Joel Osteen — The Power of the Blood
I want to talk to you today about the power of the blood. In the old testament the only way they could have forgiveness for sins was to sacrifice an animal. Without the shedding remission for sin, and every year the high priest would go into the holy of holies. That was the most sacred place in the temple, and he would offer a sacrifice for his sins and the sins of all the people. It was called the day of atonement. If the sacrifice was acceptable, their sins would not be taken away, they would be covered. They were good for another year.
This was an ongoing process, and the priest had to make that the animal didn't have a spot or blemishes and that it was the right age. All these requirements. If they didn't meet the requirements, the sacrifice wouldn't be acceptable. They wouldn't have God's blessing. This is the constant pressure they lived under: forgiven for this year? Is the sacrifice going to be good enough?
The blood of animals only offered them temporary forgiveness, but God told Abraham there was a day coming that he was going to get rid of the old covenant or the old way of doing things. God was saying, it was fine for a time, "But I'm going to make a New Covenant to permanently take care of sin". The problem is, it couldn't happen with the blood of bulls and goats. That wasn't good enough. It was going to take a special kind of sacrifice.
One day, John the Baptist was out ministering and he saw Jesus coming and said, "Look, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". John knew that Jesus was the sacrifice that God told Abraham about. Jesus was God's lamb, and when he died on the cross and shed his blood, went once and for all into the holy of holies. Not with the blood of bulls and goats but with his own blood to secure a complete redemption for us all. One translation says: "An everlasting release from his blood put an end to the old system of sacrificing again and again, hoping that we would be forgiven.
Now, we can live with the confidence that all of our sins, past, present, and future, have not just been covered, not just temporarily atoned for, they have been washed away. We have an this is the power of the blood. When Jesus hung on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, he took all of our mistakes, all of our failures and weaknesses, all of the times we've blown it and the times we ever will blow it, and he forgave it. The good news is not that God will forgive you. The good news is he has already forgiven you. Like John declared, "The lamb of God has taken away the sin of the world".
Now, this sacrifice won't do you any good if you don't receive it. If you go around guilty, condemned, trying to pay God back for your mistakes, no, the price has already been paid. Receive his mercy, every day, father, thank you that I am forgiven. Thank you that I am redeemed. The accuser will tell you just the opposite: "God's not going to forgive you. Look what you've done. Look at the way you lived. You knew better than that". It's easy to believe these lies and go around with a heaviness, with no passion for life.
I talked to a gentleman on himself, telling me all the mistakes that he had made. Here's my question. Do you think your mistake was too much for the blood that Christ shed? Do you think what you've done somehow has tipped the scales and now God is thinking, "Uh-oh, didn't see that one coming. I should have sent a better sacrifice". I could understand this reasoning if we were still offering the blood of bulls and goats. Maybe we didn't get the right kind of animal. Maybe we didn't meet all the requirements.
Friends, those days are gone. You've been redeemed by the sinless, spotless, all-powerful Son of the living God. That's not ordinary blood. That's blood that defeated the enemy. It's blood that crushed Satan's head, blood that took the keys of death and hell, blood that causes the demons to tremble. It's not average, typical blood. It's blood that opened blind eyes, cured the lepers, and walked on water, and calmed the seas. It's the blood that restored the woman caught in adultery. It's blood that forgave the people who crucified him.
What am I saying? No mistake you've made is too much for this blood. Shake off the guilt, quit living condemned, feeling like you're washed up, and receive the forgiveness. We're under the better covenant, the New Covenant. No more do we have to rely on the blood of bulls and goats, wondering if our sins will be forgiven, hoping we can get some kind of temporary atonement. Because of the blood that Christ shed, our sins have been permanently taken care of.
This is what Paul said in 2 Corinthians: "God is not counting your sins against you. He has blotted them out". Too many people live condemned, always thinking they've asked God to forgive them every day for the same thing for the last 4 years. They don't realize the first time you asked, God forgave you. He's saying, "I'm not counting that against you. I've already blotted it out". Why don't you let it go? Why don't you forgive yourself and move forward with your life?
