This article first appeared in the January 1, 2016 issue of the Standard Bearer, under the rubric "A Word Fitly Spoken."
The most precious substance in the universe is the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Christ is most precious because it is the only substance in heaven or earth of infinite worth and value (Canons, II.3). You cannot buy it with mountains of gold, or vaults stuffed with cash. Its value surpasses the worth of all the jewels, fine art, business assets, architectural marvels, and national treasuries in the entire world. Only the blood of Jesus Christ is truly priceless.
The blood of Jesus Christ is of infinite worth because it alone is intrinsically precious. Preciousness is a derived quality whereby something is considered highly desired and valuable. Ordinarily this value is derived from its utility and scarcity, which therefore places limits on its preciousness. Gold may be precious when the economy fails, but worthless when stranded on a desert isle. Jewels are precious on a fair woman, but disgusting in a pig’s snout (Prov. 11:22). And life is only precious until you die. But the blood of Jesus is precious in itself (Heidelberg Catechism, LD 1).
The blood of Christ is precious in itself because it is God’s blood (Acts 20:28). It is precious as the blood of the infinitely wise, powerful, good, and glorious God in the only begotten Son, who is of the same eternal and infinite essence (Canons, II.4). Furthermore, it is precious to God because it is the blood of His precious church (Is. 43:4). Every drop of blood He assumed of the Virgin Mary is the blood of precious Zion (Lam. 4:2), and of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and David (Belgic Confession, Art. 18). Our blood is His blood. And being His blood, our death and shedding of our blood is also very precious in His sight (Ps. 72:14; 116:15).
This blood is infinitely precious in itself as the blood of the only perfectly holy man (Canons, II.4). It is the precious blood of the Lamb without spot or blemish (I Pet. 1:19), and the living stone, disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious, who was truly foreordained before the foundation of the world as God’s Christ (I Pet. 2:4). This adds to its value, because that makes it exceedingly rare—there simply is no holy blood like it in all the universe.
Thirdly, the blood of Christ is most precious because God sacrificed that blood with the infinite sense of His wrath and curse due to us for sin (Canons, II.4). This makes that blood, therefore, precious to us. The redemption of our souls is so precious (Ps. 49:8), and the offense of our sins so great, that God shed His blood instead of ours (Luke 22:20). Not with gold, but with His precious blood He redeemed us (I Pet. 1:19), fully satisfied for all our sins and delivered us from all the power of the devil (Heidelberg Catechism, LD 1). And adding to its value is this—God did not shed His precious blood for everyone. Although abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world, it is the sovereign and gracious will of God that the saving power of His most precious death extend only to the elect, to bring them infallibly to salvation (Canons, II.3; II.8).
Therefore, the benefits and means by which we receive that blood are also precious. Precious is God’s promise that whosoever believes in this blood shall not perish but have everlasting life (Canons, II.5; II Pet. 1:4). Faith and the trials of our faith are more precious than gold (II Pet. 1:1; I Pet. 1:7), wisdom more precious than rubies (Prov. 3:15), and lips that confess it a precious jewel (Prov. 20:15). By such knowledge a house is filled with precious riches (Prov. 24:4). The thoughts of God are to us precious (Ps. 139:17), His chosen people precious, and His tender love more precious than our life (Psalter #s 329, 164).
What precious blood! Infinite blood, that an innumerable throng can drink unto eternal life as an everlasting fountain, yet limited for those who drink it by faith. Invaluable, powerful, and precious to us, yet considered worthless, ineffectual, and common to many. God’s blood, yet ours. Holy blood, yet the blood of sinners. Blood much loved, yet poured out in wrath. Priceless, yet free. And graciously given, His blood never can nor ever will be bought. At any price. Precious!
Rev. William A. Langerak (Wife: Karen)
Ordained: September 2003
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 2003Website: www.southeastprc.org/
Address1543 Cambridge Ave SE
State or ProvinceMI