There are many Christians today who longingly reflect on certain periods in history and the amazing Old Testament heroes and conclude, "Wow, those people enjoyed some incredible experiences in God’s presence. I wish I could know Him like ... ," and you fill in the names.
Moses. David. Daniel. Isaiah. Ezekiel. Abraham. Without a doubt, these individuals experienced the presence of God in extraordinary, miraculous ways. But should we consider these Old Testament encounters the benchmark for what is available to us today? Some believers do. In fact, some of us think that what these “special” Bible times people enjoyed is off-limits to “ordinary” Christians like us in the 21st century. Not true.
Jesus’ Blood Has Brought You Into Better!
Perhaps you go back further—all the way back to Eden, where Scripture paints this beautiful portrait of man and God walking together in the Garden (Gen. 3:8). Many times, I have heard believers talk about how they long for Eden. I, for one, am guilty of looking back and wishing I had what they did. After all, is there anything that could be better than walking with God like Adam and Eve did?
Yes, and it is the blood of Jesus Christ that makes this incredible reality possible for you and me today!
To truly grasp the supernatural power of Jesus’ blood, we need to journey back to the Old Testament. The author of Hebrews recognized this, and thus, he did an amazing job at escorting the audience of his day (and us in the 21st century) through the Old Covenant system that was a prophetic foreshadowing of the new reality that Jesus would inaugurate through the Cross (Heb. 10:20). One of the central themes of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus’ work at Calvary has brought you and I into a better covenant with better promises. In short, Jesus’ blood has brought you into better!
Jesus’ Blood Has Brought You Into a New Identity
As Christians, we are doctrinally aware that the blood of Jesus cancels out our sin debt and assigns us a new creation identity—the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). This act of bloodshed will be celebrated throughout all eternity. Consider that the song of heaven is the song of the Lamb (Rev. 5:11-13). Yes, He will emerge as the conquering King and prevailing Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5). Yes, Jesus eternally wears the victor’s crown. Praise God for this!
However, it is significant to note that the song of heaven is the song of the Lamb (Rev. 15:3). There is something unparalleled about Jesus’ identity as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Good Friday reminds us of this.
So I humbly invite you to behold the Lamb anew today and take a second look at what His precious blood purchased for you. Yes, it made provision to forgive your sins. Yes, it secured you a home in heaven when you leave this world. Yes, it delivered you from the bondage of law, works and religious performance. But on this Good Friday, I want you to consider how this blood ushered you into the very presence of God—and ultimately, brought His holy presence into you!
Jesus’ Blood Has Brought God’s Presence Into You!
Consider that under the Old Covenant, one wrong move in God’s presence would mean certain and sudden death. In fact, the high priest who served in the Holy of Holies—the place in the tabernacle where the manifest presence of God dwelt—was actually prepped for the possibility of death in the presence. If the high priest did not adhere exactly to the protocol of ministering in the presence, he would die. Why? Because sinful human flesh must meet God’s holy specifications in order to come before His presence. Reflect on this word—before.
Most certainly, one of the high honors of Old Covenant ministry was to come before the divine presence of God. In a way, this shadow of divine communion reflected the longing for Eden being satisfied in part—mankind being able to walk with God once again.
While we celebrate and study what God did in the Old Testament, we must stop longing for what happened back then and start evaluating whether or not we are experiencing our better New Covenant inheritance. Are we enjoying the extraordinary dimension of intimacy with God that the blood of Jesus purchased for us?
In the Old Covenant, priests approached before God—this was as close as they could get. Now, because of the Jesus’ blood, this very glory of God has been brought into us!
Jesus’ Blood Has Brought You Into a Covenant of Better Things
My occasional drawback when studying the Bible is the tendency to skim right over passages that my mind has trouble making sense of. Rather than running from these truths, I pray that we would make ourselves uncomfortable as we ask the Holy Spirit to bring our level of understanding up rather than us trying to bring God’s Word down to our human comprehension. Jesus’ blood really is as glorious and as powerful as Scripture describes!
Consider these passages:
"Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant" (Heb. 7:22).
"But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises" (Heb. 8:6).
"To Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:24).
What is the repeated word? Better.
The blood of Jesus is better, and it has ushered us into greater realities than our minds can safely wrap around. I pray that on this Good Friday we would experience a better revelation of Jesus’ precious, powerful blood.
The power of Jesus’ blood brought us into a better reality than Eden. In Eden, God walked with man. Because of Jesus, God lives in man through the Holy Spirit (John 14:17).
The power of Jesus’ blood brought us into a better glory than the Old Covenant. In the Old Covenant, priests could die because of their behavior in the presence; because of Jesus’ behavior, we can live as a people inhabited by God’s presence (2 Cor. 3).
The power of Jesus’ blood made it possible for our tent of human flesh, stained by sin in the Garden, to become a fit dwelling place for the holy presence (1 Cor. 6:19).
Jesus’ Blood Made You Fit to Be God’s House on Earth!
This absolutely overwhelms me. The presence of the Genesis 1:1 God (who spoke the worlds into existence!) now resides in our mortal, human flesh. Reflect on it even further ...
The blood of Jesus made it possible for our flesh to remain intact while housing the eternal, immortal, indescribable glory of God. The Holy Spirit is not a second-class citizen. He is not some lesser Person of the Trinity. He is God Almighty, and it is He who has come to live in you!
I invite you to make this your Good Friday meditation this year. The Holy Spirit lives within you. This means that God, the creator and sustainer of all things, has come to take up residence in your body. There is no closer He can come than inside of you! And get this—His presence has not come to visit, but to remain. Not for a season. Not while you’re good enough, when you become perfect or when you finally have it all together. This reality is not a temporary, Old Testament deal where the Holy Spirit comes upon you for a season or a task, then leaves. No. Jesus said that the Spirit would abide with you forever (John 14:16).
The blood of Jesus made it possible for you to be indwelt by God Himself. Truly, this is a testimony of the power of Jesus’ blood and what makes it the most powerful force in all of the universe.
The holy presence of God that no temple or tabernacle could truly contain now resides in your tent of redeemed flesh and blood. The glory that Moses could only behold in part, lest he be completely vaporized, now inhabits your mortal frame. Bricks and mortar were never God’s ultimate design—they simply gave us a prophetic picture for the glorious house that Jesus would lay down his life to build: a people filled with God that see God’s glory cover the earth as the water covers the sea!
Larry Sparks is the author of Breakthrough Healing (Destiny Image, 2014). He is a conference speaker, blogger, columnist and host of the weekly radio program Voice of Destiny (www.thevoiceofdestiny.org). Featured in Charisma magazine and on CBN’s Spiritual Gifts webcast, Larry is also founder of Equip Culture—a ministry that equips believers with the tools and resources to live victoriously through the supernatural power of God. Subscribe to his blog at www.lawrencesparks.com. Follow him on Twitter @LarryVSparks.