The shed blood of Jesus is an important aspect to salvation in Scripture, but it is sometimes misunderstood. The purpose of this article is to briefly discuss the shed blood of Christ and its meaning in the biblical text. Hopefully, this will clear up some misconceptions about what the shed blood of Jesus is and is not, what it does and does not do.
No Mystical Power in the Blood Itself
I have often heard people preaching or claiming that the blood of Jesus has some miraculous power in it that can almost accomplish anything by simply pleading, “In the blood of Jesus.” But this false teaching that the blood itself has some supernatural power that one can plead over or against something lacks biblical validity and is simply a distorted understanding of the real significance of our Lord’s precious shed blood.
The Real Power of the Blood
Greathouse and Lyon aptly shed some insight on this, declaring, “Blood does not refer to the fluid flowing in Jesus’ veins and arteries” (126), “Christ’s sacrificial death came as he shed his blood, as he poured out his life to save sinners from death” (127), and “This vicarious identification with the atoning sacrifice is what Paul means by in the blood of Christ” (127). I agree with their position that this is a reference to Jesus shedding his blood in death. It reminds me of the sayings in the Old Testament that the life (literally “soul”) of living creatures, including man, is in the blood. The real power of the blood of Jesus is found in its signification of the atoning sacrifice of his own life that cleanses us of our sins and restores us in a right relationship with God.
Final Thoughts on the Blood of Jesus
The power we have as Christians is not found in some mystical essence in the blood of Jesus, but in the victorious Jesus himself. The genuine biblical teaching is to pray in the name of Jesus, not plead his blood. To place so much focus on his blood like this is to ignore our blessed Lord Jesus from whom the blood was shed. It is the person of Jesus who provides us as Christians with power and authority, not the blood that was in his veins.
Greathouse, William M., and George Lyons. Romans 1-8: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. New Beacon Bible Commentary. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill, 2008.
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