A couple of weeks ago, I was at the playground across the street from our house with my six year old granddaughter. As all kids do, she stumbled and skinned her knee. It bled a little, not much, but it was enough to be noticeable. But to her, it was as though she had broken her leg, so I put her on my back to carry her home so we could get her doctored up.
She was riding piggyback, but she was holding her knee out and away from my body, and it was throwing me off balance. When I asked her why she was doing that, she said she didn’t want to get any blood on my shirt.
“It’s okay.” I told her, “It will wash out.”
“No it won’t.” she said, “I have permanent blood!”
I laughed so hard I had to stop for a moment. Whenever we let her draw pictures with colored Sharpies or Magic Markers, we always tell her to be careful not to get any ink on her clothes because it will not wash out. They’re permanent markers we tell her. So that’s how she made the connection.
But as I began to think about what she had said…..permanent blood……it dawned on me that through the mind’s eye of a six year old child, God had given me a very apt yet very simple description of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Permanent blood. One of the central themes of the book of Hebrews is the “once and for all” atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There is permanency in Jesus’ shed blood in that His sacrifice is sufficient payment for all sins, past, present, and future and never needs to be repeated, unlike the sacrificial system under the old covenant by which animals had to be sacrificed time and again. In Hebrews 9 the Bible assures us of this permanency in verses 11 and 12 where we’re told: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Either because they’re uncertain, or confused, or just immature in their faith, there are certain Christians today who feel like they must keep confessing the same sins over and over and over. Let’s make this perfectly clear. When a person has been convicted by the Holy Spirit and confesses his or her sins to God, there is no need to keep bringing them up again. This is true for new believers who have accepted the gift of God’s grace for the very first time, and it’s true for Christians who have stumbled. To be sure, we must take ownership of our sins and confess them to God with a sincere heart, but we do not have to confess those same sins again and again as though God didn’t hear us the first time. We’ve been cleansed. Our sins are wiped clean. Permanent blood equals eternal redemption.
In that same chapter of Hebrews, the Bible tells us: When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Jesus lived the perfect life that none of us could live. That’s Sunday school 101. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded from time to time that His perfect life made Him the perfect sacrifice (that is to say, our substitutionary sacrifice) so that his blood only needed to be offered once. Permanent blood. I can think of no better way to describe the blood of Jesus Christ!