Daily Light – July 27, 2020

There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood 

Costly, Offensive, Beautiful Forgiveness

Article by Greg Morse, Staff writer, desiringGod.org

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. —Hebrews 9:22

Christianity is unlike anything man can imagine on his own. 

It is perhaps natural to imagine a religion that functions like a swimming pool — a hobby that may have benefits, but of course, swimming is not for everyone. Others might conceive of religion as a medicinal pool used to strengthen people who have sprained their hope and need some rehab to get them back on their feet. 

But Christianity is different. It is not primarily a swimming pool to enjoy nor a hot tub to fix a midlife crisis. Christianity is about a pool filled with blood. It is graphic. It is gory. It is not a pristine pond found next to our manicured lawns. It is a crimson tide in which we must be submerged. 

Drawn from His Veins 

So, whose blood is it? Where it ought to have been the blood of God’s enemies, it was, almost unimaginably, the blood of his own Son. The God-man revealed to us as Jesus of Nazareth was not spared what others in God’s great story were. 

The Red Sea did not part for him. The Father struck him with Abraham’s flint knife. He drowned in Noah’s flood. Daniel’s lions devoured him. The fiery furnace of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego consumed him. The spear that missed David impaled his Lord. He was cast overboard and swallowed by Jonah’s beast. He was crushed for David’s adultery, Abraham’s cowardice, Noah’s drunkenness. The squeals of every sacrificed animal that ever bled on the altar were in anticipation of his cry. 

We, like all of God’s people since, were only spared because Christ was not. 

There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. 

God passed over former sins until the day of reckoning came. The debt had accrued for God’s chosen. Man could not pay for his crime with money, time, or life-change. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And on a hill outside of Jerusalem, where Rome crucified criminals and burned their garbage, Jesus paid every awful debt we had, and he did so with the only acceptable currency: blood.

Plunged Beneath That Flood 

Christianity is unlike any other religion. Not merely because it is true, but because it is beautiful. Yet it offends a man before it can save him. It tells him that he is dead in sin. It tells him that he’s a rebel. It tells him that unless he plunges himself underneath the flood of Christ’s blood by faith, he will die and never live. That his blood will be upon his own head forever. 

But as plainly as it tells a man that he is condemned before God, it commands him to draw near and receive mercy. 

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
     call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
     and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
     and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6–7

God calls criminals near that he might have compassion on them. He threatens us with everlasting ruin — what your many sins deserve — but offers us everlasting fellowship with him, if we would turn from our evil and receive his crimson pardon. The Great Husband calls his adulterous bride to return to him and find complete forgiveness and unending love. No pity will be offered the one who insists on rejecting the blood-soaked offer of the cross. 

You Would Not Forgive You 

But what if you are the worst person you know? Why should you be confident to draw near to this God? Why should you have any hope to be an object of his love? 

Not because your case isn’t as bad as you think, but because his greatness is higher than you can imagine. Because his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Often, this verse is used to prove God’s omniscience. But it’s more specifically about his mercy and compassion towards repentant sinners. Read it in context: 

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
     call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
     and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
     and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
     neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:6–8

Why should you return to the Lord? Why should you go as you are to Christ and hope to be received? Because his grace is above your grace. His ways of mercy are not like ours. If you or I were God, the world would have been crushed ages ago. You would not forgive you; but he will. You wouldn’t pour out wrath on your own Son for rebels; but he did. This God displayed his love by sending his Son into the world to fill a fountain with his own blood. No man could conceive of it, unless God revealed it.

Rejoiced to See 

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day.
And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away. 

One of the first to take the plunge under the flood of Christ’s blood in the Gospels is the dying thief who died beside him. Crucified at the same time as Christ, he initially began ridiculing him (Matthew 27:44). But after hearing the crowd, hearing Jesus’s words and his prayers, watching him die as the sun fled in shame, he, by the mercy of God, saw Jesus for who he was: the King of heaven (Luke 23:42). With his dying breaths, this criminal, stained in the consequences of his own sin and dying as a vile man with nothing to commend him, found the fountain being filled next to him. He trusted in those wounds, and has now been with him for two thousand years. 

Christianity is unlike any religion. The Father is unlike any god. Christ is unlike any savior. And the Spirit is unlike any helper. Seek the Lord while he may be found — because there is now a fountain filled with blood.

Greg Morse is a staff writer for desiringGod.org and graduate of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He and his wife, Abigail, live in St. Paul with their daughter. 

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