Nothing But the Blood

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,  for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins . I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
Matthew 26:26 29 English Standard Version
 
This week’s blood drive has been wonderful! Tuesday and Wednesday have had full participation, and we only have a few spots for today and you must register in advance. Please help us finish strong and give much needed blood to people in need. What a gift to love our neighbors as ourselves by giving much needed blood! You may register by clicking here . If these slots are filled, you can also go to a community donor center that is also on the sign up page to give blood and, by providing St. Martin’s Blood Group Code 310690, your donation will be added to St. Martin’s Blood Drive total.
 
As I speak of this, I’m reminded of the wonderful hymn found in the Methodist hymnal, “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.” Hymns have a way of reminding us of the promises of God and when we hear them, our hearts and minds are transformed as we reflect on His truths.
 
In verse one of the hymn we hear, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.” What a sweet reminder we are washed clean and comforted by the sacrifice of Christ.

The Gospel of Matthew takes us back to the Last Supper as Jesus tells his followers what was about to happen, and he used simple bread and wine to paint the picture. We as Episcopalians are reminded of this every week in the Liturgy of the Table, something I personally have missed the past few weeks. When the Host is held up and broken, it is a reminder to us all that the Body of Jesus was truly broken. All of our sins (past, present and future) were put on Him and He died. Then the Cup is held up and we are reminded the Blood of Jesus was poured out in abundance to wash us clean. Friends, it is the Blood of Jesus that washed you clean, and it is through the Blood clergy are able to declare boldly you are loved, forgiven and in the Kingdom, not because we say so, but because Jesus says so.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans says, Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!” (Romans 5:9) This is the best news! We are declared innocent before God our Judge and we are welcome to come regularly to the table of God just as we are, not as we should be! We do this by knowing our righteousness is not contingent on our good works or behavior, but 100% on what Jesus did perfectly for us. Verse three of our hymn says, " Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Today as you rest in that promise, think of your favorite hymn and remember the promises therein. Amen.

The Rev. Jonathan V. Adams
Associate for Pastoral Care and Outreach