Among Paul’s so-called “new creatures” are armed-robbers, bank-robbers and “pen-robbers.”
There is a popular Christian song that goes: “There is power mighty in the blood of Jesus Christ.” Another one just like it says “the blood of Jesus sets me free from sin and sorrow.” The mighty power in the blood of Jesus is an article of faith of Pauline Christians. That power, they maintain, is the power to heal and to cleanse from sin.
However, songs like these are not rooted in the doctrine of Jesus. Jesus never taught that there is power in his blood. Neither did he say his blood will set us free from anything. The glorification of the blood of Jesus is anathema to Christ, concocted by Paul and pseudepigraphical writers who never heard Jesus preach.
I have yet to meet any Christian who has been set free from sin by the blood of Jesus. Among Paul’s so-called “new creatures” are armed-robbers, bank-robbers and “pen-robbers.” Nevertheless, we Christians fool ourselves by insisting we have been set free from sin. Jesus gave us a practical faith, but Paul’s Christology has infused it with vain platitudes.
The word of power
The mighty power consistently displayed throughout the gospels is not in the blood but in the word of Jesus. Luke observes the people were astonished at Jesus’ doctrine because “his word was with power” (Luke 4:32). Jesus healed the sick and cleansed lepers with his word. At Jesus’ word, Peter caught more fish than he could handle. At his word, water was turned into wine. At his word, money for the temple tax was found in the mouth of a fish.
Jesus stilled the storm with his word. He cursed a fig-tree and it dried up to the roots. He cast out demons “with a word” (Matthew 8:16). He “cleansed” his disciples with his word (John 15:3). He raised the dead with his word (John 11:43). He forgave sins with his word (Luke 5:20). He awarded eternal life with his word (Luke 23:43). He did all this that we might recognise he alone has the words that lead to eternal life (John 6:68).
Jesus is “the word of God.” He is not “the blood of God.” The Good Shepherd leads with his voice and not with his blood. Salvation comes by heeding the word of Jesus and not by drinking his blood. The blood of Jesus does not heal the heart of a sinner, but the word of Jesus does.
Jesus says: “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). But surprisingly, we do not sing that “obeying the word of Jesus sets us free from sin and sorrow.” Neither do we sing that “there is power mighty in the word of Jesus Christ.”
A practical faith
Jesus says his doctrine is practically demonstrable: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority” (John 7:17).
I have seen Jesus’ word work “like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29). I have seen it bring hardened sinners to tearful repentance. I have seen it heal wounded hearts. It has sown God’s righteousness in countless.
But I have also discovered that the so-called power in the blood of Jesus belongs in the realms of pagan mythology. For example, I have yet to hear of anybody who died in the past 2,000 years during holy communion as a result of drinking Jesus’ blood “unworthily,” as Paul predicts (1 Corinthians 11:27-30).
“Pleading the blood”
Mr. Edward Sesan brought his new car to church for dedication. A group of us “soaked the car and covered it with the blood of Jesus.” To use the Christian lingo, we “pleaded” the blood of Jesus on it.
This Christian practice of curious origin entails decreeing that the object in question be protectively covered by the blood of Jesus against theft and accidents. But you may well ask whether Jesus also died for cars. Nevertheless, that was what we believed, or what we were erroneously taught to believe.
A few months thereafter, Mr. Sesan was travelling on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. According to his own report, he briefly dozed off at the wheel. When his wife noticed this, she hit him abruptly on the shoulder to wake him up. He woke up in a panic which sent the car into a somersault. It somersaulted several times before finally coming to a stop in a ditch.
This new car we had covered and soaked in the blood of Jesus was a complete write-off. It was so banged up and damaged; it could not even be repaired.