It has been at least a couple of years since I’ve heard her say it, but when I would confess my sinful moral failures to her in the years after coming clean, she would ask me, “Where’s the blood?!?”
She references Hebrews 12:4, “In you struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (ESV)
You may say, “That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean literal blood…that stuff about pluck out your eye and cut off your hand is just figurative.” (Matthew 5:29,30;Matthew 18:8,9;Mark 9:43-47). I don’t see any evidence to indicate that Hebrews 12 is talking about figurative blood.
Maybe I have a different perspective. Back in the day (it’s been a few years) I would take part in Pankration – full contact martial arts mixing striking, kicking, and grappling for knock-out or submission (nowadays, MMA). When I fought, sometimes I’d win, sometimes not – but I was a dogged fighter. I never gave up easily. Whenever I did lose, you can bet there was literal, red blood on my gi as testament to my resistance.
That is a mere earthly, flesh and blood struggle. Our resistance to sin is in the spiritual realm, and has another model – Jesus Christ. You say, “He is the Son of God! He can’t sin!” True, but He was tempted:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
Also, when dealing with temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane, He shed real, literal blood:
“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:41-44 (ESV)
So, dear friends, the next time you are tempted…
Shed some blood in the struggle! Draw on the power of the Holy Spirit, and don’t give in! Be like Christ and say, “Not my will, but Yours, be done!”