NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD
Words and Music by Robert Lowry, 1826–1899
“ … without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)
The teaching of the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, is very clear regarding God’s forgiveness of man’s sin. Only a perfect blood sacrifice would satisfy the Father’s requirement of holiness. Throughout the Old Testament much is told about the blood atonements that the priests had to make on behalf of their people (Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 17:11). But the blood of bulls and goats could never satisfy God’s justice for man’s past, present and future sin. Only the shedding of divine blood would do. The Father’s gift of salvation to man required His Son’s life blood. Now when God looks at us, He sees Christ’s shed blood and declares us righteous for Jesus’ sake. Our acceptance with God the Father rests completely upon the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace, or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb, takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they.
Robert Lowry was a popular Baptist pastor in various churches throughout the East. In later life he became interested in writing and publishing gospel songs. Today he is best remembered for his many contributions to our hymnal with songs such as “Nothing But the Blood,” published in 1876. Though simply stated both textually and musically (a five note melodic range and just two chords), this gospel song has had an important place in the church’s ministry in teaching both young and old the absolute necessity of trusting implicitly in the precious blood of Christ for this life and for eternity.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; what can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my pardon this I see—nothing but the blood of Jesus; for my cleansing, this my plea—nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Nothing can for sin atone—nothing but the blood of Jesus; naught of good that I have done—nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my hope and peace—nothing but the blood of Jesus; this is all my righteousness—nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For Today: Isaiah 1:18; Zechariah 13:1; Romans 3:24, 25; Revelation 12:11