Thursday, February 12

Divine Blood, The Proof Texts

Okay, now it's time to look at the two texts use to support the idea that Christ's blood is divine blood. The first one is Acts 20:28:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

I have quoted from the KJV, since the people I have discussed this with prefer that version. The point they make from this text is that the blood by which God purchased the church was God's own blood, so the blood that Christ shed was not human blood, but divine blood.

Is this the point that the verse is making though? Is it saying that the blood is God's own, meaning that God purchased the church with the blood that was physically within Christ's veins--blood which is not human, but God's own blood; or that the blood is God's own, meaning that God purchased the church with something precious that belonged to him--by the sacrifice of His own son?

It seems pretty clear to me that the last option is the best one. First of all, it's difficult to understand how someone who is spirit can have physical blood. How can there be any such thing, really, as divine blood? When you take this difficulty and put it together with Hebrews 2:14-17 which says that Christ shared in the same "flesh and blood" as we did--that He was like us in every respect, how can this verse can be taken to mean that Christ's blood was physically different than ours because it was somehow God's own blood?

Moreover, there is ambiguity in the text, and some versions translate this as "with the blood of His own" rather than "with His own blood". This makes Acts 20:28 a rather weak proof text, since the precise meaning in the original is a bit unclear, and it could be saying simply that God purchased the church with His Son's blood, rather than God's own blood.

Now on to the second supporting text found in 1 Peter 1:18 and 19:

...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, {the blood} of Christ.

This text is used because it says that Christ's blood is not a perishable thing, and it is assumed that in order to be imperishable, the blood must be divine, for if it the blood was human blood, it would automatically be perishable. I am not sure it is true that human blood is automatically perishable (Isn't perishability the result of the fall?), but I don't think that's the point of the text anyway. The contrast is between perishable things and the unblemished and spotless nature of the One who redeemed us. Christ was not tainted by sin, either by birth or by His own actions, and it is this complete sinlessness coupled with His complete humanity that makes him valuable to us as our Redeemer. He can receive our stripes in our place because He deserves none of His own. He can represent us because He is truly one of us.

Neither of these proof texts, then, really argues against the humanness of the blood of Christ, while other texts seem to quite straightforwardly argue that he had all that was required to be fully human, including taking on the same sort of body that we have.