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Plead the Blood

By Quentin McGhee

"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" (Revelation 12:11, NIV).

“I plead the Blood.”

I often heard these words as a boy. They were among the most cherished words of my grandmother, Bertice, and my mother, Frances. These words were more precious than the treasures in their jewelry boxes. Sometimes “I plead the Blood” was spoken softly as an opening prayer, like a greeting to God. At other times I heard “I plead the blood of Jesus” ring out like a gunshot fired at an enemy.

“I plead the Blood” became so familiar that I grew up praying these words myself. I always knew they were special and sacred. But only recently, after praying “I plead the Blood” for nearly 50 years, has the Spirit enabled me to grasp the riches of its meaning.

Plead the Blood. What a famous verbal trio. If words were fabric, these would be threadbare. They are well-worn and well-known. But what do they mean?

The blood of Jesus is the basis of our relationship with God. Thus, the prayer “I plead the blood of Jesus” means several things.

It means trusting in the sacrifice of Christ for our redemption. Through His blood we have forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 1:7). Sometimes we need to plead the Blood to overcome guilt from sins that have already been forgiven. That is, we remind ourselves that our forgiveness comes on the basis of His blood. To question our forgiveness is to question His blood. As the beloved hymn says, each believer comes to God “just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.”

It means claiming the rights and privileges that the Blood brings to us. A person in court may plead the fifth amendment to claim the rights it brings. Likewise, we plead the Blood to claim the blessings it brings — such as forgiveness, regeneration, reconciliation, adoption, sanctification, physical and spiritual healing, protection, provision, and eternal salvation of the body, soul and spirit.

It means affirming that, since God is for us, no one can endure against us. God did not spare His Son, but gave Him to shed His blood on the cross. Therefore, He will give us all lesser things in His time (Romans 8:32). Neither circumstances, nor time, nor man, nor demons, nor the devil can separate us from the love of God. Pleading the Blood is a bold declaration that the victory is ours through Christ.

It means that we have made a spiritual change of address. We once lived in the kingdom of darkness. But through Christ’s blood God moved us into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13,14).

It means a commitment to holy living. The Blood only helps those who walk in the light. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7). Pleading the Blood reminds us that God will do His big part as we do our small part.

“I plead the blood of Jesus!” Hold it up like a banner to approach the throne of grace. Use it like a sword to fight against doubt and demons. Depend on it as a key to unlock the gates of heaven for eternity.


Quentin McGhee and his wife, Elizabeth, are missionaries serving through Global University.

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