For centuries, there has been a view of Christ’s blood that has been taught and preached which goes something like this:
Jesus’ physical blood was not human, but was only divine, derived directly from God the Father and not from Mary, his mother. The main verse that is used for this teaching is Acts 20:28: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which HE obtained with his own blood.”
The final two phrases are the issue here–“to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Those who espouse the view that Christ’s blood was purely divine and not human, say that it was God’s blood, which, they argue, this verse proves. It was the blood of the Father, the blood of God, and thus, was not human blood at all.
According to this view, Christ did not derive his blood from Mary through the physical developmental process in the womb. He did not get his blood from Mary, because, it is argued, that would mean it would have been corrupted; so they argue that God the Father gave the Son divine and pure blood which was not human.
Such preaching goes something like this: “The blood of Jesus!- it was holy and pure because it was God’s blood– God’s blood– it wasn’t human in origin– it was God’s blood– God the Father put special, newly created divine blood in His Son which was only of divine origin, so he would be pure and holy–it wasn’t from Mary–it was from the Father– God’s holy blood!”
Such preaching excites the undiscerning and causes them to think that the deity of Jesus and his holiness is being honored by this view. Such a view is still around and is often expressed by conservative and fundamentalist preachers who think they are protecting the purity of Christ. It has amazed me for a long time to hear professing evangelical preachers put forth this idea about Christ’s blood. But the fact is, to put it in simple terms, this teaching is heresy at its worst. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The physical blood of Jesus Christ was fully and truly human, derived from Mary, his mother. If not, then we have no salvation.
A couple of main thoughts:
1. The phrase in Acts 20:28 ‘the church of God’ is just as easily translated ‘the church of the Lord’; the word ‘Lord’ is proper here, equally as much as the word ‘God’. But even if one says that it is the church of ‘God’, that in no way means that it is referring to the God the Father particularly.
2. To say that the blood of Christ was divine and not human is to deny the true humanity of Christ. Jesus had to be fully human in every way, which means his physical body and blood, and his human nature in totality, was received from Mary. Everything about him physically and humanly, body and soul, were derived from Mary. In every way, he was made like us in all things (sin excepted).
The wrong view says that his blood could not have been derived from Mary or it would have been corrupt, fallen, impure, etc; but blood is purely physical and not moral. The logic is very weak, at best. If his blood would have been impure if it came from Mary’s body, then anything else he derived from her would have been as well, which includes his true physical body and his human nature. Thus you would not have a human Jesus at all. In other words, if one part of Jesus’ humanity (his blood) was not fully derived from Mary, then none of his humanity could have been and he would fail to be truly human in every way.
If Jesus could not have derived his physical blood from Mary because he would have received corruption from a human parent, then we must also say that none of his human nature and physical body could be derived from Mary. But if his physical body and human soul came from Mary and the entire process was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit (see below), then there is no problem about his blood coming from his mother. If you deny one aspect of Christ’s humanity as being human, then you are denying and rejecting the true humanity of our Lord. And if you do not have a fully human Jesus, in every way like us, then you do not have the Christ of the New Testament.
Obviously, his blood was pure and perfect, but not because it was the blood of God, but because of the work of the Holy Spirit in His overshadowing work in the conception of the Saviour. We must remember that the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” the conception and birth of the baby Jesus. This divine and miraculous work would have protected and kept anything sinful or fallen of Mary’s nature from being imparted to the baby Jesus. If we believe in the supernatural nature of Christianity, it is no problem at all that the Holy Spirit created the human person of Jesus, body and soul, from Mary’s body and person, and then preserved his human person from all impurity and kept any effects of original sin from being passed down to Jesus.
The truth is, Jesus Christ the divine Son, eternally one with the Father as God, became a true human being– physical body, physical blood and human soul, receiving all this from his mother’s body and her human nature. He was fully God and fully man without limitations. His rue humanity, in its totality, came fully from Mary’s body and her DNA. His blood was true human blood just like ours, made of a woman. To deny this is to evidence a clear lack of understanding of the full humanity of our Lord.
So if you ever hear anyone say that Jesus’ blood was divine and was the blood of God, don’t believe it and don’t be fooled. Quickly say to yourself, “Whoa–error! that is not accurate and not biblical.” Be discerning. Such a view changes the biblical person of Christ and it thus changes even our redemption. To be our faithful and merciful High Priest, he must qualify for that office. And to qualify to be the High Priest in the redemption of all His people, He has to be one of us fully, made like us in all things, in order to redeem man. Only a true and fully human Man can redeem human sinners.
The true and full humanity of the man Jesus is so wonderful, so glorious, and so essential, that you do not have a true gospel without it and you do not have true salvation without it.
“Behold the Man!”– Jesus, our kinsman Redeemer
– Mack Tomlinson