May God’s eternal love and boundless grace shine upon you through the redeeming cross of Christ. Today, we are in God’s grace. Jesus shows His love for all through the cross. We receive the precious gift by grace. Through His sacrifice, the Holy Spirit descends upon us, satisfying our longing hearts and bringing healing to our wounded souls. Jesus’ blood makes us belong to God. Our spirits find wholeness and restoration through God’s infinite love. As we open our hearts to the divine message and partake in the Holy Communion, we are enveloped in God’s enduring grace.
The power of the blood of Christ appears in the Book of Revelation. Today’s passage can be found in the introductory section of Revelation. Revelation 1:5 and 6 work as a doxology. Although doxology is commonly used to commence letters, this particular one holds far more than decorative value—it carries the living Word of God and conveys a powerful message of the blood’s significance. The power of Christ’s blood is not confined to a distant past but is alive and relevant even in the present, impacting our lives with its profound truth.
The apostle John describes the blessings through Jesus’ blood: “Jesus freed us from our sins by His blood.” This divine sacrifice ensures our ultimate victory and the complete restoration of all things when the ages draw to a close. While this prophecy speaks of events that may unfold in the distant future, depending on our beliefs, some of these transformations may already be taking place in the present. Jesus made us as the kingdom of God and His devoted priests. Furthermore, His blood is still working at us to accomplish them.
Through Jesus’ sacrificial act, we have been transformed into His kingdom and His beloved priests. You are God’s nation. You belong to Him. He will never ever abandon you. He reigns over us as our King, providing us with care, protection, love, and peace. And you are God’s beloved priests. Just like Moses, who talked with God directly, you too have the privilege of a deep connection with Him. As we reflect on this profound blessing, we come to understand its true magnitude, far greater than we initially realized.
This blessing is bestowed upon us when we break free from the grasp of sin. Sin operates like a vanishing wave. It leads us to despair, isolation, and ultimately destruction. Its power is like a black hole, consuming everything in its path with overwhelming gravity, and we find ourselves trapped, unable to escape on our own. Fortunately, the blood of Christ has liberated us from this dark prison. It has delivered us from the clutches of sin and provided us with newfound freedom.
The blood of Christ we refer to is spiritual in nature, representing the true essence of Christ. It goes beyond the mere physical aspect of blood flowing through our bodies. In John 6:63, Jesus said, “My words are the spirit that gives life.” Jesus taught people that unless you eat his body and drink his blood, you can’t gain eternal life. His teaching holds deep spiritual truth. His blood is real. It embodies the genuine presence of God, becoming tangible to us through our faith. When we apply the significance of Christ’s sacrifice to our lives, it activates within us as a living word, a powerful spirit, and a source of life and strength.
Now, let us take the message of Jesus’ blood into our hearts. It is time to apply it for ourselves. Holy Spirit will help us. Let us remember that Jesus’ sacrifice is for each one of you. His love is unwavering and relentless, never giving up on you. Even when you find yourself in the depths of despair, like being at the bottom of an endless ocean, Jesus will find you and be there with you. If there is such a thing as hell, he will go to hell to get you out of the flames of pain. No matter how dark and painful your circumstances may seem, He will go there to rescue you from the flames of suffering. The cross, Jesus’ blood reminds us that He is always willing to make that sacrifice again and again for your sake. His love knows no bounds, and He is ready to embrace you with open arms whenever you call upon Him.
The love of Christ is both simple and yet profoundly mysterious. It holds secrets that are yet to be fully revealed, and these revelations can only come to light in the depths of our hearts through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Although I am neither a gnostic nor a mystic, I acknowledge that God’s love is boundless, deep, and beyond human comprehension.
Let me share my personal story. During my childhood, I struggled to connect with groups of kids my age, feeling like an outsider no matter where I belonged. This loneliness and anxiety left me yearning for a place where I could truly belong. Surprisingly, I found solace and comfort in a wall within the church I attended. In that secluded spot, I poured out my heart, as the wall seemed to listen and bring me peace. After a considerable time, I came to realize that it was not the wall I was conversing with, but rather Jesus Himself who stood before me, attentively listening to all my thoughts and emotions. The Holy Spirit made this revelation crystal clear, filling my soul with a thrilling sense of joy and the overwhelming love of God. Through this profound encounter, my heart has become a kingdom of God, brimming with joy, love, and peace.
In this journey of discovering God’s love, I have learned that it transcends human understanding and unfolds in wondrous ways, bringing healing and transformation to the depths of our souls.
I firmly believe that being a pastor is not merely a title; it is a sacred and blessed responsibility to share the joy of belonging to God’s kingdom with all people. This calling extends beyond just my own role; every time I hear your stories of faith, I can feel the depth of your love for God and how you genuinely care for the marginalized around you. What truly stands out is your willingness to share this love with anyone in the name of God, not limited to friendships or assistance from our church members. All these acts of kindness and compassionate hearts are rooted in the profound sacrifice of Christ’s blood. Through your warm and gentle hearts, I can see the manifestation of God’s kingdom here on earth. You are not only part of God’s kingdom but also act as priests, recipients of God’s affection and privileges, entrusted with a holy mission. As priests, you have a divine responsibility to carry out this mission with love, spreading God’s message of grace and salvation to everyone you encounter. Your actions reflect the essence of being God’s kingdom, and it is an honor to witness the impact you have on those around you.
In conclusion, I declare that we are the kingdom of God. We are His priests. We are God’s nation and His people. We are the body of Christ. His blood is among us as the living water, gushing up from each one of you. I see that living water is running from you, the church, to our neighbors, giving them hope and a refreshed spirit. And the power of love is in this Holy Communion. Jesus’ blood is shed for you. Let us take this on a personal level, then His blood will continually make us his holy people and nation. May the blood of Christ bestow upon you boundless freedom to love God with all your being and extend that same love to others.
8th Sunday after Pentecost, July 23rd, 2023, Revelation 1:5-6
Pastor John Kim, Lakeridge Lutheran Church