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Richard Bennett :: Chapter 8 Where Can I Find Life?

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Your Quest for God — Chapter 8

Where Can I Find Life?

In the electronic atmosphere of the operation room, every surgeon learns to identify blood with life. The two are inseparable: you lose one, you lose both.

—Dr. Paul Brand

It was fast approaching the midnight hour. In the middle of a tedious eighteen hour railway journey, my wife and I were with hundreds of fellow-travelers at Gare St. Lazare railway station in Paris. We all waited patiently for the railway official to open the ticket barrier and let us proceed to our train.

The vast majority of those around us were young people. As Dorothy and I mingled among them, it seemed that every country in Europe was represented in the throng. Some of the fellows and girls tried to catch a nap, using their haversack as a poor substitute for a comfortable pillow. While they sprawled on the stone paving, their friends stood guard and munched a sandwich or sipped a bottle of water.

During our wait, we chatted and laughed with a number of these young people. In spite of their youthful excitement, when their facade was down, most of them were conscious that they had not yet found that illusive ‘life’ for which they were searching. Before long, our conversation turned to the Person who was travelling with Dorothy and me—the Lord Jesus Christ!

As we talked, some of these restless and adventuresome young people opened up and shared with us their desire to find ‘real’ life. Some hoped it would be in the next city; some thought it might be in the next friendship; others unabashedly believed they would expand their life experience in the next drug fix or booze party. Of great concern to some was the fear of being infected with a deadly disease.

In remote African villages, they call this feared plague ‘the thin man’s disease.’ In medical parlance it is diagnosed as HIV positive. When fully developed in a man, woman, boy or girl, it is known as AIDS. The dreaded news of having contracted this disease is always the same: instant and utter devastation! Around the world, people know that the terrible affliction of AIDS is a ‘blood disease.’ Whereas the blood stream should be a cleansing river of life, it has become a contaminated river of death.

I have to admit, however, that though blood is a vital life-giving stream, to me the sight of blood has always been repulsive. In fact, in a bold effort to overcome my phobia, I once accepted an invitation to view a surgical operation from an observation tower at a hospital in London. As the scalpel made its incision into the patient’s skin, once again I nearly fainted. My doctor friend, who noticed that I was bathed in perspiration and ashen-white, suggested that I step out of the viewing room. I needed no further persuasion!

But, regardless of a person’s reaction to the sight of blood, life and health can be restored to a person who is seriously hemorrhaging by giving a blood transfusion. Today, because of the marvels of modern science, blood taken from the veins of a healthy individual can later be introduced as a life-giving river into the veins of a dying or seriously ill patient.

Long before medical research began to unfold the marvels and mysteries of blood, God Himself declared: For the life of the flesh is in the blood…(Leviticus 17:11 NASB). Dr. Paul Brand succinctly agrees that blood contains the essence of life: “In the electronic atmosphere of the operation room, every surgeon learns to identify blood with life. The two are inseparable: you lose one, you lose both.”

However, many people are not aware that, although blood contaminations such as the HIV infection are selective depending upon exposure, there is another ‘disease’ that is universal. Because God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26 KJV); this deathly contamination has afflicted the whole human race. In the Bible, its source is traced back to Adam, the progenitor of all successive generations.

When: the first man, Adam, (1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB) sinned, all subsequent generations, of whatever color of skin, place of residence or station in life, came under the sentence of death. The Bible clearly states:…in Adam all die…(1 Corinthians 15:22 NASB). Yes, as with AIDS death is carried to the body through contaminated blood, so too this contamination caused by sin has been passed on from generation to generation. If this had not been so, people would have gone straight to Heaven without passing through the valley of physical disease and death. But such is not the case.

Thank God, however, that when Jesus was born, a life-giving stream of Blood was introduced into the human race. This is how it happened. The angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to conceive and bear a Son and that His name would be called Jesus. Gabriel also explained to this chaste, unmarried virgin how her conception would occur.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35 NASB).

A miracle took place when the seed of the woman was fertilized by the Seed of the Holy Spirit. In this dramatic event the Life of God was introduced to the human race. Then, as the babe began to grow in the womb of Mary, and blood circulated in the embryo, His precious Blood was unadulterated and uncontaminated. Yes, the Blood of the Lord Jesus was Life itself![1]

Human blood is an incredibly complex substance. Even today, those involved in medical research continue to discover more of the life-giving secrets of this miraculous fluid. In simple terms, some of the functions of blood in the human body can be described as: body-cleansing, life-supplying and disease-repelling. Marvelous as this may be, it is even more wonderful to know that God has made available to you and me a Blood-stream that has similar yet far more miraculous purposes. And that Blood is there for all those who seek ‘real’ life. For the sinner, the Blood of Jesus is God’s cleansing agent from sin. For the spiritually dead, His precious Blood transfuses Life with a capital ‘L’. For the spiritually alive, the Blood of Jesus is God’s protecting agent from the attacks of Satan. Of this precious Blood we read:

Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19 NASB).

