Summary: Blood - everyone’s favorite topic. We will look at the spiritual and religious significance that blood has for us to prepare our hearts for communion.
The Significance of the Sacrifice
November 16, 2008
This morning we are going to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: blood. How precious is the flow? I was reminded of a story.
A man let his dog out one night to do his business and went back to his football game and forgot about the dog. After a few hours, he remembered and rushed out back to find his dog on the back porch with his neighbor’s dead cat in his mouth. The cat was covered in mud and blood and the dog was as proud as he could be.
“Bad dog! BAD DOG!” screamed the man shocked that his dog would kill his neighbor’s cat. He couldn’t bring himself to tell his neighbor. So he took the dead cat into the bathroom and washed it four times finally getting all the blood and dirt of its fur. It took forever. He brushed it and took the hand dryer to it, fluffing out its fur. He puts its collar back on and by now it was about 2 in the morning. He snuck over to his neighbor and put the cat on the front porch.
The next day, he went outside curious but nervous to see if he had gotten away with it. He went around the yard pretending to clean up. His neighbor came and they waved to each other and met near the property line to talk.
“How’s it going?” he asked his neighbor.
“Well, okay but something weird happened last night.”
Now he was getting a little nervous. Maybe he had been caught.
“Well, my cat died yesterday and we buried him but this morning I found him on the front porch.”
This morning as we talk about blood and specifically the blood of the new covenant, I want to focus on one idea before worship through the communion elements. And this idea is kind of a test for us. It is a concept to reflect on. It is something to meditate on. It is something to hold up to our lives to act as measuring stick. As we heard from earlier in 1 Corinthians, it is a way of testing ourselves. And it uses the blood or sacrifice of Christ to do so. It is a blood test.
Now when think about blood, we know that there are different types of blood. They all function in the same way. They take oxygen and nutrients and remove carbon dioxide and other toxins from the body. When the blood is not working right and the organs such as the liver and lungs are not working right with the blood, it causes major sickness and even death. Blood is life for us. The ancients understood this as well. Blood was the source of life to them.
When we test blood, we can identify many things about a person. We find diseases and infections and we can find problems that are happening elsewhere in the body.
For us, this is a spiritual blood test. And it is about introspection. It is about looking at our lives and thinking about first of all the significance of Christ’s sacrifice for us and then seeking out with the help of God’s Spirit what areas may need changed or corrected.
So the main idea here and this was really derived through out small group:
The Significance of the Sacrifice
Since there is only one idea, I didn’t bother with sermon notes. The idea is to first begin to grasped the significance of Jesus was doing during the Last Supper and then what he did on the cross.
As I mentioned, ancients held the belief that blood was significant. It was powerful. The Hebrews would hold animal sacrifices. The blood would be used to symbolically cover up the sin of the people. Hebrews 9:22 says that forgiveness does not come without the shedding of blood. The Hebrews had to every year kill a goat and sprinkle blood over everyone. They believed that this was powerful and significant.
The priest would take some hyssop and fling blood over everyone just like this. [Take a branch and go around flinging water on people after dipping in a bowl]. Pretty disgusting, for us, huh? But not for them. This was exciting and good. They probably would have pushed their way to be at the front. “Sprinkle me!” They might have camped out to be first in line just like people do when we worship on the altar of consumerism on Black Friday. Maybe we really haven’t changed too much. Maybe we really aren’t that much more sophisticated.
In fact, pagan rituals often drank the blood of animals that were sacrificed because they superstitiously believed that the life force became a part of them. It could extend their own life. Conquering leaders sometimes drank the blood of the defeated kings because they believed that their power and life would literally become their own.