Is it right to praise the blood of Jesus? 

Questions about God, the Bible and the Christian culture 

Question: Is it right to praise the blood of Jesus?

Answer: In general terms, there is nothing “wrong” with praising God or his persons — in whole or in part… and by “in part” I mean doing things like praising God’s strong arm or the Spirit’s power. So, why not Jesus’ blood? For one thing, if you did praise it, you wouldn’t be the first.

Christian hymnals are filled with songs that praise Jesus’ blood. In fact, critics of Christianity often complain that we have a “bloody” religion — and that’s absolutely true! If it were not for Jesus’ blood, we would all be lost… so why not praise it?

To answer this — and as is true for every complex issue in life — we need to examine the details to get to the truth. So, let me rephrase your question: is it right to praise the physical blood of Jesus and to stop there? I do not think so… because no matter how those hymns were phrased, they were not actually “about” the physical blood of Jesus. That would make them sticky, gooey and terminal. Instead, they are about its efficacy in redeeming us and about his willingness to shed it.

Jesus’ willingness to die for us is the linchpin of redemption (… although he met some other qualifications to be our Redeemer, too). But if he was not willing to shed that blood, then we’d still be struggling by with the blood of bulls and goats (Hebrews 10:4). But we are not… and Hebrews — the bloodiest book in the New Testament — screams this from page after page. So, why not praise the blood?

Here’s the thing: Jesus' blood was merely a vehicle for the atonement, but redemption is the atonement’s product (Ephesians 1:7). This is why I think that people who focus on Jesus’ physical blood are falling short of praising the Redeemer — and I don’t know many believers who question whether or not the Redeemer is a legitimate target for praise. As such, why focus on the blood?

That’s my biggest problem with the practice of praising the blood. I suspect that people who are hung up on the blood of Jesus have not progressed to the person of Jesus; it’s like the atonement is not complete for them. Perhaps it’s some of those who through their attitude continue to sacrifice and put Jesus to an open shame (Hebrews 6:6).

Now, your question used the phrase “praise the blood” … and I’m done addressing that. But I’m wondering if you were really asking about praying the blood (or pleading the blood) — a phraseology that is most prevalent among Charismatic Christians. I’m not Charismatic and I don’t speak for them, but I am very much against algorithmic prayer… and praying the blood of Jesus falls into that category.

An algorithmic prayer is best exemplified in the name-it-claim-it types of prayer — and especially that of the Word-Faith movement where you must physically speak the words to have the prayer work its magic. But any of the formulaic recitations that are often some variation on binding Satan and claiming what’s yours would apply. Praying the blood has that flavor… if not that fervor.

So, my original observations still apply: why bother with such a practice when we can draw close to God and start talking to him in a direct and non-formulaic manner any time we want? How would “praying the blood” improve upon that?

In like manner, if you are praising God, how would praising his blood improve on that? … and I pray that this little discussion helped you sort some of this out.

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