“If you can make God bleed, people will cease to believe in him.” Ivan Vanko from Iron Man 2.
I watched Iron Man 2 recently, on an 8+ hour flight to Scotland (an awesome trip I took with my Dad!) This quote from the villain Ivan captured my attention. He was speaking, of course, about Iron Man, and the legend which surrounded him, the belief that he could not be defeated. But I thought that the quote was very interesting when compared to Christian beliefs.
You see, the very foundation of our faith rests upon the fact that God did bleed…
Over two thousand years ago, on a hill called Golgotha, God bled and died so that we might be ransomed. And the irony of the quote from Iron Man is that thousands have been drawn by the blood of Christ to belief in Christ and salvation in God. Upon the fact that Christ the Son of God bled and died, and more than that, was raised from the dead, rests the whole framework of our faith.
I Corinthians 15:3-4 “For what I received, I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
“If you can make God bleed, people will cease to believe in Him.” Perhaps this was what Satan was thinking as he watched what he supposed was his victory – Christ dying in agony, nailed to a cross like the worst of criminals. This was his hour of triumph. God’s plan to rescue mankind defeated. Humans trapped forever in sin, bound to eternal separation from God. But the hour of his greatest “triumph” was the hour of his greatest mistake, the hour that marked his defeat, his doom, his death.
The blood of Christ shed upon the cross marked the start of the victory over Satan, culminating in Christ’s resurrection from the dead. His death released us from our sins, and His resurrection brought us eternal life. His death triumphed over sin, His life defeated death.
In the blood of Christ shed upon the cross, we see a God who was willing to leave the glory He had in heaven, and assume the humble form of a man. In His blood we see a God who was willing to die a criminal’s death, burdened with the weight of the sin of mankind, an unblemished lamb, a sacrificial atonement.
Philippians 2:6-8 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”
Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
Blood needed to be shed. Sin must be paid for. And every man must either die eternally, paying for his own sin, or accept the gift Christ offers, our sin paid in full by His death.
Hebrews 19:22 “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
In his book The Great Divorce, C.S Lewis writes that “the higher a thing is, the lower it can descend – a man can sympathize with a horse but a horse cannot sympathize with a rat…” relating this to Christ’s power to become a man and humble himself to death for the sins of the world.
Hebrews 3:14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Through Christ’s blood, we are forgiven and reconciled to God. Through His life, we will have eternal life.
Hebrews 10:10 “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
I Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
God did bleed, and the fact that he did has not stopped people from believing in Him, rather it is the cornerstone of our faith. Christ bled so that we might live.
May we never forget the sacrifice that has brought us life.
~ A Servant of the King
“To the praise of His glory!”