Althea emerged from an underground subway onto a dimly lit, isolated street in the Red Hook district of Brooklyn. It’s a neighborhood where violence and crime happen every day. As she made her way home, a sense of danger gripped her. Was someone following her?
At the door of her apartment building, Althea cautiously placed her key in the lock. Suddenly, an ominous figure lunged at her and she felt the cold steel of a knife at her throat. The man smelled of alcohol and spoke quickly. She was terrified. She knew he was probably drug-crazed as well.
“Get inside,” he ordered. Without even thinking, Althea cried out to God: “The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus!”
Almost immediately, the knife lifted from her throat. She turned to see her attacker for the first time. “In the light I could see his eyes clearly,” she recalls. “They seemed filled with fear. Then his head moved from side to side, and his lips began to quiver. He muttered, ‘Get away from me.’ He turned around and disappeared into the darkness.”
What saved Althea? I have no doubt that it really was the blood of Jesus that protected this defenseless woman. Surely her attacker didn’t understand why he panicked and fled, but Althea did. Knowing she had a legal right to His protection, my friend had called on the name of Jesus and He’d heard her cry.
Pleading the blood of Jesus made all the difference. It’s more than a theoretical concept, my friend. It’s more than textbook theology or symbolic rhetoric. The blood of Jesus is a tangible power in both the spiritual and physical realms, and we need to apply it to our lives every day as protection from the enemy.
In 1 Peter 5:9, we are told to resist the devil by standing firm in our faith. How? By the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). The power to overcome satan lies in the blood of Jesus, but you must understand what the blood stands for and how to apply it.
Why the Blood is So Powerful
In Exodus 12:13, God tells the Israelites that He is going to deliver them from the bondage of Pharaoh by a mighty sign—the blood of a lamb sprinkled upon their doorposts. “And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you…”
The blood represented the shed blood of another Lamb of God who would come later—Jesus Himself who came to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). It pointed to Calvary, where blood flowed from the wounds of God’s only son.
There Jesus secured salvation from sin on our behalf, “Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us…having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).
But that’s not all that happened at Calvary. Jesus also disarmed all the power and deception of the devil (Colossians 2:15). And we can participate in that victory by faith (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). So the blood of Jesus not only saves and cleanses us from sin, it also preserves us.
When the Israelites sprinkled blood on their doorposts, they were marking their homes—setting them apart—and when God saw that mark the destroying angel stayed away, sparing their first-born children.
When, in faith, you sprinkle the blood of Jesus on your circumstances, you are marking your life as well. And when God sees that spiritual mark, He will not allow the destroyer to come near to harm you.
The mark of the blood is not for our sight, but for the holy eye of God. Remember that. It doesn’t matter if your eyes are clouded with tears or you can’t see hope ahead because fear stands in the way. “…When I see the blood,” God says, “…no plague will befall you to destroy you…” (Exodus 12:13).
He will come to you in the power of all that the blood signifies. Even if you’re shrouded in the darkness of failure—and you can’t see a way out of your troubles—the Lord God will always see in Jesus that which pleases Him. When you’re marked with the blood, you’re safe from the devil.
How the Blood Gives Victory
To understand how that’s possible, let’s trace the bloodline of Christ, noting its circular pattern.
The bloodline began in heaven. The fall of man did not catch God by surprise! God never plays catch-up to satan. Before the foundation of the earth, God had a solution to man’s sin and the devil’s overthrow. 1 Peter 1:18-20 says we were redeemed with the precious blood of a spotless lamb—the blood of Christ, who was known before the foundation of the world.
When Adam sinned, God Himself shed the first blood when He made coats of animal skins to cover man. His action was a foreshadowing of Christ. And every time an animal was slain on every legitimate altar in the Old Testament, the Israelites saw a muddied snapshot of the Lamb, which the book of Hebrews says was slain from the foundation of the earth. “His works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:3b).
The precious blood came to earth in the body of Jesus (John 1:29) and was poured out on Calvary’s altar. But the path didn’t stop there. It turned upward again on the third day after the crucifixion, when Jesus arose triumphant over death, hell and sin. He then carried His own precious blood into the Heavenly Holy of Holies where it was accepted by God the Father on behalf of each of us (John 20:17; Hebrews 9:11-12).
The powerful redemptive blood has returned to the Heavenly Tabernacle, before the throne of the Living God, where it will forever “speak” mercy, power and protection for every believer (Hebrews 12:24).
We honor that blood when we acknowledge its circular pattern and its ongoing power over satan. It is said of Moses. “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the first-born might not touch them” (Hebrews 11:28).
When we believe in the power of Christ’s blood in our hearts, our faith applies it to the doorposts of our lives.
(This series will conclude next week. Subscribe to get future posts in your inbox.)
Originally published in the November 1997 issue of "Reaching Higher"