The Blood: Its Cleansing Power

A while back, the news media reported that a greedy transport firm had compromised hygienic requirements. To increase their profit, this firm had utilized a tank truck to carry poisonous products in one direction and then, unofficially, used the same tank to carry a fluid food product on the return journey. This resulted in many people becoming critically ill.

However, in the human body, God has made a miraculous transport system that both carries food to the cells and at the same time scavenges the refuse. And because of God’s perfect creation, there is no cross-contamination within the bloodstream. Amazingly, no cell in the human body is more than a hair’s breadth from a blood capillary. If poisonous products were not eliminated from these cells, the inevitable result would be disease and death.

And that is exactly what God has described when He explained His method of removing the contaminating presence of sin from our lives. Such cleansing is only through the precious Blood of Jesus: but if we walk in the light as He Himself 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 NASB). Furthermore, God has said that there is no other way that our sins can be forgiven, for without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22 NASB).

The Blood: Its Life-Giving Power

Another function of the blood is to carry the needed water and nourishment throughout the body to sustain life. If blood fails to reach the cells and tissues of the body, those body structures promptly die. Thus the body dies when the blood ceases to circulate. Obviously, the life is in the blood.

Realizing this, we are reminded of the words of the Lord Jesus that so startled His disciples when He spoke of His own Blood. He emphatically said:

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink (John 6:53-55 NASB).

However, Jesus went on to clarify His real meaning. He said:… he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him (John 6:56 NASB). What a joy it is to understand the true source of spiritual life! The Blood of Jesus was shed to redeem sinners from their sin. And because of His shed Blood we can now partake of His shared life. The Lord Jesus explained the true meaning of drinking His Blood when He said—‘I in him’! Marvelous!

Having personally experienced the resurrection power of Christ’s indwelling presence, believers can triumphantly testify: “the risen Christ now lives in me!” For such people, the partaking of bread and wine at a communion service is a simple and symbolic act of thanksgiving and testimony. [2]

The germinal life-giving power of the precious Blood of Jesus is miraculously conveyed to the life of the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit when he is born from above. Yes, basic to every person’s search for life is the need of a life-giving ‘Blood transfusion.’

The Blood: Its Protecting Power

There is yet another miracle function of the human blood. Not only is the blood life-cleansing and life-giving but it is also life-protecting.

Fear spread around the world when the bubonic plague was diagnosed in India. Inter-continental jet aircraft which originated in that country were fumigated and, in some cases, the passengers were temporarily quarantined for medical examination. Lest this killer disease should spread to other countries, a temporary embargo was then placed on all subsequent flights leaving India.

Even without the threat of bubonic plague there is always a constant bombardment of the human body by alien and life-threatening germs. But the blood has a marvelous mechanism of counterattack. It carries in its life-defending stream antitoxins and other specific substances which defend the system against bacterial invasion. When such an invasion occurs the white blood cells (primarily there for defensive purposes) dramatically increase in number and jump into a defensive mode.

How wonderful to know that the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, much like the marvelous power of human blood, also has a life-protecting ministry. It is the Blood of Jesus Christ that protects the believer from the constant bombardment of Satanic forces. In the prophecy about the end-time battle between Satan and God’s people, we read: And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death (Revelation 12:11 NASB). You also can overcome the foul advances of the devil by the protecting power of the precious Blood of Jesus.

This victory of Jesus over Satan was prophesied immediately following the devil’s seduction of Adam and Eve. Then, the Lord God promised that it would be the seed of the woman who would cause his doom. And I will put enmity…between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel (Genesis 3:15 NASB). The seed of the woman would crush Satan’s head but not before that serpent had fanged Messiah’s heel. Yes, it was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the seed of the woman, who shed His precious Blood so that:

Through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14 KJV).

Unlike the illusion-chasing students we met at Gare St. Lazare station in Paris, many others have discovered the source of real life.

Some time ago, Dorothy and I met with a hundred Ugandans who were assured that they had found true life. In the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ they had discovered a heartcleansing, life-giving and devil-resisting power. They could truly attest that, for them, the old things had passed away and that everything had become new.

Although it was against the advice of Embassy officials in Kenya who had warned us of impending danger, my wife and I, urged by the Spirit of God, proceeded to Uganda. God had planned the timing of our protracted seminar with Ugandan pastors and their wives. As we later discovered, He had also pre-planned our return flight. (It so happened that ours was the last plane to leave Entebbe before yet another military coup.)

Immediately upon our arrival at the airport, we sensed an atmosphere of tension and fear. The confusion and dirt we encountered were indescribable. One of the few cars in the region had been made available for us to drive from the airport on a road that was still pitted with bomb holes. After a short distance we were apprehended at gunpoint by unruly soldiers. We didn’t know whether they were government soldiers, anti-government soldiers or just thugs dressed in soldiers’ uniforms. Remarkably, they soon recognized our driver as belonging to their own tribe so they reluctantly allowed us to proceed without our being robbed or hurt in any way.

