The phrase Covered by the Blood of Jesus is not for the faint of heart. It can be confusing or make us feel uncomfortable the first few times we hear it. It can even make us want to double-check that as Christians we aren’t, in fact, involved in a scary cult.
Don’t worry, I can assure you that if you’re part of a Bible-believing church, you’re safe. Understanding the blood of Jesus seems daunting but it’s actually simple. Yes, it packs a serious punch but that’s because it’s such a powerful concept.
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Covered by the Blood of Jesus
I’d like to start by sharing some thoughts from the Old Testament. Before Jesus came on the scene, things were done differently. God still forgave, but He worked through priests who took some steps that made it so people could be forgiven.
In order to fulfill the punishment for our sin, the priest would sacrifice a pure animal, like a young sheep without defect. A person would bring his sacrifice to the priest, who would complete a number of steps in slaughtering the animal and presenting it to God. The priests would sprinkle the blood around the altar and the entryway after the sacrifice (Lev. 3:2, and lots more verses). God accepted this as payment or atonement for the people’s sins, so they could be forgiven.
What Does the Blood of Jesus Mean
If you’re a parent, you’re probably more than aware of the concept of consequences. We know that our kids are going to make mistakes, and in order to learn from it, they need to experience a consequence. Sometimes that happens naturally, and sometimes we reprimand them with a consequence of our own.
Just like parents who watch their child make a bad decision, God sees our mistakes too. And He knew from the beginning what the consequences were.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NIV
We know deep down that our sinful actions create pain, suffering, and a rift between us and God. And the sad truth is that everyone sins. The result is our death.
But instead, God purchased our lives with His own blood. When someone says they are covered by the blood of Jesus, it means the price was paid for their freedom from sin.
Blood of Jesus – Literal Meaning
Jesus, God’s son, was crucified on a cross, even though He had the power to avoid it. When you hear that you’re covered by the blood, it means that your debt of sin has been paid and you’re forgiven. The physical act of Him bleeding on the cross (followed by His death and resurrection) washes away our human sins.
Blood of Jesus – Symbolic Meaning
When Jesus died, he took the place of the perfect lamb that the priests would sacrifice. Instead, Jesus’ blood washes us and makes our sins whiter than snow. The old system of continual sacrifices isn’t needed anymore. Once you’re a repentant believer, you’re covered. Even though it can feel confusing, think of this in as simple terms as possible. The penalty for sin is death, and Jesus paid that penalty once and for all when He was willingly put to death and then resurrected.
The Significance of the Blood of Jesus for Mankind
At some point, you probably came to a few depressing conclusions about yourself. Things like
- I don’t have unlimited wealth or power.
- I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes and hurt others.
- I fall short of God’s glory.
- I don’t make things turn to gold.
- I can’t even bake a good cake.
(Ok, maybe that last one is just me.) But it’s actually good to understand our limits, our humanity, our shortcomings, and our sins. It’s necessary to know these basics in order to understand that there is nothing more precious than the blood of Jesus.
We will never be able to pay the price that’s required to be righteous or truly good. We would have to die and be separated from a holy God to do it. And that would be the end. Being covered by the blood of Jesus means that we never have to worry about that because our debt has already been paid.
Thankfully, this depressing stuff turns into the most joy-inducing notions we’ll ever know. Jesus’ death and resurrection pour boundless value over us so that we’re completely transformed.
While we know that we don’t buy our way into God’s favor, there is a transaction that has to occur for us to be part of His family. It happened–thank God!–by the blood of the perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ.
The blood of Jesus…
- Gives Us a Clean Slate
- Makes Us God’s Children
- Changes Us Completely
- Gives Us Life
Gives Us a Clean Slate
If we were to write out our sins on an old-school blackboard, we’d be absolutely exhausted, ashamed, and then we’d need more chalk.
If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? Psalm 130:3
We can have the assurance that Jesus’ blood wipes our sins away and gives us that fresh, clean slate. His blood frees us from a guilty conscience (Hebrews 10:22) so that we can start over.
Makes Us God’s Children
When we repent of our sin and accept the sacrifice of Jesus, we get to be part of the family of God! Remember how I said that God didn’t have relationships with most people before Jesus came along? Well, because of the power of Jesus’ blood, God is our Father, and we can have a loving relationship with Him.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus… let us draw near to God. Hebrews 10:19,22a
That’s why you might hear Christians calling each other brother and sister. We’re part of a beautiful family, and that means having a real relationship as a son or daughter of God.
Changes Us Completely
The Bible says that Jesus’ blood is sprinkled over our hearts (Hebrews 10:22), instead of the altar, and makes us clean. His blood is like pure water that cleanses our bodies. It changes us from sinners into saints!
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation Colossians 1:22
The words “without blemish” remind us of the animal sacrifices that happened until Jesus’ death and resurrection. We’re made as pure and innocent as those lambs, and Jesus, because of His blood.
Gives Us Life
Jesus died so we don’t have to. His death gives us eternal life. All we have to do is be willing to accept it, to believe in Jesus, and we will live forever.
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:40
The life Jesus gives us also applies to a rich life while we’re here on earth. Of course, I don’t mean we should be rolling in dough and dripping with diamonds. But as a Christian, you can have an abundant spiritual life, enjoying God’s presence and the comfort of the Holy Spirit even when trials come. (John 10:10)
There is Power in the Blood of Jesus
We’re all guilty of sin and we know what the consequences should be. There’s only one human being who didn’t ever sin, and that’s Jesus Christ. He chose to be the holy, sacrificial lamb for you. His blood says it all, like a receipt marked Price Paid.
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:27-28
I don’t know how to express it without shouting in all caps, THANK GOD that when it’s time for us to face how much we’ve fallen and how many times we’ve failed, Jesus says, “I paid for this one.” Our sin is wiped away without a trace left behind, and we will live forever with our Father in heaven.