From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

Blood of Christ

The use of the word “Blood” in The Bible surely cannot always mean that red stuff that flows through our bodies, and “the blood of Christ” seems to have little to with our salvation.

Whenever The Bible refers to the Cross before it happened, it looks forward to the time of Jesus’ death, but after the event the results are through his “blood”. While there is much written of the theory behind Jesus’ achievement on the Cross; his “blood” is hardly ever mentioned.

Perhaps it is a miss translation, so let’s have a look at one of the passages;

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

The original language of The New Testament is Ancient Greek and Ephesians 2:13 in the Greek looks like this:-

νυνι δε ’εν χριστώ ιησου ύμεις οϊ ποτε οντες μακραν έγενήθητε ’εγγυς ’εν τω αϊματι τοΰ χριστοΰ

To assist me in my research into The Bible I have prepared a system whereby I have recorded all the technical details of all the Greek words that make up The New Testament. Each Greek letter has been given an English letter so that the computer I had 35 years ago could cope.

0213 nuni adverb   of time d nuni 30 now, at   this very moment, precisely now, states conclusion. as it is,
0213 de a   conjunctive particle c de 1161 on the   other hand, moreover, but, marks beginning of interrupted sentence.
0213 en preposition   taking the dative,p en 1722 taking   the dative after it, in, on, at, with, among, during time, at then,
0213 xristw dat n xristos 5547 anointed.   of the Messiah, Christ, Jesus the Christ,
0213 iysou gen dat   voc n iysous 2424 Jesus,   (Joshua), whose help is Jehovah
0213 humeis nom pl r su 4771 pronoun   of the 2nd person, thou, if it be thou,
0213 hoi1 nom pl   masc l hos 3739 a   demonstrative pronoun, this,that, a relative pronoun, who which, what,
0213 pote enclit.part   d pote 4218 once, at   some time or other, formerly, aforetime, now at length,
0213 ontes nom pl   masc part pres t eimi 1510 to   exist, to be, to live, to be found, to stay, be in a place.
0213 makran acc sing   fem r makros 3117 long,   remote, distant, far off, of time long, lasting long, to pray long,
0213 egenycyte 2pers pl   aor1 ind pass v ginomai 1096 to   become, to come into existence, begin to be, receive being, happen,
0213 eggus adv.   near d eggus 1451 near, to   be brought near, to make nigh, make a proselyte,
0213 en preposition   taking the dative,p en 1722 taking   the dative after it, in, on, at, with, among, during time, at then,
0213 tw dat   masc\neut sing l tw Eph. Definite   article, The.
0213 haimati dat sing   n haima 0129 blood,   whether of man or animals, blod shed or to be shed by violence,
0213 tou gen   masc\neut sing l tou Eph. Definite   article, The.
0213 xristou gen n xristos 5547 annointed,   Jesus as Christ, of the Messiah, of the coming of the King.

I will translate this passage just to see what it looks like.

nuni- adverb of time – now

de –conjunctive particle indicates contrast instead

en- preposition taking the dative – in

xristw- indirect object – Christ

iysou- indirect object – Jesus   

humies – nominative (object) 2 persons plural – we all

hoi – nominative plural masculine who

pote- enclitic particle – formally

ontes – accusative (object) plural masculine participle(verbal adjective) present tense – existing

makran- accusative singular feminine – remote

agenycte – 2 persons plural aorist tense (action in a point of time) indicative (statement) passive voice (the subject receives the action of the verb – we receive

eggus – adverb near – to be brought near

en- preposition taking the dative – in

tw – dative( indirect object) masculine definite article the

haimati – dative (indirect object) – blood

tou – genitive (indicates possession) definite article – of the

xristou – genitive (indicates possession) – Christ

Now instead, in Christ Jesus we all who formally existing remote, we receive to be brought near in the blood of the Christ.

It is easy to understand how the translators came to their conclusion of Ephesians 2:13 and to except it as an accurate English translation of the Greek.

The “Blood of Christ” seems to be the healing agent that brings us close to God, but where does blood enter the story of Jesus Christ?

