“Blood flowing from the winepress”
2020 “By His Blood” Lent devotion #43
The angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia. (Revelation 14:19,20)
The culmination of time and the ultimate judgment of God is compared to the harvest in this passage from Revelation. The harvest was a familiar and anticipated event in biblical times. Sickles are swung, grapes are gathered, and the juice was squeezed out of them to be made into wine.
The wrath of God can be hard to describe. We may be tempted to ask, “Why is God so angry? Is my sin really that bad?” As those who are sinful by nature, we struggle to comprehend holiness, especially the holiness of God. These verses are an attempt to help us see what’s really going on between us and God. We’re nothing more than grapes destined for the winepress. We are nothing more than poor, miserable sinners destined to suffer the wrath of God. It’s not just what we’ve done. It’s who we are.
When it is time for harvest, that is, the day of judgment, many will be condemned, forever cast from God’s presence, like a deep and wide river of blood flowing away from the city of God.
Will that be our fate? By the grace of God, no. Christ’s blood flowed on the cross for us. He suffered God’s wrath in our place, on a cross-shaped winepress. So we are forgiven, we will not perish and we will have eternal life with him in that heavenly city of God.
We ought never to forget the reality of God’s holiness and our depravity. It makes the saving work of Jesus all that much more amazing.
Thank you, Lord, for the blood of Christ that flowed from the cross. Amen.