The blood of Jesus Christ flows through His body, the Church. Blood performs specific vital functions in our physical beings. The blood of Jesus Christ is no less vital in the spirit realm. And we can learn of the reality of one from the science of the other. In the natural, blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Let us look at each in turn to learn more about what the blood does in the body of Christ.
Red Blood Cells
We need oxygen to survive. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air. By God’s design, the breath of life is carried by our blood, specifically by its red cells. They transport oxygen to each and every one of our cells. In like manner the blood of Jesus Christ brings the life of the Holy Spirit to each of us.
During their wilderness wanderings, the Israelites whined for water. The Lord commanded Moses to strike the rock and water would come forth. This was a type of the crucifixion, for Christ was that Rock and water poured from His side when He was pierced. When faced with the same problem later, the Lord gave Moses a different directive. “Speak to the rock,” He said, “and it will pour out its water.” This was intended to be a type of Pentecost when God poured out His Holy Spirit upon all those who asked, but Moses disobeyed and spoiled the type. Angry with the children of Israel, he struck the rock twice. If you want to know how seriously God takes His types, you need look no further than Moses’ punishment. The man who had led Israel faithfully for forty years from Egypt through the wilderness was denied access to the Promised Land right at its border. Spoiled type or no, we can understand the principle—because Jesus was struck and bled, we can speak and be filled.
1 John 5:7-8
7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. NIV
The Spirit, the water (which in this verse symbolizes the Word), and the blood all agree; they all speak the same thing. The redemptive promises of God became effective through the outpoured blood of the Son. That same blood speaks and bids the Spirit come and testify of its saving power with signs and miracles. The application of the blood ensures the presence of the Holy Spirit.
White Blood Cells
In our physical bodies, white blood cells keep us healthy by eating intruders and producing antibodies. They are on the front line of our autoimmune system. In like manner, the blood of Jesus Christ brings healing to the body.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…
One of the curses of the law is sickness and disease upon the sinful and disobedient. Sin in our lives gives legal ground for sickness to enter in. Disobedience to the laws of God is sure to bring disease. Because we have forgiveness through His blood, our sins and diseases can be healed.
When accused of blasphemy for forgiving sins, Jesus asked the doubters which was easier, to heal a man’s disease or forgive His sins. The question must have been somewhat rhetorical because He didn’t wait for a reply. He simply healed the man of his palsy to prove He had the power to forgive sins. Which is easier? To common man both are difficult, and from our perspective it may appear that both are easy to an all powerful God. But to heal only requires the work of His fingers; redemption calls for the bearing of His arm. All physical healing is evidence of God’s grace to forgive sins, but His grace to forgive sins is made possible only by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it was much harder, much costlier to say “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” than to say, “take up thy bed and walk.” And because the blood would do its work, the Spirit agreed and healed the man.
Hebrews 10:29 teaches us that to despise the blood, to treat it as an unholy thing, is to spite the Spirit of grace. What we think of the blood we will think of the Spirit. Our attitude toward the one will determine our attitude toward the other. When we begin to appreciate the power of love that God showed in blood on the cross, we will begin to understand how truly powerful the Spirit is. Would you like to say to the infirm, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk,” and actually see it happen? Then answer this question in your heart: How much did you believe Him when He said to you, “Be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven”?
Personal sin brings disease into the body of Christ. His blood responds quickly to eliminate the invader. More powerful than white blood cells or antibiotics, the blood of Jesus destroys sin and takes it away. It is like being sick and then getting well—the bug is gone. The white cells have eaten the invader or destroyed it by producing antibodies. These invaders that cause autoimmune responses from our bodies are called antigens. When they enter the body they are recognized as being against our genetic makeup. Sin is against our spiritual DNA. It causes an autoimmune response in the body of Christ, the major symptom of which is the fever of conviction.
Have you ever been really ill? Have you ever been so sick that you thought you were going to die, but were afraid you wouldn’t? How much time do you spend moaning and groaning about it now that you are well? Once you’re over the flu, do you sit and wring your hands wondering if you’re truly well? I bet you don’t; I know I don’t. But how often do we sit and moan over sins that we have placed under the blood and wring our hands wondering if we are truly forgiven? His blood cleanses our sins just as surely as our white blood cells eradicate disease.
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Any gospel aside from the gospel of Jesus Christ brings a curse on the proclaimer. Only the true gospel of salvation by grace because of our purchased redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ is healthy for the body. “Another gospel” and “another Jesus” are treated as antigens in the body of Christ by His blood. They are antigens because they bring “another spirit” which we haven’t received. His blood removes these impurities from the body by destroying the carriers through a curse. Just as the white blood cells produce antibodies that annihilate antigens, the truth of forgiveness and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses the body of pathogenic belief systems and false messiahs.
Platelets are what cause blood to coagulate. Without them, we could bleed to death even from a minor cut. When our bodies are wounded, the platelets form a matrix upon which the clots form. These clots close the wound and allow it to heal. Wounds appear in the body when its members are separated from each other traumatically. The body has been crushed, pierced, ripped, or cut. When this happens, we bleed. Persecution has never wounded the body of Christ as severely as offenses between the members. Offenses cause traumatic separations between us, and the body of Christ begins to bleed.
God says that we are forgiven for Christ’s sake. And it was His blood which bought that forgiveness. When we are fully aware of the weight of our own sins and the cost of canceling their debt, forgiveness toward others should not be difficult. We are to forgive because Christ forgave us. If we don’t, we leave the wound open and the body of Christ in danger of infection. When we do forgive, the blood of Jesus Christ which speaks better things forms a clot over the wound between us, connecting what has been separated. Our relationship might be a bit crusty and tender to the touch for a while, but eventually, as we walk in the healing power of forgiveness through the blood, our relationship will be fully restored.
Among other things, plasma keeps our body temperature regulated. When a member of our body has lost circulation it grows cold. We restrict the circulation in the body of Christ when we forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We need to fellowship with one another to allow the blood of Jesus Christ to circulate through us and keep us at the correct temperature.
Remember the church of Laodicea? The Lord rebuked them because they were lukewarm. They were closer to room temperature than they were to body temperature. Medically, we would call them hypothermic. What was the Lord’s solution?
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
“Be zealous…and repent.” To be zealous means to be full of warmth. It comes from a root which means to be hot or to boil up. When we repent, His blood cleanses us of all sin. We are reconnected to the blood supply and our spiritual temperature comes back up. Even as plasma works to keep our body temperature even, the blood of Jesus Christ works in His body to keep us fervent for Him.