In the days of Moses, There were ordinances and commands to sacrifice Lambs, Bulls, Goats, Rams, Turtledoves, etc.
III. In the Garden of Eden, after the man’s sin, God killed an animal and skinned to provide a covering for Adam and Eve. Later He sent His begotten son.
B. There was a lengthy wait:
“For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.” (Hebrews 10:1)
I. God allowed the sacrifice of animals all through the Old Testament period as a picture of the sacrifice to come.
II. He had to take a long time to teach his people in order to give them a distant picture of the coming savior.
III. This was just a teaching aid and not the real sacrifice. “Then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.” He does away with the animal sacrifices.
C. There was a lengthy payment:
“By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
I. It cost Christ His life and God His son to fulfill the old system. Thus salvation is free but not cheap.
II. We are not made whole by animal sacrifices any more. We are not required to do so anymore.
III. The blood of Jesus Christ has set us free from sin once and for all. We don’t have to fulfill rituals year after year.
3. Christ’s blood promises God’s love
A. Brings a deeper relationship:
“But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons.” (Hebrews 12:8)
I. Not illegitimate children anymore. But legitimate children born by God’s will to his Kingdom.
II. We can call him our Heavenly Father. We can go before him like child before his Father.
III. We can have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, thanks to the sacrifice of Christ.
B. Brings a fuller friendship:
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father.” (John 15:14-15)
I. In the Old Testament, very few could be called God’s friends. The Sin stood between God and his people.
II. But in the New Testament, Christ through is sacrifice opened the door to a fuller friendship.
III. We can know him personally, we can speak with him and have fellowship with him.
C. Brings a profitable partnership:
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
I. There are many partnerships in life such as political, business and marital. Unfortunately most of these partnerships end badly.
II. But there is one partnership that will never disappoint. When we accept Christ, we become one with Him, in Him.
III. I have heard some say, I’m going to ask God to let me be the mayor of my hometown. But the emphasis should not be on the “but” on the “whom”. It’s not what we’ll be doing; it’s who we’ll be doing it with.
Dear friend, there is one who has written a message to you in His own blood. If you will accept him as your own, you will never be the same again. You too, will be defined by that one act, Jesus’ love written in the blood of the cross, (Romans 3:10-11).
This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness, (Romans 3:26; 6:23; 10:9-10; 10:13).
Original sermon by: Robert L. Cobb ~ Administrator of News for Christians.