Pleading the Blood

The Passover in the Old Testament Scriptures is the focal point of understanding the power of the blood. All sacrifice that proceeds after that in the Mosaic system is founded on this principle: through the blood of sacrifice, there is deliverance, protection, and a God-provided future. This mighty forecasting picture was fulfilled in the Person of Jesus.

Jesus had not even begun his ministry when, appearing before the waters of baptism, John the Baptist announced of Him: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Everyone present understood the implication of his words, but it was difficult for them to come to terms with the idea that the Messiah, who is the King, is also the sacrifice, who is the Lamb. John was raising a signal not only to that day but also to all history.

When we deal with the subject of the blood, we are not dealing with some gory residue of ancient human superstition. When we talk about the blood of Christ, we are dealing with that which the Scriptures refer to as precious for its transcendent value to address human sin, need, failure, and bondage. Its value is related to the inestimable price of human liberty from the bondage of spiritual torment. The blood of Jesus is the central economic factor in all human order. So central is it that the Bible says Christ’s blood will theme our praise forever.

Pleading the Blood of Jesus

When we talk about “pleading” the blood of Jesus, we are not talking about “begging.” “Pleading the blood” should not be considered a desperation exercise; God has not called us to come begging before Him. Many of us were raised in an environment where we heard the words, “Father God, we come under the blood of Jesus.” Or, “Lord, we cover this matter with the blood of Jesus.” Even before we understood it, we believed in the power of the Blood, because we believed that Jesus is the Son of God, and that the Cross was the instrument of global redemption which broke the power of hell.

Pleading the blood of Jesus is not the superstitious application of a magic formula of words. Rather, a spiritual dynamic is being applied. The power of the blood of Jesus Christ is greater than both the energy of our own humanity and that of our Adversary. The power that saves is also the power that releases, delivers, and neutralizes the enterprises of hell and the weaknesses of the flesh. The appropriation of the power of the Blood in tough situations is intended for every believer in Christ to know, to understand, and to employ.

It’s important that we understand the reason for the words we use so they do not become formula, otherwise one of two things will happen. Either what we say becomes a superstitious exercise in which we are depending on the words rather than on the understanding that gives the words their power; or some people will not use words related to the blood of Jesus because they don’t understand the spiritual dynamic, leaving them without a resource they need.

The Passover

Most of us are familiar with the story of Israel’s deliverance from the last plague of Egypt, in which the firstborn of every family was doomed to die. The Israelites were instructed by God to place the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and lintels, so that the plague of His judgment would “pass over” their houses:

“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.” (Exodus 12:13-14)

God also instructed His people to memorialize and celebrate the Passover in generations to come. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can look at four things which took place in that ancient event that have unmistakable, direct application to us today:

1. The Blood Provides Protection

First, the blood provided protection. With regard to the plagues, God was not dealing vindictively but redemptively. He was seeking to bring two million people out of slavery. The Lord’s directive to take a lamb into the house for four days—turning it into a beloved pet of the family before it was slain—was laden with emotion. God was teaching a lesson that there is a high and painful price in order for redemption to take place. As much affection as the family had for the lamb, nothing compares to the heart of God who so loved the world He gave his only begotten Son. Still, this act, which was required by God of His people, demonstrated more than the casual or indifferent attitude that can be so characteristic of human beings.

Imagine the blood being drained from that lamb’s small carcass and put into a basin. Then, with the brush of reeds, the slapping of the blood upon the side posts and on the lintel overhead. No one on that side of Calvary could have imagined that it was more than an umbrella over the door as it dripped down, but we see from this side a picture of the Cross of ultimate redemption. The Lord was providing a way, not only for Israel’s protection on that occasion, but also for the ultimate protection of all humankind from the judgment of death that is upon everyone unless we come under the protective cover of the Blood.

2. The Blood Provides a Means of Deliverance

By the blood of the lamb, there came the breaking of the yoke of Pharaoh’s strength to retain them, and God’s covenant people were released from bondage, literally overnight. It was a miracle by every measure and has become the central point of worship to this day in Jewish tradition. Every time you and I come to the Lord’s Table, we’re celebrating in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the same thing that the Passover lamb provided—protection and deliverance.

3. The Blood Provides the Promise of a New Day

The Lord makes the Passover an important beginning point: “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2). Our children will ask about it; it relates to future generations. He’s saying that what happens through this blood is going to open the door to a new day for you. Like Israel, you may be right now at what seems to be the end of your own hope and strength. But through the power of the Blood, there comes the promise to you, just as it came to Israel so long ago: this will be the beginning of days to you. In addition to protection and deliverance, there’s fresh hope in the Blood.

4. The Blood Provides a Witness

As the blood was put over the door, it was a testimony that there was a place of safety for anybody who wanted to come in from out of the circle of death. The record of Scripture is that there were some Egyptians who did. Seeing the power of the God who had already visited fierce judgments upon their land, they believed that He was the God of all, and they fled into the Jewish households.

How is the Blood, as it’s expressed in your home, a witness? Is there a different mood and atmosphere in your home than that of the world? I’m not talking about religious pictures on the wall, but something that people can sense of the Spirit of the living God because the blood of Jesus covers your household. It provides a witness that invites them out of the circle of death and into His safety.

For Israel, there was a risk in putting the blood over the outside of their doors. Just imagine what the mockers might have said. Today, our world has no more value than Pharaoh had for the things that fill God’s people with hope, faith, and release unto life. We’re not people who simply make recitations of creeds. We’re people who have tasted of a power. And that power, having come into our lives, is to penetrate our homes. It is the power of the Blood that protects, that delivers, that opens a new day, and that becomes a witness and an invitation to others.

There is an abiding presence of power in the blood of Jesus—all the time, in every situation in which we apply it. We are not peddling in the realm of superstition. We are functioning in the realm of the supernatural. Because it’s invisible, it ought not to be seen as anything less real than that power that moved through Egypt that night when the host of Egyptians was slain. The next day, there was nobody who thought the people who put blood on their houses were just superstitious. They knew those people had penetrated a realm of divine power that had insulated them from the forces of darkness and death in the land. This is what we mean by pleading the blood of Jesus.

Lay Claim to the Body of Evidence

Pleading the blood of Jesus is a heaven-given resource that grants us a license to stand in dominion over the works of hell. We can use it in the same sense that an attorney stands before the court and makes a “plea” on legal grounds, based upon a body of evidence.

When you and I come before the court of heaven—and in every circumstance we face in life—we have the legal right, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to enter a plea and to lay claim to the evidence (His slain body, His shed blood at the Cross) which is proven to neutralize the power of sin, the power of affliction, the power of death, and the power of hell. It is to that I make my plea when I plead the blood of Jesus, whether I face demonic, physical, or personal attack, condemnation or the temptation to sin.

There is no circumstance in life to which the blood of Jesus isn’t key to God’s releasing, protecting, resolving power, whether it’s removing the potential of confusion, overcoming the impact of rebellion, breaking the torment of fear, or the shame of the past. When we “plead the blood,” we are to do so in the understanding sense, with the firepower of the supernatural, and on the basis of the body of evidence that through the blood of Jesus Christ, all hell has been broken in its power, all sin neutralized, the power of death overwhelmed, and every human need paid for once and for all.

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture verses are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Copyright © 2006, 2013 Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries, Van Nuys, CA 91405

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