Over 100 years ago Louis Lopsch had the idea of publishing a Bible with some passages written in red. Most of us have had the opportunity to read from one of these red-letter Bibles. Why are these verses written in red? Lopsch decided to publish a Bible with Jesus’ words written in blood-red colored ink after contemplating on this passage, Luke 22:20 which states: “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you,”
Legendary Country singers Brooks and Dunn beautifully captured the impact of red letters in the Bible in their hit song I BELIEVE with this chorus. Please don’t skip this short heart touching video below.
I raise my hands, bow my head
I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see
Oh I believe
Yes indeed there is so much to find in those words written in red. God knew that as a result of our free will we would be sinners, but God also longed for us to share eternity with Him. Thus to make atonement for our sins, God sent His only son to pay the ultimate price. God loved us before we knew to love Him. This is what is written in 1 John 4:10: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins”
We should realize and appreciate that Jesus’ death on the cross was nothing short of a personal love letter from God to each one of us. Take a minute and read this verse: 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 “You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us, written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.”
When Paul writes “written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God” I believe he is attempting to distinguish Jesus’ message from that of other preachers of that time period who were writing in “ink” and from the Mosaic Law which was written in stone. Jesus brought a personal message to be written in our hearts. We see a similar distinction in the Old Testament in a verse from Ezekiel 36:26 when he writes: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
The New Covenant was written in red by Jesus’ death on the cross. This was His message of love. It is not likely that many of us will be asked to write our love letter back to God in the red of our own blood, but we might be. Are we prepared to give our life for our faith if we are called upon to do so?
I read that every five minutes a Christian is killed for his or her faith. It is presumed that around 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Finally I saw an estimate that stated that since the time of Christ 70 million Christians have given their life for their faith. Their stories were also written in red.
It is much more likely that we won’t have to share our story of faith in red, but it is clear that we are all called by God to share our faith. The story of our life needs to be in our hearts and on our lips. The Spirit of our Living God resides inside each of us. The words in red left their impact on Old man Wrigley and in turn his faith left a permanent mark on the heart of the little boy in the Brooks and Dunn song, I BELIEVE. The question now is this; Will our faith in Jesus Christ leave that same type of impact on others?
Only time will tell!
Jesus thank you for your gift to me written in red on Calvary, now I ask you in prayer to send the Holy Spirit to write your message of love on my heart, amen!
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