What would your reaction be if I said to you, “My hope is built on nothing more than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”? That was rhetorical—here’s what your answer might be: “Well, you’ve got the hymn wrong, Karyn; it’s, ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.’ That way it actually rhymes, and the theology is better too.”
And you’d be right. But bear with me for a sec. My hope is built on nothing more than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Does it ever seem like it’s a smallish thing to build your faith on? Essentially, a really good guy is the victim of a brutal political assassination, and as a result, I think that all the bad stuff I’ve done is wiped out, and I’ve got the right to approach the awesome, holy, omnipotent creator of the universe. It’s a fairly small thing to have such a massive outcome, surely?
Maybe I should put it another way. My hope is built on nothing other than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I don’t know about you, but sometimes that’s not a statement I can honestly make. It feels like I add in a whole bunch of other props to keep my hope in place, like worship, and evangelism, and church history, and theology. And those things fail me—the Church hasn’t always been the good guy, worship doesn’t always feel like a direct link-up to God, and telling people about my faith often appears to make less than no difference.
So you know what? Ultimately, I think the hymn writer got it right. What it comes down to is, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” What I’ve got—all I’ve got—is that Jesus was righteous, holy, perfect, an acceptable sacrifice, a substitute for me and for you. And His blood—not only was He an acceptable sacrifice, He was an actual sacrifice. Jesus chose to follow through, to pay the blood price for all my sin, and as a result, I am acceptable to God, I can approach Him, seek Him as a Father and friend.
My hope is built on nothing less—there’s nothing bigger, nothing more spectacular, nothing more newsworthy, nothing of more significance, nothing stronger, nothing more solid, nothing more intense, nothing more passionate or painful, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I—we—have faith in nothing more, nothing else, nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, and every time we take part in this remembrance, we proclaim our dependence on those two things.