(The Shepherd’s Echo is a reposting of a previously published TheShepherdsPen)
We are indeed blessed. Minimally, we are all blessed with common grace, and the gift of life. To those of us who are walking in relationship with God, we know that we are ultimately and supremely blessed, and blessed for eternity. Only people who are washed in the blood of Christ are able to accurately claim this redemption. So, my guess is that it is not by accident that when the Hebrew words for bless were being translated into the English language that such a powerful and descriptive expression was selected.
One of my books says that it is a “bloody” word, because in the English language for us to capture that idea of blessed, the word which was harvested was the Old English word bledsian. What it meant was to be “reddened with blood,” “to be consecrated with blood, as in sacrifices.”
Over the years the word morphed into blessen, blessed, and ultimately bless, but it still meant to be consecrated by blood. When we add God to the equation, as in “God bless you,” it means, “God bathe you in blood.” “Be consecrated in blood.” “Be made righteous in blood.”
When we say “God bless you” in the English language then, what we’re really communicating is “would that you be reddened with blood.” And in the most Christian sense we are saying, “would you be consecrated, would that you would be among the redeemed!” When we place all the elements together in this phrase it becomes a beautiful prayer to the divine…” May you be consecrated by God in the blood of Christ! May God Bless You!”
It is this blood, and only this blood of Christ which is the agent that places us in right standing before God. This picture is vividly painted for us in Romans 6:3-7:
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
The person brought forth from this baptism is washed, reddened with the blood of Christ and freed from the eternal consequences of sin.
This simple phrase, “God bless you” is an invocation to the God of all life that the person of whom this divine solicitation is said would be cleansed of their sin and brought into right relationship with God through the sacrificial atonement of Christ. When we see someone, when we say goodbye to someone, even when somebody sneezes we plead divine redemption, salvation, restoration and peace.
Who would have thought that such a statement would be so infused with meaning? Now I am sure there are those who will charge me with romanticizing this for the sake of an article, but, check it out for yourself. I’ll admit, I am having fun with this, but hey! You gotta love this!
The question at hand then is for everyone…, “are you reddened with the blood of Christ?”
Perhaps, the song asks it best.
Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
There is a lot going on in our lives – a lot of things to address every day. But none is more important than this question. My prayer is that you face this issue head on and are absolutely certain today, that you stand before God, washed in the blood of Christ.
And for the record, one more time: May God Bless You!