Since first seeing The Passion of The Christ, I suspect I’ve had slightly warped thinking regarding what it is about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that saves me. The graphic portrayal in that film of the torture and agony Jesus endured causes me to think of his ‘active’ suffering whenever I consider the cross.
Being frail flesh myself and therefore having an inherent aversion to pain, grasping the horror of what Jesus suffered causes me to be extremely thankful that he endured it so that I don’t have to. Yet, herein lies an error – it is not the excruciating agony of his suffering that saves me, it is the ‘passive’ leaking out of his blood through those wounds. His life poured out, the blood, is what redeems my heinously sinful soul from condemnation.
Even after twenty years of knowing this it still shocks me – God poured out the life of His Holy Son to redeem my sinful soul. I stand before God, welcomed into His presence, drenched head to foot in the blood of His Son.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9-14 ESV)
If you are not a Christian and are reading this, it quite likely seems grotesque and bizarre. The overall point is that God is Holy – utterly pure. We humans are not. For anything blemished to stand in the presence of an infinitely Holy God the impure has to be purified. To achieve this requires an infinitely pure renewal of the core being of the impure person, something achieved when Jesus, the Son of God, gave his life to to cleanse our lives from impurity.
Image of nails covered in blood: iStockphoto