So let’s start at the beginning of it to find out.

A very long time ago God and the angels lived in Heaven, it was perfect in every way with the “love of God” ruling it through a system called “Grace”. Grace simply indicates the policy of God whereby he provides everything that is needed at no cost to any of the angels, nor did they have to earn or deserve any of the provision God supplied. All the angels had to do was to ask and God would grant it.

Life in Heaven was wonderful beyond description as the “Love of God” maintained a friendly and prosperous environment without a sign of strain or limitation. How long it had been like this is beyond my understanding, but there came a point when it suddenly changed.

An angel “O Morning Star, Son of Dawn” said to himself “I will make myself like the Most High”. (NIV) (Isaiah 14: 14) Morning Star saw the ease at which God controlled the situation and with everything within his reach the whole situation seemed so easy; in fact anyone could do it.

Before this the angels had only dealt with the “God of love” and he appeared an easy target, but there had been no occasion when his strength or authority was challenged.

No disciplinary action had ever occurred because it was never needed, so no-one had any idea of what it might be like if it happened.

But when the pride of O Morning Star challenged the authority of God the “Justice of God” sprang into action and he was a completely different “God” to the one they had experienced up to this point.

The pride of Morning Star was the first imperfection ever and “Justice” had to do something about it so Heaven would not be contaminated, therefore he condemned Morning star to the earth immediately. At the same time Morning Star’s name was changed to Satan and with a bodily change from being an angel to become the Devil.

Satan convinced many other angels to follow him in his challenge and these became demons. Satan and his crew were sentenced to the earth where his sinfulness caused it to deteriorate so that it became formless and empty. (Genesis 1:2)

Because Satan and his demon friends cannot live in Heaven as their imperfections would eventually destroy it, a permanent place was required for them, so God created Hell.

The fires of Hell will burn all of their sins or imperfections as they happen and therefore the universe will be constantly cleansed.

The creation of Hell was a shock as they could not have imagined how much difference it would be to Heaven, and even though the “Love of God” usually carried out all of the angel’s requests, he could not help Satan and his followers in this case.

“God’s love” failed him in his time of serious need which raises the question; is the “Love of God” perfect or is this a weakness?

So there are at least two issues Satan has raised;-

1 Does he have a legitimate claim on the throne in Heaven?

2 Is the “Love of God” as perfect as God makes out?

To resolve these issues God restored the earth to something of its original glory and created man with the same ability as the angels to choose for or against God.

The choice for man revolved around two trees in the original garden; The tree of the knowledge of good and evil stood for Satan’s policy and we all know that Eve took some of its fruit and ate it, then gave some to Adam who ate some of it too.

Because “good and evil” is somewhat less than perfect, mankind became sinful at this point, which makes mankind sinful like Satan and his demon friends.

All eyes are now on God, in particular the “Love of God” to see what he will do.

Is the “Love of God” up to the task to help out mankind and can he come up with a solution, or is he unable to help out mankind as he was unable to help Satan and the demons?

As part of the resolution to this question God promised that the “love of God” would come to the earth as a separate identity to demonstrate his capabilities.

In the beginning was the “Word” and the “Word” was with God and the “Word” was God. (John 1:1)

A word is a finite collection of letters that gathers together all that those few letters mean, in the same way “The Word” gathers every attribute of God into a single finite being.

These attributes include God’s “Love” and his “Justice”. These two characteristics are mutually exclusive which means only one of them can function at one time.

So that the two could be recognized when God was using either “Love” or “Justice”, “Love” became flesh and dwelt among us, while God the Father continued to be “Justice”.

Now that “love” and “justice” are seen as two separate identities it can be demonstrated how they are both perfect and it is not God’s fault for Satan’s predicament. Satan has only himself to blame.

We all know that God did come up with a solution, which was in the form of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they did so because they were deceived by the serpent that convinced Eve it would not harm them. Their decision was based on the issues surrounding the fruit of the wrong tree and their action caused them to become sinful as Satan and his demons are sinful. But to this point neither Adam nor Eve have made a decision for or against God.