Upon arriving at our destination, my wife and I found the meeting place for our seminars to be a dark and dirty structure in the middle of a fear-ridden community. When the pastors and their wives arrived, however, we soon forgot these surroundings. It was the Lord Himself who graced us with an overwhelming sense of His glory and His presence. Those meetings in Uganda will forever be etched in our memory as a mountain-top experience of our meeting with the Living God.

With rapt attention, the pastors and their wives sat on uncomfortable benches for eight hours a day to hear Dorothy and me share God’s truth from the Bible. As I taught, my wife wrote my outlines on an old blackboard to help the listeners take notes on treasured scraps of paper. Suddenly, there was a scuffle at the door. Though one of the drunken men with his rifle had been apprehended at the entrance, his partner had pushed his way through the crowd, brandishing his rifle as he pointed it at Dorothy’s heart.

“Let’s all pray that this dear man will come to know Jesus,” she quietly said.

After moments which, to me, had seemed like an eternity, my interpreter turned to me with absolute astonishment: “I can’t believe what that drunken soldier has said—he just said, ‘I want to know this woman’s God.’”

Even as the translator spoke, I saw a sight I will never forget. Whatever the cause—whether it was an angel compelling the intruder to his knees, whether it was the awesome sense of God’s holiness and power which had prevailed in our meetings becoming too much for the drunken soldier, or whether it was a voluntary act of humility prompting him to openly express his heart’s deep need—I know not. What I do know is that at that precise moment the barrel of the rifle slowly slipped downward and then the intended weapon of destruction dropped to the ground as the soldier fell to his knees.

This was no moment for a well-thought-out after-meeting of instruction! And Dorothy knew it. “Pray this prayer after me,” she said. Then, step by step she led this poor deluded and needy soul to the foot of the Cross—to the Savior of sinful men— where he found the source of all true life through the Blood of Jesus.

Why do I share this experience now? Simply because of what happened next in that memorable meeting.

In our gathering there were many men who might have had every reason to fear and even hate the intruder who had so violently made his way into our meeting. There were those among us whose lives had recently been threatened. One pastor present had even had his fingers blown off by such a soldier during an aborted attempt to kill him. But because they knew and loved the Lord Jesus in a personal way, these very men gathered around him to embrace him and pray for their new brother in Christ.

Then, without any musical accompaniment, but in glorious African harmony, they burst into song. My heart is still filled with awe as I reflect upon the words sung:

  Oh, the Blood of Jesus,
    Oh, the Blood of Jesus,
  Oh, the Blood of Jesus,
    That cleanses me from sin.

If only our world leaders could have been with us that day. Surely they, too, would have witnessed God’s only solution to inter-tribal, inter-racial and international conflict:

And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20 NASB)…And you, that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled…(Colossians 1:21 KJV).

Yes, only those who have been brought into a right relationship with God, “by His [Christ’s] blood…shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him… much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:9-10 NASB).

Pause to Consider

  1. Do you really desire ‘life’ with a capital ‘L’? This is the life that the Lord Jesus described when He said: I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly (John 10:10 NASB).
  2. According to the Bible, where in the human body is life to be found? (Read Leviticus 17:11 NASB).
  3. What is the eternal significance of the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus?
    • Are you trusting in its cleansing power?
    • Are you trusting in its life-giving power?
    • Are you trusting in its protecting power?
    • The Lord Jesus said: I am the resurrection, and the life; he who believes in Me, shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11:25-26 NASB).

[1] In his book: The Chemistry of the Blood, M. R. DeHaan, M.D., quotes several recognized physiological, obstetric and nursing publications and concludes: “The mother provides the fetus (the unborn developing infant) with nutritive elements for the building of that little body in the secret of her womb, but all the blood which forms in it is formed in the embyro itself. From the time of conception to the time of birth not one single drop of blood ever passes from the mother to the child.’ However, commenting on DeHaan’s view, Dr. Robert E. Coleman in his book: Written in Blood states: ‘Without trying to discredit this position, [DeHaan’s view that the blood of the human body is formed in the fetus itself by the introduction of the male sperm, and therefore has no direct contact with the mother’s body] I think it is only fair to note that other medical doctors seriously question its validity. However, regardless of the biological nature of the situation, I see no reason why it should be an issue. The fact that Jesus was conceived by God would itself rule out the hereditary transmission of sin when considering the Biblical significance of the Blood of Jesus.’

[2] Sadly, there are millions of people who still persist in believing that the bread and the wine served at certain ‘Eucharists’ are literally changed into Christ’s physical flesh and blood. What our Lord intended to be understood as a symbol of His indwelling life has tragically been understood as a literal and physical fact.

Chapter 7 Does God Truly Love Me? ← Prior Section
Chapter 9 How Can I Become a Part of God’s Family? Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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