An Issue of Blood

Under the blood

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39, emphasis mine)

Contrast Jesus’ entreaty for physical contact from His disciples with His caution for the opposite toward Mary just after His resurrection:

“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17, emphasis mine)

It wasn’t and issue of gender or of preference. Something happened between His resurrection, coming from the tomb to greet Mary Magdalene (the first person to see Him after His resurrection–quite a privilege) and showing Himself–literally appearing in front of them out of thin air (see Luke 24:36)–to His disciples, His “brethren”. In between the time of resurrection and His ex nihilo manifestation to the disciples at Jerusalem, Jesus had appeared before His Father in Heaven and sealed our salvation through His sacrifice. He shed His blood as a holy sacrifice and offering before God and made it possible for our sin to not only be forgiven but removed. It doesn’t matter how much sin you have, Jesus’ shed blood covers all of it. Admittedly, the sight of blood is not for the squeamish. The mere thought, neither. But! That’s just what you’ll have to work through in order to appropriate the forgiveness that comes through accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. Consider the other side of it, where the sight of our sin is equally revolting to the Lord.

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)

Where things stand

Hypostasis is a multi-faceted term (of Greek origin) with three distinct definitions. The first and simplest definition refers to an undergirding or basis for an idea or concept (hypo-stasis: literally, under-standing). It gets a little deeper in definition theologically. Hypostasis, theologically speaking, refers to the substance of each member of the Trinity when viewed as distinct entities within the contiguity, or oneness, of their Person. Think of a box (this is how my dad explained it to me as a kid). The depth, height and width are distinct from one another yet all make up the volume, the body of the object. Hypostasis. Jesus is an individual but He’s also just as much God as is the Father and the Spirit. They are one. The third definition of hypostasis is a medical one. It refers to a pooling of the blood in an organ due to lack of proper circulation. There it is again! Blood. We have it, we need it. Jesus shed His blood for us. Maybe that’s why He mentioned to His disciples in the above verse that “a spirit hath not flesh and bones”. He didn’t say anything about blood. Certainly, a spirit doesn’t have blood, but does He? I don’t think so. His physical life was spilled out that we might live spiritually.

“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment.” (Matthew 9:20)

All this woman had to do was touch Jesus. The life in Him, healed her. The same holds true for today. Press through the crowd. Make an effort to reach Him, to touch Him.

Hemopathic refers to any disease of the blood. ‘Hemo’ being the Greek prefix for ‘blood’. And while that’s a medical term that refers to a physical state, the issue of sin affects everyone. It’s never a matter of ethics or morality (or sin, really). Anymore, and it’s always been this way, by the way, without Jesus there is no recreation of the human spirit. It’s now a matter of believing that God loves you more than you love yourself. After, of course, believing that He’s real and that Jesus is who He said He was and is. Mary knew beyond the shadow of a doubt who Jesus was. She loved Him and knew that He loved her. While He may have forbidden her from touching Him physically, they were one in spirit. The same thing happens to us upon believing in Jesus. And while Heaven is the dimension in which these things of the physical slough off and give way to the spiritual, the understanding necessarily begins in our hearts and minds upon touching Jesus there, first.

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men (and women) for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:26-28a)

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