So I think most people would quickly agree with me on this one. I hate to bleed. Be it a small cut, a scraped knee or something more severe that requires stitches I really just try to avoid any of those scenarios. Maybe I am in the minority, but I am pretty sure most of you would agree with me. I think it’s part of that whole self preservation thing. Even in the midst of the whole teen vampire obsession craze I think you could even ask most of them and they would tell you they would rather avoid being bitten by a vampire…but then again they are teenage girls, so who knows?
All this being said I was struck by something while listening to our choir and congregation singing something so casually in church this past Sunday. Without so much of a minor emotional response or any kind of revulsion we all sang multiple times, “Oh the blood of Jesus”. Just think about that for a moment. Maybe even try to put yourselves in the shoes of an outsider from the church. These people are singing about blood and they don’t even seem to notice or really take into account the enormity of what they are singing about.
Don’t get me wrong. I realize there is a lot of theology behind a proper understanding of Christ’ blood shed for us, but after all we are still singing about blood. The blood that was beaten out of a man to show us the gravity of our sin. Sin so bold and overwhelming that it would cause a creature to kill it’s very creator. Isaiah 53:5, puts it this way, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Our sin, our transgressions, were so horrific that it took the blood of a God in human form to convict and convince us of our depravity. And yet now we sing about the blood of Jesus without even realizing the repentant heart that should be breaking inside of us at the very thought of His blood.
Maybe this time of year is exactly the moment to really weigh this all out. Lent, after all, is a time of repentance. And have we become so self assured of our place within the Kingdom that we don’t even become sorrowful when we sing and speak of the shed blood of our Lord? I think it kind of jumps back to my original line of thought. Blood is revolting. It should be. It should drive us so far from our sin and self that we find ourselves embodied with the crucified Lord crying out for mercy. And even when we take into ourselves the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist we realize it is only because of His mercy that we do not stand condemned at that very table.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about the words that opened and closed the song that we sang on Sunday. After all they are the only proper response to singing about the blood of Jesus. May we hear them and cry them out as often as we think about the blood of Jesus, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on us all…”