I was sat quietly reflecting on some incidents in my life and as I did I remembered an incident from my time as a delivery boy for our local butcher. He had asked me to help him to pick up a side of beef which I did. But, as I turned away, I noticed that my finger was bleeding quite badly. I had cut it on the bone of the meat we were picking up.
I went home and it was still bleeding so I poured a bowl of cold water and stuck my hand in it; hoping that it would stop the bleeding. It did but what happened was that the water in the bowl turned completely red and when my mom saw it she nearly fainted because she thought it was a bowl full of blood. That incident gave me a talking point for some time afterwards as my friends wanted to see the scar it had left. I still carry the scar of that incident to this day on the end of my finger although now it is scarcely visible. Please form an orderly queue anyone that wants to examine it!! It's the index finger of my right hand!!
I could go on and tell you how excruciating was the pain. I could even tell you how I still returned to work the next day. I might even mention that the butcher I worked for never even asked me if I was ok. But, in truth, I'm not going to because that could be seen as me showing off and feeling bitter. Anyway.....
That set me thinking. The Bible tells us that we are able to draw near to the throne of grace, with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). I don't know about you but that is something I have come to appreciate very much as I have grown in my faith. Why? Because there are times when I know that God's mercy and grace are readily available to me at all times but what I really have come to appreciate more and more is the means by which we can draw near to our awesome God.
Our confidence is based entirely on the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:9). It's His sacrifice that makes our ability to approach the throne of grace possible. It is not our own ability or our own achievements or our own worthiness; it is entirely down to the blood of Jesus.
The Bible tells us that, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. If Jesus had not hung on the Cross of Calvary; if He had not shed His blood as a completely innocent sacrifice for my sake I would still be lost, without hope in a decaying culture and a dying world.
But because He did I who was once lost am now found. I who was blind (to the truth of God's love for me) can now see. I was once far away from God but now I have been brought near. I was a stranger but now I am a son of the Living God. I was a sojourner but now I am a member of the household of God. I was unsaved but now I am saved. I lived in darkness but now I live in the light.
What I find to be truly a blessing is the realisation and appreciation of the fact that not only am I saved by the blood of the Saviour (it was all that was needed and enough to deliver me from the kingdom of darkness) but that His blood avails for me and goes on cleansing me from all my failures, inadequacies and sins. It's enough to last me my lifetime.
What is this to do with the bowl of water when I was younger and my finger dipped in the bowl? It has much to do with it. You see the blood that came from my finger was enough to spread through the whole bowl full of water to make it permanently red. On that basis do you not think that the blood of Christ has enough strength to cover the whole of your life. His blood avails for me yesterday, today and for ever.
Now there's a thought.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)