Once Adam and Eve were imperfect, perfection was out of their reach so their children were born imperfect. (Romans 5:12)

So we are all sinful like Satan and the demons, therefore we are condemned to be separated from God. At the same time everything we do is a rebellious action against him as we function from our sinfulness.

The question is; can God’s “love” help mankind?

Of course God’s “love” can do anything it wants, he is the creator as is “justice” and he has the resources and the understanding to do what has to be done.

However there is something “God” has decreed; he will not to interfere with the volition of his subjects, but he will hold us all responsible for every decision we all make.

Of course he has to maintain the eternal quality of his creation so we all have to accept his authority if we want to be part of it.

O Morning Star’s decision to become like the most High was not only a rebellious thought, but it was a rejection of the authority of God.

In the case of mankind both the perfect “Justice of God” and the perfect “love of God” are tested and both have to perform without compromise.

Jesus Christ (the “love of God”) was crucified on a Cross, and while he was there, God the Father (the “justice” of God) judged him for our sinfulness.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. (John 15:13) (NIV). So “love” and “justice” came through with flying colors.

But what exactly was placed on Jesus as he hung there on the Cross? While The New Testament says Jesus died for our sins, it does not say exactly what was placed on him to be judged.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”. (1 Corinthians 15:3) (NIV)

In some versions of The Bible there is a cross reference to Isaiah 53:6, this indicates that the actual things placed on Jesus is not explained in The New Testament.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, (H6588) he was bruised for our iniquities (H5771) the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity” (Isaiah 53:6) (KJV)

(The number in brackets is Strong’s number of the original Hebrew word of The Old Testament.)

Jesus was wounded for our transgression: the Hebrew word translated “transgression” means revolt or rebellion.

God the Father laid on him our perversity, which is moral evil, fault.

H6588 פֶּשַׁע peshaʽ peh’-shah From H6586; a revolt (national, moral or religious):—rebellion, sin, transgression, trespassive

H5771 עָווֹןעָוֹן ʽâvôn ʽâvôn aw-vone’, aw-vone’ From H5753; perversity, that is, (moral) evil:—fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin. (Strong’s numbers)

(H6588 and H5771 is straight from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.)

Jesus Christ was wounded for our transgressions (our rebelliousness), he was bruised for this fault or mischief (that is our rebelliousness) The Lord laid upon him this fault or mischief which is our rebelliousness.

This is what was place on Jesus while hung on the Cross.

So Christ died for our sins ( ͗αμαρτια) hamartia or sinfulness by being judged for our rebelliousness. Our rebelliousness against God makes us sinful (imperfect), which causes us to commit sins. Now the sins we have committed in the past and the ones we will commit in the future are simply the actions of an imperfect person living in an imperfect world.

Our rebelliousness was placed on Jesus and it was judged, so God’s “love” paid the penalty for our rebelliousness.

If our rebelliousness has been judged then a life with God is a definite possibility, our sins are not an issue as they are committed here on earth where it will never be perfect while Satan is in charge.

Besides it is Satan’s fault by convincing Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of “good and evil” we are sinful, therefore he has to try and overcome the sins we commit. The sins we commit has nothing to do with God and they will never have any effect on Heaven.

If God can deal with our rebelliousness, he could have dealt with the rebelliousness of Satan and the demons.

However the difference between “them” and “us” is the fact that “they” rejected God’s authority while “we” have only been rebellious. However the sins we commit are a sure sign we do not reach the standard of life needed to reach the righteousness of God.

So we are born sinful and rebellious towards God and “WE” still have to make our choice whether or not to accept or reject God’s authority.

“WE” can believe Jesus Christ has achieved our salvation and brought us near to God and therefore utilized all he has done for us.

So that is the story of the work of Christ on the Cross to the best of my ability, and through it he has brought us near who were once far from him.

Apart from a little blood and water he shed after he had died when a soldier pierced his side to be sure he was dead (John 19:34), but it is difficult to imagine this could have achieved all that his death managed.

