"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel." EPHESIANS 6:19

THE MYSTERY

Mysteries sell novels. It's novel to be mysterious. We are captivated by the myriad of mysteries of life. Reproduction, for example. Photosynthesis. Rainbows. Planet earth. Our solar system. Our galaxy. Our universe. But there is one mystery that pales all others. It's something even angels are curious about. It is the blood atonement of Jesus.

Strangely, the theologians and scholars who write about the sanctification that sinners obtain through our Lord's death on the cross may not know any more than the disciples in the pew. To be able to write about something and analyze it doesn't necessarily mean it is comprehended.

Blood. How vulgar. How gory. How unsophisticated. What has blood got to do with salvation anyway? Why all that bleeding under the Old Law? We read it. We preach about it, but it's still a mystery. Doves. Lambs. Sacrifices. Bleeding sacrifices. Why? Couldn't the Lord God have come up with a neater, more civil requirement? It doesn't make all that much sense to logical minds. To superstitious minds, perhaps, but not to thinking folk.

Then, at just the correct moment in history, the Lamb makes his appearance. John said, "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!" How? By shedding His blood. Why? Because God, in His infinite wisdom, planned/willed it. Can it be explained? Not fully. It's a mystery. It's a thing to be believed and accepted by faith (John 3:16).

Baptism is a mystery. People resist it/explain it away. But believers accept it. Baptism and blood atonement have something in common. Death. Burial. Resurrection. Truly, a mystery.

STEVEN CLARK GOAD