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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts (Photo by Georgia)
A view of the Deerfield River from "The Bridge of Flowers" in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. (Photo by my cousin Georgia who, along with her husband Doug, is traveling through New England following our family reunion last week.)

"O The Blood"

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"To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5).

O the blood, crimson love
Price of life's demand
Shameful sin, placed on Him
The Hope of every man

Blood donation 7/25/15
This last Saturday we walked through Mount Joy to view antique cars at a car show along Main Street. While we were in town Brooksyne and I both made a blood donation using the Bloodmobile. We have been blood donors since our college days (perhaps even in high school as I recall). In fact that is one of the things we did together as a young couple dating!

About fifteen years ago I gave a designated blood donation for Andrea Higgins who was a member of our church in New England. A paraplegic, as a result of an automobile accident when she was only a small child, Andrea's had some special overcoming in life. Over the years she has required numerous surgeries including the two surgeries when I donated blood on her behalf at a Red Cross center in the Boston area. Normally, such as last Saturday, our blood donations are not designated and we have no idea whom we may be helping.  But there's also something especially rewarding about donating to a specific individual whom we know.

Let us consider another designated blood donation. Jesus did not shed His blood on the cross because of any wrong He had done. When we donate we may face a tiny sacrifice involving a a relatively short amount of time, a small pinch of pain when the needle is inserted and a short period of weakness that follows. We walked out of the bloodmobile none the worse for our donation and continued walking down Main Street to view the cars and visit with friends. Our blood is now replenishing and in about 8 weeks we will be eligible to donate again. It's not in any way comparable to our Lord's sacrificial donation which resulted in His death on the Cross.

Savior Son, Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb, the great I Am
Who takes away my sin

Blood donation 7/25/15The divine Son of God made a special designated donation on our behalf, infinitely greater than anything you or I will ever make. Christ died with His. I made mine as one redeemed sinful human for another, to extend Andrea's life several years. His was made as the divine, sinless God/man to give us eternal life. Mine will have a finite physical benefit for one person. His has infinite spiritual benefit for the entire human race.

The Precept online Bible commentary states, "A bloodless gospel is an ineffectual gospel. For it is by the spilling of blood that God has chosen to atone for sin (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). Why did God choose blood for this purpose? Ultimately, we may never know, for the “secret things belong to the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Scripture reveals that the use of blood for atonement is related to its life-giving qualities (Genesis 9:4)."

O what love, no greater love
Grace, how can it be
That in my sin, yes, even then
He shed His blood for me

The prophetic book of Revelation begins with a clear reminder of the Gospel. "To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5). What a blessing to be loved and set free from our sins through the Blood of Christ!

O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, it is only through the sacrificial blood of Your Son that my sins are forgiven. My guilty stains are plunged into the bottom of the ocean never to resurface again. All the adjectives in one's vocabulary cannot adequately describe the depth of my gratitude for such a complete and selfless act of love. Your redeeming blood sacrifice frees us from the penalty of sin in this life and for all eternity. We thank You for Jesus who freely shed His blood on our behalf.  Amen.

Additional notes on Revelation 1:5 from the Precept Online commentary:
The “life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). “Life” in this verse is Hebrew נֶפֶשׁ [nep̄eš], the same term which is translated “soul” where Scripture records the once-for-all atonement made by Isaiah’s Suffering Servant: “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin” [emphasis added] (Isaiah 53:10). By His blood atonement, Jesus was prophesied to “sprinkle many nations” (Isaiah 52:15), thus fulfilling the many OT types pointing to Him.

It was by blood sacrifice that the first man and woman were covered in response to their sin (Genesis 3:21). It was by blood sacrifice that the first men were to approach God (Genesis 4:4). It was by a blood sacrifice that God established His covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:9-21). It was by blood placed on the door posts and lintel that the Jews were “covered” from the destroyer Who passed over Egypt taking the firstborn of each family (Exodus 12:23). It was by the sprinkling of blood that the Mosaic Law was ratified between God and the Israelites (Exodus 24:8). Ever since the bloodless offering of Cain (Genesis 4:3-5), man has attempted to approach God by some other means than that which God Himself has established. These would try to circumvent the single path which God requires: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” (John 14:6)

This necessity of blood offering is offensive to man, and we believe intentionally so. For it is a messy business and continual reminder of man’s lack of righteousness (Romans 3:23) and his desperate need of the “righteousness of God,” a righteousness which is freely given rather than earned (Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). Yet many prefer to continue in the way of religion rather than relationship, offering up their own puny works in a vain attempt to justify themselves before a perfect and Holy God (Romans 10:3). Religion preserves our pride, whereas relationship requires us to cast it aside.

Nikki Higgins in Boston Marathon 2012So often our messages prompt personal memories and I called this morning to see how Andrea is doing. She and her husband Steve are in Washington DC doing advocacy for the disabled.

I spoke to their daughter Nikki who reported that Andrea is doing well.

Nikki is a runner and here she is several years ago in the Boston Marathon. In speaking to Nikki she recognized my voice and I had the opportunity to encourage her in remaining true to the Lord using a phrase I often use, "Stay Faithful". She and her twin sister Jackie were teenagers in the church when we lived up that way but I suppose they are now in their thirties.

Mount Joy Car Show

Mount Joy car show 7/25/15
Ester has enjoyed car shows ever since we lived in New England.

Mount Joy car show 7/25/15
A huge car show with cars and trucks lining Main Street on both sides for several long blocks. We enjoyed seeing these beautifully restored vehicles. I believe this truck is called "Creamsicle" and is proudly displaying "Trophy" under it's windshield wiper.

Mount Joy car show 7/25/15

Mount Joy car show 7/25/15
I didn't take a close-up photo but there was sure a lot more room under the hood with these older vehicles compared to today's models.

Mount Joy car show 7/25/15

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"O The Blood"  Video  Gateway Worship (This is the song with lyrics quoted through our message today)j

"The Blood Will Never Lose its Power"  Video   Selah

The Bridge Of Flowers (seen in our lead photo) is one of the lesser known attractions in Massachusetts but we sure enjoyed our visits. Location of Google map.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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