Reflections: Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 2:23-3:22; Mark 14:53-72

[Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Blood makes people squeamish. Some people faint or pass out at the sight of blood. Few people like to look at blood. Blood has a unique smell, a slick, sticky feel. Kinda grosses you out, doesn’t it? But throughout Scripture, blood is a big deal. From Abel’s blood crying out to God from the ground in Genesis 4, to the blood of the Passover lambs being collected in bowls and smeared on door frames, to the blood sprinkled in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, even on the mercy seat on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, blood is all over the Old Testament. Aren’t you glad that there isn’t blood-talk in the New Testament?

Well, that’s when the writer of Hebrews breaks your hopefulness and points out the importance of the blood of Jesus Himself. There’s nothing distant or far away about that. Just when you thought you got those squeamish, bloody thoughts out of your head, here they are again. It’s important for you to know and to remember that Jesus has blood, as gross as that seems. Leviticus 17:11 says, “The life is in the blood,” and it’s why God commanded His people not to eat meat with blood in it. But Jesus, the fully enfleshed God, came with real flesh and real blood. That real blood, full of the life of the Son of God, was poured out for you and brings you forgiveness of all your sins. It covers you as one of God’s saints whose robe has been made white in the blood of the Lamb of God. 

It’s serious business that Jesus shed His blood for His saints, and He gives that Blood alongside His Body to strengthen your faith, to forgive your sins, and to bring life and immortality to light. Is blood yucky? Maybe, but the blood of Jesus Christ is what you count on to save your life, because your life is in the blood of Jesus, shed for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb, Takes all our sins away; A sacrifice of nobler name And richer blood than they. (“Not All the Blood of Beasts” LSB 431, st.2)

-Rev. Peter Ill is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, IL.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.