Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2013

“I am my Beloved’s and He is mine—and there is blood between us, there is blood between us.”

So began a little song in my spirit this Sunday in church.

blood-of-jesusFor the past month or two, we have been partaking of the Lord’s Supper—Communion—every Sunday, as our pastor teaches on the concept of covenant and the various covenants given by God. I cannot fully describe the power that I have felt in partaking of the bread and wine each week, seeing the very heart of God on full display in front of the congregation in the poured out blood and broken body of Christ. If a picture speaks a thousand words, the display of the broken bread and wine—symbols of His surrendered life, His love—and receiving that life into the depths of our being speaks more than a thousand tongues could say.

In the broken bread, I see a Heart that was willing to be mocked and beaten, suffer painful misunderstanding and false accusation, indifference and betrayal, and to endure it all openly, willingly, humbly, for the sake of love. In the cross, God has set the most startling statement of love before mankind… He’s not playing, “He loves me, He loves me not…” He’s not dangling His love before us like a carrot on a stick, promising us His love if we shape up. No, His love was already poured out for us before we even took a thought towards Him.  He’s got His heart on His sleeve. He’s vulnerable. He’s hanging naked on a cross, with blood dripping down His body, down over the wood and onto the ground, and there is some of that blood in the garment that the soldiers are gambling for at the foot of the cross.

This is how much you are desired, Beloved. If you should ever forget, look at Me lifted up on the cross, my arms outstretched to embrace you, and know that I did it for you.

There is blood between us.

When I look at you, I remember My blood,

I remember the price I paid to redeem you.

Your value is forever set in my heart.

You are worth it.

And when He was on the cross, He looked out at creation and could see it only through the blood—His own blood, literally, for the blood running down from His forehead, mingled with his sweat, certainly ran down past His eyes, causing Him to behold the world through the cleansing flow, His own precious blood.

Yes, when He looks at us, He says, “There is blood between us.”

He will always and forever now see the world through His blood. He will never forget the price He paid. But that blood has no power to bring redemption to our lives until we apply it. When the nation of Israel left Egypt to begin their journey to the Promised Land, it was through blood-covered doors, the blood of a lamb for each house, a lamb that symbolizes the Greater Lamb. Those who exit a world of bondage and death through blood-covered doors can never forget that their freedom was bought at a price. Someone died so that we could go free.

 If we see the value—the necessity—of His shed blood, we will apply it to our lives, as the Israelites did the mantle and doorposts of their house. The value of the blood of Christ is of inestimable worth to every person who was born on planet earth. There is nothing more sacred, nothing worth more than His blood. Nothing! His blood is the only door out of bondage to sin and death. Do you see that there is no other door to Life than through this blood soaked door, the bloody door of the Lamb; the cross?

Even the application of the blood on the door speaks of two very powerful places that the blood will bring redemption in our lives. This blood on the “mantle” will bring a cleansing to our mind/thoughts and renew our minds to the mind of Christ. This blood on the “posts” will bring a cleansing to our arms/hands, redeeming us from bondage to sin and dead works and setting us free to do His works, so that our touch may heal creation.

But there’s more!

In every ancient culture, it was the shedding of blood that sealed a covenant. Missionaries and anthropologists speak of encountering tribes the world over who would make covenant with each other in blood; covenants that could not be broken, that were considered binding unto death.

Among other things, circumcision represents the shedding of blood to enter into covenant. And in the consummation of a marriage, it is the shedding of blood that seals the covenant.

As the scripture says, “the life is in the blood.” In the shedding of blood for the establishment of a covenant, there are many statements that are made, but certainly one of the strongest is, “I give you my life.”  For if life is in the blood, and I bleed for you, what I am giving you—in essence—is my life. I open up this body of skin and pour out of my inner life for you. I share the deepest and most sacred parts of me with you. I am willing to suffer and bleed for your sake. I am willing to pour out of my own life so that you can touch it, partake of it. I am no longer isolated within myself but my life is yours as yours is now mine. You have access to my blood and I have access to yours. How can we be separate now? We are one.

There is blood between us.

To my surprise, when I heard the Lord speaking that to my spirit, I heard in His voice not only the acknowledgement of the fact that I have received and applied His blood to my house, but also an acknowledgement of the blood I have shed for Him. What a wonder! How humbling. My blood does not purchase my redemption. It does not take away sin. But it does represent my willingness to enter into covenant with Him in the surrender of my life to Him. And He sees it, and calls it beautiful.

gustav_klimt_the_kiss For when we take up our crosses and follow Him, are we not also shedding our own blood in a figurative sense? When we lay down our lives for Him, choose to deny ourselves for His sake and the sake of the brethren, when we partake of His death, carrying around in our bodies the dying of the Lord, is there not a shedding of our blood in some sense? When we give ourselves to Him in the most intimate ways, opening bare our heart before Him, allowing Him to come in sometimes with a bitter north wind, sometimes with a refreshing south wind, but equally surrendered to Him in either account, is that surrender not in some sense the shedding of blood? Is this not a very real part of the covenant that we have entered into with Him? For there is no entrance into covenant union without the shedding of blood.

The Lord sees it as so, for He says, there is blood between us and it is not only My blood I see, beloved, but yours also. I see our shed blood, the mingling of our lives, My invitation and your response to it. As I suffered and laid down my life for you, I see your suffering and laying down of your life for Me and I will never forget it.