I have looked at thousands of words and blood featured only once in a very minor role. There are so many books I have studied to tell this story, The New International Bible, The King James Bible, The Greek New Testament (Third Edition), Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon of The New Testament, The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised 1978 Edition, Wenham Elements of N. T. Greek, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance just to mention a few.

Words are the instrument by which a Gentile such as myself can learn of the wonders of God, but The Bible was not written by Gentiles but by Jews. The major difference between Jews and Gentiles is that the Jews learn the wonders of God through sacrifices, not by words as I have done.

An example of the sacrifices the Jews did their learning from is the “Burnt Offering” which is found in Leviticus Chapter One. The Burnt Offering sets the standard of sacrifices that are acceptable to God.

The sacrifice had to be male without a blemish on the outside, then after it was slaughtered all its internal organs were removed, washed and placed on the alter. Then when they were burnt on the altar they would send a sweet smell to the Lord. So a sacrifice without blemish on the outside and perfect on the inside is what is required if it is to please God.

If the Burnt Offering sets the standard, then the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross has to reach this standard also if he is to achieve its purpose. Therefore when the Jews look at the sacrifice of Jesus they compare it with the Burnt Offering to understand if his sacrifice reached the required standard.

Therefore at the Last Supper where everyone present were Jews whose only reference to the Cross is animal sacrifices. So Jesus in their presence aligns his death and sacrifice with the Burnt Offering.

After he took some bread and broke it, “Take it; this is my body” (Mark 14:22) Why would Jesus break the bread when his body was not broken in any way on the Cross. But the Burnt Offering was broken into pieces so that all its internal parts were exposed, in the same way that Jesus Christ was exposed on the Cross so everyone would know the standard of the Burnt Offering was attained.

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20)(NIV)

The little blood that bled when the soldier speared Jesus after he was already died hardly constitutes “poured out”, but in the Burnt Offering when the throat of the sacrifice was slashed, blood really did pour out as its heart kept on pumping.

The “new covenant” is the reality of salvation after the Cross in contrast to it only being a promise before the death of Christ.

So “The Blood of Christ” links “The Death of Christ” to the death of the sacrifice in the Burnt Offering which only the Jews can appreciate.

Because The Bible was written by Jews and a lot (even most) of it for Jewish readers, there are many times in our study of it we need understand its close connection it has to Israel.

Trevor Topsfield.

P.S. Below is further information required to understand the Greek of The New Testament I have used.

English/Greek Letter Code 

a = α alpha       b = β beta      c = θ theta        d =  δ  delta       e  = ε epsilon          f =  φ phi      g = γ  gamma        h = rough breathing        i =  ι iota         j = ψ psi        k = κ kappa          l = λ lambda          m = μ mu         n = ν nu         o = o omicron       p =  π pi          r =  ρ rho    s =  σ sigma           t =  τ tau    u = υ upsilon          v = ξ  xi       w = ω omega         x = χ chi           y = η eta            z = ζ zeta

 

A Simple Explanation of Greek Grammar

Nom      –  nominative       –     subject

Acc       –   accusative        –    direct object

Gen       –   genitive           –     indicates possession

Voc       –   vocative           –     calling to something

Dat        –   dative              –     indirect object 

Voice

Act         –   active             –     the subject does the action of the verb

Pas         –   passive           –     the subject receives the action of the verb

Mid        –   middle           –     the subject does it to himself 

Tense

Pres        –   present tense

Perf        –   prefect tense  –     an action with results that continue

Aor        –   Aorist tense    –     an action considered as a point in time

Imperf   –    imperfect       –     repeated action in past times

Plup       –   pluperfect       –     a completed action in the past with continuing results

Part        –   participle       –      verbal adjective  

Mood

Ind         –    indicative     –       makes a statement or asks a question     

Imper     –   imperative    –       is a command

Subj       –   subjunctive   –       expresses a wish

Infin      –   infinitive       –       a general action  

Person                Gender

1pers                   masc

2pers                   fem

3pers                   neut 

Pronouns

Demonstrative pronoun:    Showing ones feelings/explaining  or proving 

Most of this information comes from “Wenham’s Elements of N.T. Greek

Trevor Topsfield

 

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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