As long as you're looking backwards, living in regrets, beating yourself up over past mistakes, you will never step into the new things God has in store, and it's easy to go through life looking in the rear-view mirror, thinking about what you should have done better, what didn't work out. But the reason the rear-view mirror is so small and your front windshield is so big, is because where you've been is not nearly as important get rid of the rear-view mirror. You've been redeemed, you've been restored. God didn't just cover your sins, he blotted them out. He's not holding them against you.
Isaiah put it this way: "Like a thick cloud, God has blotted out our sins". Think of your mistakes, your failures, you can barely see anything. Some mornings you wake up and you can hardly see the house across the street. Then when the sun comes out, that fog in a few minutes burns off. It doesn't blow away, it doesn't move to the next city. It evaporates. The sun causes it to vanish.
We all make mistakes and have times that our life is clouded by poor choices, clouded by sin. But when you ask God to forgive you, the Son comes out, S-O-N. He causes his light to shine and cause that sin to evaporate. It's gone. He says he will not remember our sins anymore.
My challenge: quit remembering what God has forgotten. Quit bringing up what's already been evaporated. When you dwell on the past and relive your mistakes, all that's doing is causing a new cloud to form. It's real simple. God is for you. The enemy is against you. You get to cast the deciding vote. Which direction are you going to go? Believe the lies, live guilty, think you couldn't be good enough for God to accept you? It says in Ephesians that God has already accepted you. He's already blotted out your sins. He's already shed his blood. The question is will you receive it? Will you put your shoulders back, hold your head up high, and start acting like a child of the most high God, letting the Son after all that Christ has done for us, after the incredible price he paid on the cross, it doesn't bring him any honor for us to go around feeling unworthy, condemned.
I can imagine God saying to the angels, "I sent my Son. I gave my best. He paid the ultimate sacrifice. What more could I do"? No, let's do our part and start believing that we are redeemed, that we are forgiven, that we have an everlasting release from our sins.
For hundreds of years, the Israelites were in slavery and God sent plague after plague upon the people that were holding them but Pharaoh wouldn't change his mind. This last plague was going to be very devastating. The firstborn male of all their captors was going to be killed during the night. From the firstborn son of the Pharaoh down to the firstborn son of the poorest person. Even the firstborn of all their animals, but God gave the Israelites special instructions how to be protected from this plague.
Each man was to take a lamb for their family. Had to be a 1-year-old male without spot or blemish, and they were to sacrifice and take some of the blood and put it on the top of their door and some on the sides of the door-frame, and God said, "When I see the blood over your door-post I will know that you belong to me and I will pass over your house. No harm will come near you when I destroy your enemies".
You can imagine how careful they must have been to follow these instructions. I can hear the kids asking, "Dad, did you put the blood on the door-post yet"? The wife saying, "Let's go double-check. Let's make sure it's still there". At midnight, when the death angel came through the land, wherever he saw the blood, he passed over. They were protected.
My question today is have you put this blood over your house? Have you taken the lamb? The sacrifice has already been made. We don't have to do it physically like they did. We're under the New Covenant, but the principle is still the same, and when you say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," what you're doing in effect, you're putting the blood over your door-post. When the enemy comes and sees the blood, he passes over. When you've accepted the sacrifice of Christ's salvation, no weapon formed against you will prosper. There is a blood line that the enemy cannot cross. If the blood of an animal could keep them safe, how much more so can the blood of the Son of the living God?
By faith, we can say, "I put the blood over my house, put the blood I put the blood over my business". When you're covered by the blood, the enemy doesn't have a choice. He has to pass over, and I'm not saying that negative things will never happen, you'll never have a difficulty. That's not reality. I'm saying nothing will happen without God's permission. Because of the blood, there's a hedge around you and your family, and you don't know how many things came against you but, like the Israelites, because the blood, they had to pass over.