You may say, “oh, but my love is not fully abandoned to Him in the way you describe! My love is not consistent like His. I waver, I stumble in love. I’ve given Him my life and then I have run away from Him. I have opened my heart to Him and then closed it. I’ve slammed the door in His face! And so many times, I find myself doing the exact opposite of love, the exact opposite of what I want to do! What of me? How can a weak love such as mine be valued by someone as Perfect as Him? What does He say to imperfect, inconsistent love such as mine?”

The Song of Songs gives us a great insight to this question, for it is the question of every sincere lover of God.

Though there are many nuggets throughout this book that reveal the answer, I will pull out just one, in hopes that this small appetizer will send you on a journey of fulfilment and joyeous discovery into the Song of Songs, the Highest Love Song of God’s heart.

“You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace. (Song 4:9).

Notice first that His heart is ravished. Notice second that He calls her both His sister and His spouse, declaring that they are related by blood and by shed blood. But now notice what it is that ravishes Him—one look of her eye and one link of her necklace.

It is not yet the sustained and perfect gaze of unbroken peering into His soul. It is the timid but genuine glance towards Him. It is perhaps her first real gaze into Who He Is. And a deep recognition begins to stir in her as she beholds Him in truth and He knows it.

He knows that He is being seen by her and His heart is overcome!

Her gaze also speaks of the opening of herself to Him. No longer will she let shame cause her to hide her face. She will turn her open eyes fully towards His open eyes—and though she quickly glance down in initial embarrassment, He knows that the first glance will lead to others and eventually into locked gaze where she will behold the unending depths of love in His heart and she will believe and rejoice in His love for her. And likewise, she will allow Him to peer into the depths of her own heart.  And the very thought of it—the very beauty of the first glance, immature as it may be, ravishes His heart.

In the same way, He is moved by one link of her necklace. A necklace may represent many things, but what I primarily see her is that it adorns her neck, which speaks of her will. She is not stiff-necked or stubborn against Him. She may not be perfectly yielded yet, it may just be “one link” that He mentions, but it is so lovely His sight. In the one link, He sees her first surrender to Him. He sees the “yes” to Him that costs her something. But she has very little idea that every genuine yes to Him creates a new link in the crown that adorns her neck and beautifies her for all eternity.

In short, He who sees the end from the beginning, sees the faltering steps we take towards Him and they are beautiful in His sight. He sees the God-given desire to be wholly His and He sees that love drives her to press on towards Him–and continue onward–even when she stumbles and fails. And His heart is moved so deeply that that He declares, “You have ravished me!”

Oh Lord, how small our shed blood is in comparison to Yours! How imperfect in the laying down of our lives! How kind You are to acknowledge our response to You in such a loving way and humble way! How unthinkable that our response of love should mean so much to You! That we should be treasured in such a way as this! Oh, the unfathomable depths of Your generous heart! Who is a Lover like You?

I look down at His feet and at His hands that still hold the scars where He wrote my name in them, and I can only worship.

fiery seal of love For the truth is, it takes God to love God. Only God can truly love God. A heart that says, “I will shed blood for you” is only a reflection of the Original Heart, the First Heart to ever suffer for the sake of love, for He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the ages. Therefore, when He sees a response within us that says yes to covenant, yes to receiving His shed blood and yes to laying down our lives so that we may come into union with Him and His Body–His people–He sees Himself.  He beholds His own nature in another, and His heart is deeply moved.

Oh, there is so much more to say, but I dare not overwhelm the reader!

Can you say, “Lord, there is blood between us”? Have you received His blood? Have you looked—deeply looked–upon His sacrifice? Have you seen His heart—for YOU? Have you applied it to the mantle and doors of your own “house”? Have you partaken of His blood and body? Have you put your faith in Him? Have you tasted of His love?

gustav-klimt-the-kiss-detail-4083In the Song of Songs, the Shulamite declares “a bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts.” Myrrh speaks of suffering, as the plant is pierced many times to bring forth the fragrant, healing resin. When she says she holds Him between her breasts, this speaks of keeping Him close to her heart. In other words, all through the night, through the dark seasons, she comforts herself in remembrance His great love, His great sacrifice. The remembrance of His suffering for her sake is a like a sweet fragrance that stays continually fresh in her thoughts. She can never doubt how deeply she is loved every time she breathes in the fragrance of the myrrh, so she holds it over her heart where the fragrance can permeate her senses. The very scent draws worship out of her heart and she finds herself continually saying, “I will remember Your blood, I will remember Your love. I will never forget You. I will never forget what You did for me, my Beloved, my dear friend and companion. I hold You reverently in the most sacred part of my being.

“I will let this love overflow from the banks of my heart and wash out of me into creation so that others will see who You are and love You too. I will speak of You, I will tell of Your wonderful ways, I will declare Your Name, and I will love You, oh Lord my God,

I will love you,
I will love you,
I will love you.

For there is blood between us and I will never forget.

And in the echo of His voice deep within my spirit, the reciprocal way in which love flows, I hear Him speaking back to me through my own words.

My friend, if you love Him, read the paragraph above one more time, but this time, listen to Him speaking to you. Can you hear His heart? Can you hear how much your willingness to give Him everything–or perhaps now, it is just that small thing—but can you see how much it means to Him? Can you fathom that He will hold the memory of it sacred throughout all the ages? Can you taste of the wonder to which He has called us? Can you see clearly the inferiority of anything less than total abandonment to Him? Can you see how dead and worthless all idols are, contrasted against such a loving, living, eternally beautiful heart such as His?

For if we truly see the value of His shed blood, our response can only be one thing—

Here I am, Lord! I am YOURS!

There is blood between us and I will never forget it.

~Mercy Aiken

Advertisements

Read Full Post »