Aloha Friday Message – November 22, 2019 – This Blood’s For You

1947AFC112219 – This Blood’s For You

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    Colossians 1:11-14 11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption [through his blood], the forgiveness of sins.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Grace and Peace to each of you from God our Father and our Lord, Jesus the Christ, in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Does the title of today’s post surprise you – sound a little too familiar? I was surprised to when it was given to me, but maybe the following passages will help us focus on what that title means.

Hebrews 9:14 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit[a] offered himself without blemish to God, purify our] conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

Ephesians 1:7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

Colossians 1:20 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Romans 5:9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.

Romans 3:25 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed

Proverbs 6:16-1916 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil, 19 a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family.

1 John 1:5-10 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

This coming Sunday, November 24, 2019, is the end of the Liturgical Year – The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The Gospel reading focuses on the Crucifixion, the taunting by the onlookers – including one of the crucified – and Jesus’ promise that the second man suffering with Jesus would be with him that day in paradise.

The Old Testament reading recounts the moment David – the chosen of God – became King over Israel. The Epistle from which our Key Verse is taken is from the letter to the Colossians, congregation at Colossae in the Lycus Valley in Asia Minor, east of Ephesus. Local “preachers” had adulterated the teachings of The Way so that it had become a cultic practice involving “spirituality” focused on angels and spirits rather than on the redemptive capacity of Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection and ascension into Heaven. These false doctrines seemed plausible to them, but he corrects that by lovingly explaining that “the cosmos” (these days the “spiritually enlightened” call it “The Universe”) has nothing at all to do with Salvation. The cosmos cannot hear, cannot act, cannot be placated, cannot even care. Only Christ and the Perfect Sacrifice he made has now reconciled [you] in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him. (See Colossians 1:21-22) Nothing else matters beyond the fact that Jesus died for us – suffered greatly, shed his blood, died and was buried, and conquered Death by defeating it in his own flesh; his promise to us is that we shall share in that Blesséd (as opposed to curséd) Eternal Life. There is Power in The Blood (↔ Music Link). Did you hear him sing that phrase “in the Precious Blood of the Lamb?” That comes from someone who was there when that blood was shed. Let’s get out our Bibles and turn to 1 Peter 1:18-19 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. That is why we also sing about “Precious Body, Precious Blood” (↔ Music Link) in the song “The Supper of The Lord” by Laurence Rosania.

Indeed, what could be more precious that The Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation? That is why during Communion we don’t see or consume the bread and wine of this world, but instead take up the Cup of Salvation – the Precious Blood of Christ – (See Psalm 116:13 – in the rubrics a Priest says this silently as he prepares to drink from the Chalice) and the Precious Body of Christ – the Real Presence of the Lord. This is difficult for many to understand – including Catholics (and even some Catholic Priests!); nonetheless, all Christians know and believe that it is the purposeful and willingly-given shedding of blood by Jesus that secures our Salvation. In short his blood was shed for us (and one might also say by us) for the remission – reduction, forgiveness, expiation, reparation, recompense, however else you can come to understand it – for our sins. His blood is for US. Blood has been considered the source and symbol of life since Adam and Eve, and the shedding of blood has been the source and symbol of death. Jesus the Christ shed his blood for the sins I commit, the sins you commit, the sins we have committed. Why did he do that?

He did that because it pleased God to fashion for us redemption out of the very thing that brought us condemnation (See Isaiah 53:10, please). Because of our disobedience, he set the supreme obedience of his Son against that disobedience to eradicate Death forever. He did that out of Love for his Creation (which includes “the Universe” of which we recognize Christ as King). The Ruler is not the ruled. The Universe – the cosmos if you will – includes us but it does not rule us. The Earth, the Moon and Stars are subjects of the One who Rules. His blood is for you, for me, for us, and even for those who despise us, despise Jesus, and even those who despise the God who created them. We are called to accept that incredible Gift, the Gift of Life. It is ours to have and to hold, or to lose and cast away. It is useful to remember the words of Deuteronomy 30:19 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live. There is no other Life but HIM, no other Truth but HIM, no other Way but HIM, and no other Precious Body and Precious Blood but HIS that is given up for us. We should remember that THIS (← Check it out!) is important. It is Life, and it is ours. His Blood is for us.

Now, I want to just take a brief moment to thank those of you who were kind enough to remember that this week I turned 73. If you got last week’s post, I mentioned there that when I was a kid, seventy-three seemed ancient. Well, the good news is that now that I’m finally here, it still feels ancient! Of course when I was 19, then I was young and going on 45, so at 73 I’m old and going on 111 – which makes sense. I know some of you are saying “No, you’re only as old as you feel.” Well, in that case, you’re right; I’m 73 going on 118, so 111 sounds pretty good, yes? Well, if there’s any truth to the adage that “with age comes wisdom,” here is a suggestion to help you as you age. When you get up in the morning, sing this song (↔ Music Link), and I guarantee you will have a better day! (Try this one, too! (↔ Music Link)

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —

at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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