him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony"
(Revelation 12:11, NIV).
“I plead the
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
“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
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.
McGhee and his wife, Elizabeth, are missionaries serving through
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