Maybe sickness was headed your way but when it saw the blood, it kept on going. That accident should have taken your life but when the death angel saw the blood, he said, "Can't mess with them. I have no authority here". Trouble at work, forces sent your way to cause strife and division and discord. But when they came to your office and saw the blood, they had to keep on going. Bad habits, addictions, to try to get them off course, cause them to miss their destiny, but when they arrived at your house and saw the blood, they had to keep on going.
These forces of darkness are not moved by what family you come from, by what church you go to, by how many good deeds you do. What they respond to is the blood over your life. Have you put the blood over your children, over your family, over your health? All through the day, Lord, thank you that we are covered by your blood.
When I was a little boy, my father used to travel overseas a lot and at one point there were five of us kids at home all under the age of 12. My mother had her hands full. Every time my father went to leave on a trip, invariably one of us kids would get sick. For weeks everything would be fine but as soon as he started packing up, somebody would come down with a cold or somebody would get hurt playing.
One time, my brother Paul was jumping up and down on his bed and falling backwards and bouncing back up. He miscalculated and went back and hit the headboard, knocked himself out, busted his head open, had to go get stitches and at least now we know what's wrong with him. But that was right before my dad was going to go on this major trip, and it seemed like there were all these forces trying to keep my father from going.
Daddy was so frustrated, he said, "God, I'm trying to go out and help the world and my own family starts falling apart". Next time he went to leave, same thing. Somebody started to get sick. This time, he decided to do something about it. He asked all of us kids to come outside. He had us get in a line from the oldest to the youngest he was leading it and he turned around and said, "I want you to follow me and say what I say". He started marching us around the perimeter of our property, saying, "We put the blood, we put the blood". Neighbors were looking out their windows, like, "That's one weird family". Cars driving by were honking and waving.
I was only 5 years old and I was embarrassed. My father knew no shame. But do you know, from that day forward when he left, none of us got sick, none of us got hurt, and my brother Paul didn't change. Didn't fix him, but.
What am I saying today? Put the blood over your life. Put the blood over your family. Put the blood over your business. You don't have to march around your house, but you can say, "Father, I want to thank you that my children, my finances, my health, my future, that we are all covered by your blood".
In the scripture, there was a young lady that lived in Jericho named Rahab. She was a prostitute. She wasn't raised in a family that knew anything about God, and it looked like she would miss her purpose and all the odds were against her. But God gives every person a chance. There will be destiny moments where you can make a decision that will set you on a better course to become who you were created to be, and one day Joshua sent men in to spy out the city of Jericho. Word got out that the spies were there, they would have been captured, except Rahab took these men into her home and hid them. When the guards came by, she covered for them and said that they weren't there.
These spies were so grateful. They were going to come back with the Israelites and attack the city but they gave Rahab special instructions how she and her family could be saved. They told her to take a scarlet cord and hang it out the window of her house and let it reach to the ground so it would be easy to see. Then she was to bring everyone into her house that she wanted to save: her parents, her children, her family. The spies promised that no one in that house would be harmed. The Israelites came back to attack the city but when they saw the scarlet cord, they knew they had to pass over. Rahab and her family were the only ones that were spared.
See, these spies understood the passover. They had heard stories, how their relatives had put the blood over the door-post, how they had been protected. That's why they told Rahab, "As long as you stay under the scarlet cord, you'll be safe". The scarlet cord represents the blood. The same principle today. As long as you keep the blood over your life, like Rahab, enemies will have to pass you by. Sickness will have to pass, defeat will have to pass. You're protected by the blood.
Genesis chapter 4, Eve gave birth to two sons: Cain and Abel. Over time, Cain became very jealous of Abel and eventually killed him. He came back home and acted like everything was fine, but God asked Cain said, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper"? God said to Cain, "The voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground". God was saying, "You may have killed the body, but the blood is still speaking. You tried to shut him up. The problem is you can't shut the blood up". There was nobody to speak for Abel; his blood became his own attorney. Cain thought that he had the last word. He didn't realize the blood still speaks.
