Links Daily Devotional

The Power of the Blood, Part 2

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13, NIV)

What is your favorite shot in the game?

Some would say the belted drive, right down the middle. Others love the lob shot knocked stiff. Or maybe it’s the long, double-breaking putt that falls gently over the front edge of the cup.

I like this one: the amazing shot from loads of trouble.

We’ve all made par from places we shouldn’t have—not after the tee shot we hit into thick trouble! And we all can replay in our minds Bubba Watson’s Masters-securing wedge from the pine straw far right of the tenth fairway at Augusta. We remember shots like these and tell their stories because they simply shouldn’t have happened. Maybe they didn’t even “deserve” to happen!

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, the apostle kept going back to the active ingredient in our salvation: the blood of Jesus.

In the second chapter of this letter, he was writing to his Gentile friends, those who did not start with access to Israel like he and his fellow Jews had known. The Jewish people were born into Israel (not the nation but the lineage, understand). They were insiders to the promises sealed by God’s covenants, chiefly his covenant with Abraham. In this covenant, God established that it is faith that makes us righteous, not prescribed acts of the law.

But in order for this covenant to take eternal effect, perfect righteousness was required. One “without blemish” had to be sacrificed on our behalf once for all. This one was Jesus, in whom God dwelt.

You and I may have chosen another agent. Water, for instance, is a universal symbol of refreshing and cleanliness. But God made this promise and God made this plan.

Moreover, Paul was writing to the Ephesians, God’s plan included not only the genealogical descendants of Abraham; it included his descendants by faith—all those who put their trust in the saving blood of Jesus. Outsiders were now welcome. Those far away were being drawn in. People who had been in deep trouble now stood a chance at reward.

In golf, a “miracle” recovery may be of our own making, via a brilliant (or lucky!) shot. But in life we have only one shot at recovering from the personal spiritual mess we find ourselves in. That “shot” was struck by Jesus at the cross and it is still given to us today.

Jeff Hopper

June 26, 2013

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