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Blood Cleaner, Cleaned by the Blood of Jesus     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
Who can say, I have CLEANSED my heart,
I am pure from my sin?
 
 —Proverbs 20

For if the blood of goats and bulls  . . .  sanctify for the CLEANSING of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, CLEANSE your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? —Hebrews 9

If you’re over the age of 13, you’ve been there.

Someone you want to love—that you want to be in relationship with—was unloveable. Your non-negotiable, that thing that without it you just aren’t you, crashed into theirs. And because you’re young, and even though you know that you want to be in relationship with this person, you take out your flamethrower.

Destruction. Hurt. Maybe they took out theirs, too, and as the world around you smolders . . .

. . . you begin to take stock. “Why did I do this? What was the point? The damage inflicted is so far out of proportion to the issue, that sadness creeps in. You see her crying. And you soften. You apologize. She apologizes. You both mean it and are redeemed by the assurances of the other. You’re forgiven for your mistakes and everything’s (beginning to be) just as if I’d never destroyed the goodness that was there before. In fact, you’re almost totally reconciled to the other. Almost.

See, when the sum of the destruction and separation and relationship lost is great enough, then even with those four (redemption, forgiveness/remission, justification & reconciliation), the internal conversation of,  “Why didn’t she…” or “How could he…” turns to “Why didn’t I…” and “How could I have…Even if we have been accepted back by the other, our shame won’t let us return.

The fifth thing that the blood of Jesus did was to make us CLEAN. Consider this story I first heard from Tim Keller quoting Ernest Gordon from his book Miracle on the River Kwai:

Ernest Gordon was a British Army prisoner in a WWII Japanese work camp in Thailand. Conditions were terrible and the whole place was growing dark and evil. Bad rations, little sleep, deplorable conditions and hard labor led prisoners to unspeakable evil against their comrads.

Until the end of one day, on the work detail, the tools were counted and a shovel was missing. This was a serious offence in camp because of the danger of escape. While the prisoners stood at attention, the guard questioned them furiously. Working himself into a lather, he finally pulled his rifle into his shoulder and cocked the hammer screaming, “Then all die! All die!” He would level the first man and work his way down the line, when an Argyle soldier stepped forward.

“I did it.”

The guard fell on the prisoner with everything he had. He kicked and punched the soldier who stood stiffly at attention. Further incensed, the guard leveled his weapon with all his force upon the Argyle’s head, dropping him immediately. The guard kicked and mauled the soldiers body until exhaustion set in.

The prisoners collected the Argyle’s body and marched back to camp without a word. And when the tools were counted again, they realized they had miscounted. No shovel was missing.

Nothing changed. Conditions were still deplorable and the guards were merciless. But for those men, they never lived the same afterward. They couldn't. They were cleansed by that Argyle’s blood and whether they died in that camp a week later or in fifty years at home, not one of them could live the same afterward.

So how can I/you/we check the box on Calvary, yet see clearly the sacrifice made by that Argyle?

The difference is that those prisoners connected the Argyle’s sacrifice with their own peril. They saw the danger they faced and connected his sacrifice with their salvation. When that happens, in association with the previous four (redemption, forgiveness/remission, justification & reconciliation), then we walk into the world clean—knowing the price that has been paid.

If we haven’t done it here, meditate on these few Scripture:

  1. Who has sinned? Who is short of the standard of God? Romans 3:23.
  2. What is the currency my sin pays? A check? Ok, cash? Romans 6:23.
  3. So if the gift of God is Jesus, how do I get/redeem it? John 3:3.
  4. Yea, but how do I get there? John 14:6.
  5. Ok, I’m there, believing. Now what? Romans 10:9-10, 11.
  6. Be still, and do this. Revelation 3:20.

I/You/We and every single person you’ve ever met are in that camp, in line—exhausted, scared, (possibly) indifferent. The guard’s rifle is seated in his shoulder and he’s preparing to work his way down the line to you and those you love. But inexplicably, he stops. We’re all in the line of fire, except different than this story, we all deserve it.

So how do you live from here? Go on back to camp and steal your bunkmate’s dinner. Or do you change and never live another day the same?

l love you.          

This is the sixteenth part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linked here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

The next in this series, Part 17. Blood & Finally Peace, Even Pre-Trauma is available by clicking here.

The above media player has something new on it. I've mastered the audio a bit to make it sound a little better and added a new intro and close. I'd love to hear your feedback on it down below. Just click play and it'll stream from your computer, tablet or mobile device.
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