Preaching is an art form. The preacher's personality, style, culture, and experience make up their respective genre. On many occasions, preachers are also poets. We use poetic imagery to describe the unexplainable in its simple form. Unfortunately, some take particular liberty and license to rephrase or paraphrase God's word. This rephrasing God's word in its poetic simplification causes us to err. God demand that His word remains pure. God instructs us not to add to His word or take away from His word [Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:19].
Before Jesus came to redeem us from sin, God still forgave, but He worked through Priests. The Priest would sacrifice a pure animal without a defect. A person would bring his sacrifice to the Priest, who would complete several steps in slaughtering the animal and presenting the blood to God. The Priests would sprinkle the blood around the altar and the entryway after the sacrifice [Leviticus 3:2] God accepted this as payment or atonement for the people's sins, and God forgave them.
When man's approach and routine sacrifice for sin became displeasing to God, He purchased our lives with His blood. God paid the price for our freedom from sin through the death of Jesus Christ [Galatians 3; 13-15]. Just as the Priest made sacrifices in the Old Testament, Jesus gave His life and shed His blood to reconcile us from sin if we believe in Him. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin." [1 John 1:7]. Jesus demonstrated the significance of His blood as part of the Last Supper with His disciples. As the disciples sat together, Jesus said, "Take it and eat it, for this is my body' "[Matthew 26:26]. He then gave thanks, offered them the cup, and said, "Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which seals the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many' "[Matthew 26:27-28]. From Christ's crucifixion to the communion sacrament, the blood of Jesus symbolizes the cleansing of our sins.
When we repent of our sin and accept the sacrifice of Jesus, we become part of the family of God! Because of the power of Jesus' blood, God is our Father, and we can have a loving relationship with Him [Hebrews 10:19, 22]. God redeemed man and regain His relationship, which He established with Adam. The shed blood of Jesus Christ made peace with God [Colossians 1:20].
"Covered by the blood of Jesus is a poetic expression in preaching. God did not cover us with His blood. However, we thank God for Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for our sins. Jesus made the payment required to redeem us. Because of His shed blood, we have access to God. Because of this access, we have God's grace to help us in the time of need [Hebrews 4:15-16].
Bishop John C. Parks, Th.D., BS, MBA, ESPO
President, the Gathering International Network