Taken from, “The Blood of the Cross”
Written by, Horatius Bonar
It is the blood whose shedding has provided a propitiation for sin…
…and whosoever will consent to take this as his propitiation becomes a partaker of the blessings which it contains. It was the High Priest’s laying of his hand upon the goat (Lev 16:21) that established the connection between it and the people, so that Israel’s sins passed over to the substitute; and so it is our believing that connects us with the divine Substitute, and brings to us all the benefits of the divine bloodshedding.
It is our unbelief that intercepts the communication; it is faith that establishes it. Faith may seem a slight thing to some; and they may wonder how salvation can flow from believing. Hence they try to magnify it, to adore it, to add to it, in order that it may appear some great thing, something worthy of having salvation as its reward. In so doing they are actually transforming faith into a work, and introducing salvation by works under the name of faith. They show that they understand neither the nature nor the office of faith. It saves, simply by handing us over to the Savior. It saves, not on account of the good works which flow from it; not on account of the love which it kindles; not on account of the repentance which it produces; but solely because it connects us with the Saving One. Its saving efficacy does not lie in connection with righteousness and holiness, but entirely in its connection with the Righteous and Holy One.
Thus it is that unbelief ruins, because it cuts off all communication with the source of life; and thus faith blesses because it establishes that communication.
See these electric wires that are shooting their mysterious threads throughout our land, communicating between city and city, between man and man, however distant; dead, yet extinct with life; silent, yet vocal with hidden sound; carrying, as with a lightning burst, the tidings of good or evil from shore to shore. Separate their terminating points by one hair’s breadth from the index, or interpose some nonconducting substance—in a moment intercourse is broken. No tidings come and go. The stoppage is as entire as if you had cut every wire in pieces, and cast these pieces to the winds. But refasten the severed points, or link them to the index with some conducting material, and instantaneously the intercourse is renewed. Joy and sorrow flow again along the line. Man’s thoughts, man’s feelings, man’s deeds, rumors of war or assurances of peace, news of victory or defeat, the sound of falling thrones, the shouts of frantic nations—all hurrying on after each other to convey to ten thousand throbbing hearts the evil or the good which they contain!
That nonconductor is unbelief.
It interposes between the soul and all heavenly blessing, all divine intercourse. It may seem a thing too slight to effect so great a result; yet it does so inevitably. It shuts off the communication with the source of all glad tidings. It isolates man, and forbids the approach of blessing.
That conductor is faith.
In itself it is nothing, but in its connection everything. It restores in a moment the broken communication; and this, not from any virtue in itself, but simply as the conducting link between the soul and the fountain of all blessing above.
The blood of the cross is that which has “made peace” (Col 1:20); and to share this peace God freely calls us. This blood of the cross is that by which we are justified (Rom 5:9); and to this justification we are invited. This blood of the cross is that by which we are brought nigh to God (Eph 2:13); and to this blessed nearness we are invited. This blood of the cross is that by which “we have redemption” (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14), even the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace; and this redemption, this forgiveness, is freely set before us. It is by this blood that we have liberty of entrance into the holiest (Heb 10:19); and God’s voice to each sinner is to “enter in.” It is by this blood that we are cleansed and washed (1Jo 1:7; Rev 1:5) and this fountain is free, free as any of earth’s flowing streams, free as the mighty ocean itself, in which all may wash and be clean.
These are good news concerning the blood—news which should make every sinner feel that it is just what he stands in need of. Nothing less than this; yet nothing more.
And these good news of the blood are no less good news of Him whose blood is shed. For it is by this bloodshedding that He is the Savior. Without this, He could not have been a Redeemer; but, with it, He is altogether such a Redeemer as suits the sinner’s case. In Him there is salvation—salvation without a price—salvation for the most totally and thoroughly lost that this fallen earth contains. Go and receive it.
Do you ask, How am I to find salvation, and how am I to go to that God, on the blood of whose Son I have trampled so long?
I answer, Go to Him in your proper and present character—that of sinner. Go with no lie upon your lips, professing to be what you are not, or to feel what you do not. Tell Him honestly what you are, and what you feel, and what you do not feel. “Take with you words”; but let them be honest words, not the words of hypocrisy and deceit. Tell Him that your sin is piercing you; or tell Him that you have no sense of sin, no repentance, no relish for divine things, no right knowledge of your own worthlessness and guilt. Present yourself before Him just as you are, and not as you wish to be, or think you ought to be, or suppose He desires you to be. Recount your necessities; make mention of the multitude of His mercies; point to the work of the blessed Son; remind Him how entirely righteous it would be for Him to receive and bless you. Appear before Him, taking for granted just that you are what you are, a sinner; and that Christ is what He is, a Saviour; deal honestly with God, and be assured that it is most thoroughly impossible that you can miss your errand. “Seek the LORD while He may be found”; and you will see that He is found of you. “Call upon Him while He is near”; and you will find how near He is.
But tarry not, for the day is fast closing…
…and the thick gloom of evening is at hand. The last “woes” are preparing, and the gates of the kingdom shall ere long be shut. The acceptable year of the Lord is running out, and the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Trifle not with your brief remaining span or inch of hasty time.
This earth shall soon shake beneath the footsteps of its coming Judge. Its hills and rocks must soon echo with the sound of the final trumpet. And therefore it concerns men, without delay, to be securing the shelter ere the storm be up. When once the wrath of the Lamb is kindled, who shall escape save those who are sprinkled with His blood? It is an eternal doom that is preparing for the ungodly, and the time that remaineth is short, in which the sinner may escape. He has no moments to fling away, for that which he flings away may be his last.
Fool! When wilt thou be wise? Thou art wise for time, and not for eternity. Dost thou not see these thunderclouds? Dost thou not hear the wild tumult of earth, the cry of nations, the shock of falling empires, the crumbling sound throughout the earth that speaks of universal dissolution and ruin? What are these things? The work of chance? A passing earthquake? The burst of frenzy for an hour? No. They are signs of gathering wrath. It is God coming down to smite the guilty earth—that earth upon whose surface you are treading.
Are you ready for His arrival?
Are all matters of variance between you and Him adjusted? And has your reconciliation been sealed by the blood of the Lamb? If not, how shall you meet His eye? How shall you abide His awful scrutiny? That scrutiny will comprise much. Nay, it will omit nothing; its minuteness and exactness will overwhelm you. But the most solemn part of it will be that touching the blood of the Son of God, and the good news respecting it which have been so long proclaimed to you. These good news have found no entrance, and the messenger who brought them has been denied all access day by day. Instead of prizing this blood and making use of it for your cleansing, you have slighted it; and in slighting it, you have slighted Him whose blood it is—Him through whose death there is life for you. And shall not the Lord visit you for such deliberate rejection of His grace; shall not His soul be avenged for such neglect of His “great salvation?”