Search the Scriptures Daily Program #1806c Transcript follows:
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
In this regular feature Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here is this week’s question: Dear Dave and TA, I enjoy your program but sometimes you lose me because of the terminology you use. I’m sure it’s because the terms have symbolic meaning and I’m not familiar enough with Christianity to know what that meaning is or what you mean by them. The best example I can think of is when you refer to the blood of Christ, or I heard you say one time, Without the shedding of blood sins couldn’t be forgiven. That’s difficult for me to understand because it conjures up all kinds of things that aren’t exactly moral. Maybe if you could, every once in a while, explain your terms that would be helpful, thanks.
Dave, this is a really good question. I know from time to time we hang out with so many evangelicals---I hate to say just evangelicals, but Bible-believing Christians, I think that’s a better term, and we’re comfortable because we have an understanding of many terms. But I’ll give you just an example. My daughter is discipling some young high school girls. My daughter is in college and she’s discipling some young high school girls who have just come to Christ, and they don’t know anything, Dave. When she and another friend were leading a Bible study with these young girls, whatever she said, almost, these girls had no understanding. You know, when I grew up, even though I was Roman Catholic, I had a sense of, you know, in the culture there was Christian ideas, and I had some teachings out of Roman Catholicism that at least helped me understand some Christian ideas. But you can’t color that today, there are people who just do not know, have not been taught. So, for our own sakes here, maybe we do need to define some things. But let’s go to this particular example that this person who wrote gave, the blood of Christ. The blood, it’s used quite a bit throughout scripture, what’s the symbolic meaning of that term?
Well, it’ something that you have all through the Bible. We referred earlier to the Passover Lamb, and the blood of the lamb was to be sprinkled on the door post, the lintel, and so forth. And God said, When I see the blood I will pass over you. In other words, I will not destroy anyone in that house. It was the blood of the Lamb---the scripture says, The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin. We have a song---some of them would really get someone like this thinking and wonder, What are you talking about? Are you washed in the blood, you know, in the blood of the Lamb. What does it mean to be washed in the blood? We got some blood around here and we dip people in it and wash them in it? No, of course not! The blood of Christ---it’s talking about his death. There are other connotations to that. The scripture said: The life of the flesh is in the blood---I have given it for you upon the altar. When Christ was resurrected, and he stood before his disciples in Luke 24, and they thought it was a ghost, and he said, Handle me and see a Spirit---we would say it’s a real flesh and blood person. No, a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see me have. If he still had blood flowing in his veins he would have been bleeding from five wounds, you know, hands and feet and his side, you know, big hole in his side. Thrust your hand in here, he said to---
From where the spear entered.
Right---to Thomas. Well, what is the significance of that? Because there’s no blood flowing through his veins as there was then. He laid down that life that he took as a man and the scripture says, he lives in the power of an endless life. The bodies that we will have, resurrected bodies that we will have, will be like his, no blood in them. We don’t fathom that, but what it means is that the old life of the flesh---the life of the flesh is in the blood. The Bible talks about, the flesh and the spirit, they are contrary to one another, they lust against one another, they wrestle with one another, and the flesh will have its life, it’s basis to rebel against God.
So, Dave, you know, as I have struggled with these meanings for these words, and have listened to other Christians talk about it, sometimes they tend to take it too literally. You know, we’ve seen within the charismatic movement for example, they believe that the blood of Jesus was a special powerful kind of blood that, when we know in the movie, The Passion of the Christ, supposedly the centurion was transformed when he put the spear into the side of Jesus and the blood hit him, he was transformed, so there was power in that. But to me, the blood means, as you said, the scripture says, it has to do with life. Being covered by the blood means that in Jesus’ death he paid the full penalty for our sins, that’s what he keeps pointing to.
Not just his physical death, which many people believe.
It had to be that kind of a death. See, they wanted to stone him. No, you couldn’t stone him, the blood had to be poured out. The blood was poured out in the sacrifices on the altar. It’s an indication that the life of the flesh is gone, and that the resurrected body of Christ has a difference source of life than the blood. The death that came upon Adam and upon mankind was forever, and the only remedy is not to take that life back again. We are not going to be back in the garden of Eden. Some people say, O, yes, everything that Adam lost there is going to be restored. No, that’s not what it will be, it will be a new heaven and a new earth within which dwelleth righteousness, sin can never enter. So, there are a lot of meanings to the blood, in some ways it’s symbolic, but it also is the teaching of scripture. So, when we say, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin, or, are you washed in the blood of Christ, what we mean is, have you believed that Christ’s death paid the penalty for your sins, have you believed that he took upon himself our sins, he bore our sins in his own body on a tree, that he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and so forth, as the Bible says. You believe that he took your place, that when he died you died. We give up life as we would live it, and now Paul said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ is living in me. So, there has been an exchange of life, there’s a new life now that we have, and one day we will have bodies like his. So, I can understand why a person---we tend to use Christianese, you know, we use our own vocabulary, and we are not thoughtful enough, and we must be more careful with that on this program. I appreciate that word.
If you have a question for Dave and Tom to address in a future Contending for the Faith, stay with us, we’ll have our contact information at the end of the program. You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Now, our final segment.