Thursday, February 4, 2016

What is ‘the blood’ of Jesus?

Today’s Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 1:1-9 - PAUL, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose.
Living here in the Bible Belt, I often hear that we are saved by the blood of Jesus, about which I am in total agreement. But what does Saint Paul mean when he says “we have redemption through his blood?” For many Protestants, at least by the way they talk, means the very blood dripping down the bloody cross now that the vengeful God has been satisfied to taste blood on His Altar. At least that what it sounds like to me when I am told of the sacrifice and that blood had to be shed in order for God to forgive us. .... as if God was unable to simply forgive us..... He could and He did by the way.

As Orthodox Christians we are saved by the blood of Christ, but in a different way. In the Eucharist, the Body and BLOOD of Christ, in our unity with Christ, what we call Communion, through our Baptism and His Grace, we are saved from death. Just something to think about...

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