But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for all sins, He sat down at the right hand of God…for by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12,14
It has been awhile since I have posted. It has been because life has been moving at the speed of sound. God has been moving in and amongst things, much like He was with Elijah when he took on the prophets of Baal, Ahab and Jezebel, and then he took off and ran, depleted and alone. And then God came to Elijah in a cave and he heard God speak in a still, small voice. God told him he wasn’t the only prophet left and God had him get up and go anoint Jehu to be the next king over Israel.
When I read 1 Kings 18-19, it makes my head spin for Elijah because of the great showdown at the Mt. Carmel corral and then his emotional turmoil that followed–and then for me because I can so relate. I too have been in the midst of many such spiritual showdown’s and roller coasters lately. I would like to cry out with Micah 7:7-8 this battle cry: But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
For the sake of brevity, maybe I’ll get to those in another post…But for now, I will get to my verse for today. At jail ministry this last Sunday night, where God ministers to my heart just as much or more than He does to the women, I was blessed to share with three women. Two were Native American, one Caucasian, if that means anything. Two of the three have been changed by the Gospel in visible ways over the last months of being in the Bible studies while being incarcerated. Praise God for new life!
I started the study with the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s along the lines of continuing the same sin patterns and wondering why they end up in jail again and again. That’s opposed to allowing Jesus to break the chains of rebellion–doing things now God’s way instead of our way–taking the narrow path and not the broad path, from Matthew 7:13-14.
No one talks about the narrow path–not on TV, not in books, not on Jimmy Fallon or Oprah, or Ellen. I remember a time on “The View” where they censored a gal who said she lost 15 pounds on her diet and said, “Praise Jesus,” and they bleeped out Jesus. But later in the show someone else used the name of Jesus in a profane way and they didn’t censor it out. That’s the broad path. Everyone is on it, and everyone talks about it. Not the narrow path. They shut you down. So you have to go to jail to learn about the narrow path. What an irony.
Then the Holy Spirit got all warmed up and fell on us. I began to share about how much God loved them and quoted Psalm 103:8-13 about how God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love, how He does not treat us as our sins deserve and He does not accuse and does not harbor His anger forever. As high as the Heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for us and as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us.
I went on to say that the enemy, Satan, wants to steal, kill and destroy; BUT God knows the plans He has for them and they are for a future and a hope and not calamity and despair. One of the gals talked about how she keeps feeling shame and guilt for her past and she can’t get past that.
That’s when I began talking about the blood of Jesus–hence today’s verses. This is when the power really kicked in. We went to the verses in 1 John 1:7 and 9 and 1 John 2:1-2 about how the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin and that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to please us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 2:1-2 talks about if we sin, we have an advocate, a defense attorney–Jesus Christ the righteous one who is the propitiation, the mercy seat, the covering, for our sin.
In the English Standard Version, the language seems to be more graphic. I like that. Like in the Old Testament when the Holy Spirit comes upon Saul, David, Samson and Gideon, it says that He rushed upon them. I really love that picture. Well in Leviticus 3:1-2, I really love this picture: If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord. And he (the priest) shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall throw the blood against the sides of the altar.
Oh God, throw Jesus’ blood against wherever it is You throw it to cover me from all unrighteousness! We prayed on Sunday night that God would throw His blood to cover the ladies’ sins and wounds and scars and to bring healing and freedom. It was Susan Powers from the 90’s that used to yell “Stop the insanity!” I yell “Stop the insanity in Jesus’ name!” All because of the blood of Jesus! Throw His blood against the altar to cover those of us who are being sanctified.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7
*Image from ‘The Bleeding Temple”