Saved a Wretch Like Me :: By Candy Austin

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see

wretch: a despicable or contemptible person.

Leviticus 17:11 – “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

As a people in general, we do not like to realize how wretched we really are in light of God’s Perfect Holiness. Much less do we want to understand the ‘ramifications and implications’ of our each and every sin on society, on others, and on ourselves! If only we could fully acknowledge how ‘detestable and loathsome’ our sins really are to the Almighty God of the Universe, then maybe, just maybe, we would think twice before we freely and haphazardly choose to offend Him?!

To try and get a ‘tiny grasp’ of the horrors our sin elicits and deserves, one only has to look back to the book of Leviticus. The time where God’s Laws were being put into place after freeing the children of Israel from Egypt, and when the Priests were first beginning to Minister in the Holy Tabernacle concerning the children of Israel’s Sin Offerings, Burnt Offerings, Peace Offerings and the like. It was a time of God interacting and dealing with His People. This is a timeless takeaway that we all can learn from no matter what dispensation we are in.

Charles Spurgeon Study Bible Notes 4:3 & 4:5:

But when we perceive sin, then we are to trust the blood – not when we perceive holiness in ourselves, and goodness and virtue, but when we perceive sin, and iniquity, and defilement. Then we are to lay our hand on the head of the great atoning sacrifice. Jesus is a sinner’s Savior. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” It is not written, “If anyone is holy, he has an advocate.” In all our sin and iniquity, blackness, and defilement – when overwhelmed with our own vileness – we may still come to Christ and believe that our most horrible and detestable sins were laid on him. And over and above that, those sins which we do not feel, which may be even more detestable, even these – and what is more, the sinfulness of our nature itself – that black and polluted fount from which the streams of our trespasses take their rise; the guilt of all actual and original sin was laid on Jesus, and by him forever put away.

“And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation.” I am well aware that some persons cry out, “The preacher continually talks about blood; and, this morning, from the first hymn to the last, he has brought before us constant allusions to blood. We are horrified by it.” We should be horrified, for indeed sin is a thing to shudder at, and the death of Jesus is not a matter to be treated lightly. It was God’s intent to awaken in people a great disgust of sin by making them see that it could only be put away by suffering and death.

In the tabernacle in the wilderness, almost everything was sanctified by blood. The blood was to be seen everywhere. As soon as you entered the outer-court, you saw the great bronze altar; and at the base of it, bowls of blood were constantly being poured out. When you passed the first veil and entered the holy place, if you saw a priest, he was spattered from head to foot with blood, his snow-white robes bringing the crimson spots most vividly before your eyes. If you looked around, you saw the horns of the golden altar of incense smeared with blood, and the gorgeous veil that hid the innermost sanctuary was splattered with the same.

The holy tent was by no means a place for sentimentalists. Its emblematic teachings dealt with terrible realities in a boldly impressive manner; its ritual was not constructed to gratify the taste but to impress the mind. It was not a place for dainty gentlemen but for brokenhearted sinners. Everywhere the ignorant eye would see something to displease, but the troubled conscience would read lessons of peace and pardon. Oh, that my words would cause triflers with sin to be shocked at the abominable thing. I would have them filled with horror of that detestable thing which cannot be put away except by that which is infinitely more calculated to shock the instructed mind than rivers of blood of bulls and goats – I mean the sacrifice of God’s own Son, whose soul was made an offering for sin.  end source

Hebrews 9:14 – “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Ephesians 1:7 – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Here are some more excerpts from the Charles Spurgeon Study Bible Notes which may help to give us some insight on how wretched the children of Israel’s sins really were. Here we see God’s requirement of the shedding of blood for the atonement of sin. By their having to kill and sacrifice countless numbers of unblemished and innocent animals, we see the gruesomeness of the act, and in fact, it is meant to shock and stun the senses because that is the nature of sin and its ultimate consequences.

Charles Spurgeon Study Bible Notes 1:4 & 1:5:

Also, when someone brought his bull, or his goat, or his lamb, and put his hand on it, knowing that the poor creature must die, he thus acknowledged that he, himself, deserved death. The victim fell in the dust, struggling, bleeding, dying. The offerer confessed that this was what he deserved. The laying of the hand on the head of the offering also meant identification. The worshiper who laid his hand on the bull said essentially, “Be pleased, Lord, to identify me with this bull, and this bull with me. There has been a transferring of my sin. May I be judged as being in the victim, and represented by it.” Then the knife was unsheathed, and the victim was slain. He was not merely bound but killed – and the person stood there and said, “That is me; that is the fate I deserve.” And if the worshiper was a right-minded person and not a mere formalist, he stood with tears in his eyes and felt in his heart, “That death is mine.”

It must be unblemished in order to be an offering at all, but still its perfections did not make it a sacrifice until it was killed. And even so, Jesus must die. His perfect nature, his arduous labor, his blameless life, his perfect consecration could avail us nothing without the shedding of his blood. So far from his death being a mere adjunct and conclusion of his life, it is the most important matter connected with him. It stands in the foreground. It is the head and front of his redeeming work. We justly value him for his example and for his living intercession; but in the business of atonement, it is beyond all things necessary that we view him as the Lamb slain.  Take away this substitutionary death of our Lord, and we have taken all away. Without the death of Jesus, nothing remains for us but death. Forget the crucified one, and we have forgotten the only name by which we can be savedend source

Endless thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ who, being both God and Man, became the perfect sacrifice to pay for all of our sin! Therefore, being Born Again means that we are no longer a wretch, a worm, or a detestable thing in God’s sight! Nonetheless, the Bible states that no one is good, no not one. What we are is Redeemed, Ransomed, Saved, and Set Apart for God’s Kingdom! Once we were blind but now we see! Praise the Lord!

Romans 3:10-12, KJV “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Jesus’ precious blood which was poured out for us, not only paid for our Freedom from the World, the Devil, and the Flesh… it more importantly bought our Salvation from Sin, Death, and Hell! Jesus is our Advocate to the Father, our Great High Priest, our Personal Lord and Savior who redeemed us even from our wretched, sinful selves! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah Forevermore!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun

Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

1 John 1:7-9 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Hebrews 9:22 – “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Romans 5:9 – “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Until next time… Maranatha!