There’s Something About Red

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life.” “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” “And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him.” “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers… with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” “The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” Leviticus 17:11,14; Luke 22:44; 23:33; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7

There is nothing like the color red. God made it to stand out. A stately Mrs. Lincoln in a rose garden, a male cardinal on a rainy day, ripe cherries on a fruit tray, glossy berries on a holly tree. Our blue blood courses through our veins, giving us life, but when we are cut and it hits the air, we bleed red, shocking with its color. We can be both drawn to and repulsed by it, a shout that seems not to fit in anywhere but is always a “pop” that startles our attention. The Bible has a scarlet thread woven from beginning to end that stands out as the theme of redemption and ties its unified story together.

In the garden, God covered Adam and Eve’s newly discovered shame with clothes of animal skins that necessitated the first blood sacrifice, and when God instituted the law at Sinai, the consecrated priests were to atone for sin through the shed blood of animal sacrifices. Not only was the life of the creature in their blood, but that very blood offered is what gave the ‘life’ of forgiveness and cleansing to the people. For us, our sins are scarlet and crimson shocks against God’s holiness, but wondrously, mysteriously, His red blood sacrificed on Calvary covers and cleanses them to become white as snow and wool. What wondrous love is this! (Genesis 3:7-13,21; Isaiah 1:18)

“See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?”  ~Isaac Watts (1707)


Where do I need His blood applied? Though I am by God’s grace clothed with salvation, what areas in my life continue on in red rebellion against His holiness and purity? What stubbornness pulses through me untouched, and needs to be sweated out like drops of blood in full surrender through agonizing prayer? What ongoing habits do I need to leave once for all at the foot of the cross? I can know what is true, yet fail to live as though I do. May it no longer be! (Romans 6:1,4,7)

Lord and Savior, whenever I see red, remind me of Your precious blood and life given so new, abundant life could be received. As You bring sins to my mind, let me reason with You in sincere confession and proceed as one fully washed and forgiven. May I never cease to thank You. (Isaiah 1:18; John 10:10; 13:8-10; 1 John 1:9)


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