Necessary Blood 9

By R.C. Sproul

It's the blood of Christ which alone can atone for your sins.  Now, I know this is a blog to celebrate reformed theology, and I believe that most people who are reading this are professing Christians, but I also know that in all probability there will be tares among the wheat, and there will be people reading this who are not Christians. 

One Sunday morning a lady, who was in our choir said, you know that this weekend, next weekend is my 12th anniversary of being a Christian?  I said is that right?  She said, yes, I was converted to Christ at a Philadelphia Conference for Reformed Theology in Philadelphia 12 years ago.  So she came to this conference an unbeliever and walked out of here a redeemed person. 

I hear from people all the time who...  If you need religion as a crutch or opium, that's fine for you, but I don't need Christ.  Dear friends, there's nothing in the world you need more desperately than you need Christ.  Because if your guilt is not covered by His blood, if you are not wearing the cloak of His righteousness, when you stand before almighty God, God won't even want to look at you.  He will turn His back from you.  And He'll say, depart from me to the outer darkness.  You either stand before a Holy God on your own or you stand clothed in the righteousness of Christ and covered by that blood sacrifice.  You see, the necessity of the blood was not just necessary to satisfy the demands of a Holy God.  It is necessary for you and absolutely necessary for me because without that blood, we perish.

Many years ago I was riding a bus in Pittsburgh.  It was at the time that the steel industry was going through the crisis that almost destroyed that city and brought levels of unemployment up to 17%.  It was a time when people were going through all kinds of hardship and they had very little hope.

It was really on a bleak mid-Winter day when I got on that bus.  We were riding through a mill town in Western Pennsylvania and I saw these people at every bus stop get on.  They were stooped over.  Their faces were etched with despair.  These were people who seemed to have no hope, and even then the steel mills were still functioning to the extent that it would spew the soot into the atmosphere so that the melting snow, instead of being a glistening beautiful white, would become this ugly dark gray, black along the side of the road.

That whole picture of blackness was reflected in the faces of these people as they came in, shuffled down the aisles, and found a place to sit on the bus. I was just overcome by the sight of this obvious despair, and I said, is there no hope for them?  Just at that moment, I looked out the window and saw a little store front church had neon cross.  Is there anything more primitive than that in this world?  A neon cross in the front window.  So I kept looking, and I discovered that that bus did not go a single block without somewhere I was able to see the sign of the cross, the hope of the world.  If you're without that, you're without hope.  But if you are with the cross, you have that hope that makes not ashamed.

Father, cover us by that blood.  Put it on our doorposts.  Put it on our forehead.  Put it on Your throne, that we may once again be naked and unashamed.  We ask it in Jesus' Name.  Amen.