May 4

Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 11
     Psalms 48
     Isaiah 1
     Hebrews 9
''Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18) ''And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22)
            The beautiful invitation given in Isaiah 1 is an invitation to the blood. The invitation of Christ to the unsaved is an invitation to the blood. That is why the writer of Hebrews was so strong in his statement that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission. He meant that there was no remission of past, present, or future sins.
            Consider the curse of the blood in the Garden of Eden. Cain killed Abel and the Garden was cursed. Maybe that explains why so many of us detest the sight of blood, but the sight of our sin is even more detestable to God, but the blood of Jesus has been used to remove the curse. Hallelujah!
            Consider also the choice of the blood. Those who put Jesus to death did not know what they were doing, but Jesus knew. He chose to die. God chose to give His Son, and Jesus Christ chose willingly to give His life. The Lord chose His blood in place of your punishment for sin.  That is propitiation.
            Consider also the course of the blood. There is a scarlet thread that runs through the entire Word of God. It is sprinkled on the Book of the Law. There is blood on every page of the Word of God. If that were not so, the Bible would only thunder the judgments and the commandments of Sinai. It would call only for the payment for sin by the sinner. But the Bible has been sprinkled throughout with the blood of redemption.
            I am now in a battle with cancer. My disease is called ''Multiple Myeloma.'' It is a cancer of the blood and the bone marrow. I have experienced a Stem Cell Transplant, which is a complete changing of my blood. The disease is in the blood, and the life is in the blood. A worse cancer is the malignancy of sin. The only hope to remove that is a spiritual blood transfusion, and that blood comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
            We must also consider the consummation of the blood. Notice the word remission for a moment. That is the goal of the blood. That is the purpose for which Jesus died. He died to provide remission from our sin penalty. I am praying for the remission of my disease, and that can only be temporary. In this case, remission means ''forgiveness'', and it is permanent, even eternal.
             But, most importantly, consider the cost of the blood. Because it has been so costly, God never takes sin lightly. God never thinks little of our sin because our sin nailed Him to the Cross. Jesus Christ stepped between us and Hell. He bore our sins in His body.  He did that in order to provide remission of sins for us.
            Dr. Robert Coleman of Asbury College in Kentucky has written a book entitled Written in Blood. In one of the chapters, he tells this story of a little boy and his sister. The sister was a victim of a very rare blood disease. The boy had the disease several years before, and had conquered it. Now he was healthy.  They asked him if he would give his blood so it would immunize his sister against the disease. He agreed to do so because the doctor told him it was necessary to save his sister's life. He hesitated a moment, and with his lips trembling, said, ''Yes, I will do it." Following the transfusion, the little boy asked, ''Now when do I die?'' He thought he had to die to save his sister. Our Savior knew He would die in the shedding of blood, and still was willing to go all the way.
With its 4.5 million people, the Kingdom of Norway boasts of 95% Christianity among its population. It is also one of the top sending missionary stations in the world. This European country has a rich, spiritual heritage. The influence of pietism, prayer, and revival movements over the past 300 years are still strong. As you focus your prayer toward Norway today, remember the city of Oslo. It has a lower percentage of Christians than the rest of the country, and could be a negative influence on the whole nation. Pray today for the churches of Oslo, Norway.
''Let me burn out for God. After all, whatever God may appoint, prayer is the great thing.Oh, that I may be a man of  prayer!''
Henry Martyn