Summary: A simple message of the good news of Christ’s vicarious sacrifice on the cross for the sins of man.
There’s Power In The Blood
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt. 26:28)
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" (I Peter 1:18-19)
On the south coast of China, high on a hill that overlooks the harbor of Macao, the Portuguese settlers of that colony erected a massive cathedral. But one of the powerful typhoons that regularly wreck havoc with the works of mans hands, virtually destroyed this impressive edifice. For many years the building lay in ruins. Only the front wall stubbornly remained. As the years passed, high atop that jutting wall a large bronze cross pierced the sky, as if defying the elements.
Sir John Bowring, a onetime governor of Hong Kong, was a gifted naturalist, statesman, political economist and linguist who could speak and write in thirteen different languages and dialects. One day while looking over this area, he spotted this cross standing high above the ruins of the wall, like a lonely sentinel, with its silhouette thrusting high into the sky. The sight so moved him that he penned the powerful words of the beautiful grand old hymn:
In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o’er the wrecks of time,
All the light of sacred story, Gathers ’round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o’er-take me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me; Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
When the sun of bliss is beaming, Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming, Adds more lustre to the day.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified,
Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide.
The thought and truth of this old hymn is just as apt today. For thrusting out of the midst of the turmoil and violence of today’s suffering world, stands the Cross of Christ. There is no greater symbol. It symbolizes His ultimate triumph. The triumph of love over hate. The victory of forgiveness over judgment. The triumph of hope over despair and life over death! But more than anything else, it stands for the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all our sins.
All around the world Christians gather in awe and reverence to consider the real meaning of the death of their Savior upon that Cross and the eternal significance of the blood He shed there. Choirs and congregations lift their voices in many different languages and dialects and sing, "When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride."
But why do we come together on this day to remember that momentous day and that place where our Prince of glory died? Why do we sing of the cross and blood.? Why do we focus upon the Cross and His blood on the first day of the week when we assemble together to remember and speak and sing of His sacrificial death and celebrate His glorious and triumphant resurrection?
As we come together today, let us not do so in sorrow and sadness as if the terrible price He paid as He shed His blood for our sins was sealed as a tragedy forever, when His bruised and battered body was lain in the tomb. It is true history has never recorded a darker day than that day, when the Prince of glory died. A day so darkened by the evil of man that the Father turned His face from the Son and the sun hid its face in shame. A day so terrible that the earth was plunged into an awesome darkness as it groaned and shook in sickening spasms.
Let us rather celebrate because earth’s most terrible and tragic day was changed into heaven’s most glorious day. Our Savior cry, "It is finished," did not signal a defeat of God’s eternal plan and purpose for planet earth and its inhabitants. That awesome cry was the voice of triumph; shouting that the very last barrier between God and man had been torn down. At that cry, the veil in the temple was torn asunder from top to bottom; symbolizing the opening of man’s access to God through the blood that had been shed upon that cross. As the great apostle would later say, the last enemy of man, death, had been conquered and destroyed and the price of redemption had been fully paid. ". . .nailing it to his cross; [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Col. 2:14b-15)