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, it looked like his enemies had finally finished him off. Hanging on the tree, bruised, beaten, wearing a crown of thorns, having been spit upon, mocked, and ridiculed, seemed like they had the last laugh. And breathed his last breath, all of heaven went silent. The angels quit singing, harps quit playing, dancers quit dancing. No music, no praise, just an eerie silence. The earth was so troubled, it began to shake, an earthquake. The Sun turned its back and refused to look.
Three in the afternoon, darkness covered the earth. The soldiers who crucified him said, "Surely, he was the Son of God". I can imagine Satan and the forces of darkness, when they saw Jesus' blood dripping down into the earth, they thought, "Finally, we got rid of him. Finally, we shut him off. We have proof. Here's his own blood". What they didn't realize is 2000 years later, his blood would still be speaking. They would have never crucified him had they known when we make a mistake, his blood still cries out for mercy.
When we're sick, his blood says, "By my stripes you are healed". When we need provision, his blood says, "I became poor so that you could become well off". His blood is still crying out for freedom, redemption, salvation, abundance. They may have crucified his body, but they couldn't keep as Satan and all the demons are up there celebrating, giving high fives, confetti's going off, and looks like they just won the super bowl, they see this figure start coming toward them and they can't figure out who he is. His eyes are like fire and his face so brilliant, it radiates like the sun, makes them turn away, "You better put the party on hold. You popped the champagne a little bit too early. I was dead but I am alive forevermore".
Jesus not only defeated Satan, but he took away the keys of death and hell. The scripture says, "He rendered him powerless". One version says, "He brought him to naught". Naught is zero. You may be facing some obstacles but the good news is the blood still speaks for you. The blood says you're more than a conqueror. The blood says you can do all things through Christ. The blood says the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you.
So when we make mistakes in life, we can live guilty and condemned, or we can let the blood speak for us. "Father, thank you that I am forgiven. I receive your mercy". When we face an illness, we can accept it as our lot in life or we can let "Father, thank you that you were wounded for my transgressions. By your stripes, I am healed". When people come against us, we can get upset, try to pay them back, or we can let the blood speak. "Father, thank you that you're my vindicator. You said the trap the enemy set for me, they would fall in themselves.
Cain was a farmer. He spent his life planting seeds and working the ground, and he invited Abel out into his field and that's where he killed him. Abel's blood went down into the earth, "From now on, you won't be able to produce any crops on this land. Because the innocent blood of your brother went into the earth it has put a stop to what you used to do".
This is symbolic of what Jesus did for us. He left heaven and came into the enemy's land, and when he shed his innocent blood on calvary, that blood went down into the earth and what the enemy used to be able to do because the blood has been there, it's not going to work anymore. Things that used to grow in you, so to speak, addictions, bad habits, a temper, the blood has canceled that out.
There are seeds that were planted in us as a child, by the enemy, to try to get us off course as an adult, and normally they'd just grow and become a part of who we are. But because the blood has been there, it has put a stop to it. Then instead of accepting things that you know are less than God's best, start saying, "Father, I want to thank you that the blood that your son Jesus every negative seed in my life. Father, thank you," whatever it is, "That it's canceled this addiction, this depression, this spirit of lack. Lord, I want to thank you that I am free".
When you thank God for the blood, the enemies tremble. The blood reminds them of their defeat. It reminds them that what they used to be able to do, they cannot do any more. John said in revelation, "We overcome by the blood of the lamb".
I'm asking you to keep this blood over your life, over your children, over your business, over your future. If you'll do this, God promises he will protect you. He'll cause things to pass over you, and I believe and declare because the blood is still speaking, is being broken, strongholds are coming down. What's held you back in the past will hold you back no more. I speak victory, I speak breakthroughs, health, restoration, the fullness of your destiny in Jesus' name.