What do people understand from the teaching about BLOOD in reference to the cross? It seems pretty obvious that they think it was his BLOOD that somehow saves them? Perhaps an extension of this may allow some people to see that the blood indicates his DEATH, but it is also involved with the teaching of the WRATH of God, and most will think that Jesus literally took the WRATH of God on our behalf. [don’t stop reading at this point or you will be left with the wrong impression]*
Now it should be obvious that the whole idea is to set people FREE of fear and death. How this is supposed to happen when we still talk about a God of WRATH, I don’t really know.
It seems necessary to acquaint people with what the wrath of God IS, rather than throw out the obvious to them and hope they can decipher it.
This comes back to the notion of punishment for sin, so they say Jesus took the “punishment” for us. Now there is good reason for this, because the bible says it! But the bible also says that God is “jealous” and maybe other supposed characteristics which are more suited to humans than to gods.
The law gave people divorce, but we know that “God hates divorce”? So what appears black and white sometimes is not the case.
Presenting things in a certain way may even be scriptural – it says, “he was presented as..” And we are told to accept meekly the implanted word. But surely it is advantageous to actually understand to the best of our ability, what is actually going on? And then if we can see what’s going on, we can present the best of it all to those in need of “freedom”?
The case has to be made for sin being cause and effect, or consequence, rather than “punishment”, otherwise we are promoting a vindictive God, and will not understand other aspects of scripture.
So I have to say it loud and clear – Blood does nothing. The term “sacrifice” has to be seen in its correct context rather than a blood and guts offering to an offended deity. We can talk about the blood, the wrath, and the sacrifice – as long as we understand what we are saying, and what effect it is having on the hearers. Maybe it is acceptable in today’s context. But I think it also gives many an excuse for passing over what sometimes has the appearance of being an archaic and barbaric religion.
You may say, well that’s OK. it is scriptural that people will reject the simplicity of the gospel, and “not many wise..” etc receive it. But times are tough, it is a complex world out there, and we owe it to ourselves and others to give it our best shot. If I am seen as being in error and deluded, deceived, then so be it, But at least think about it before disregarding and condemning it and me.
*[while “Jesus taking the wrath” is a simple way of depicting “truth”, I wish to explain this further] [later edit Lev. 17-11 “…for it is the blood that makes atonement THROUGH THE LIFE].