In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12, verse 4.
“I ain’t got time to bleed.” That quote is 30 years old this year. In case you don’t know where it came from, it entered the pop culture lexicon in the movie “Predator,” starring Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Jesse “the Body” Ventura. Let’s not discuss Arnold; our focus is on “the Body.” You’ll recall that Jesse Ventura had been a Navy Seal, then a professional actor. After Predator and a few other less than memorable movies, Jesse ventured into politics. He was eventually elected governor of my home state of Minnesota where his performance was less than stellar. His tough-guy approach to governing didn’t quite fit in. Harkening back to Hollywood, “I ain’t got time to bleed” was Jesse’s most famous line in the movie, uttered before his character became prey to the alien predator.
When you’re out of time, you bleed. Better to make time to bleed now. Whether you make time for it or not, here on this planet, you’re gonna bleed.
When you’re really down for the struggle, you commit your blood to it. In other words, if something means enough to you, you’d better be willing to die for it. Your spouse, your children, your pride, your image, maybe even your country: for these things, most people make the time to bleed. For most people, these things are important enough to die for. Ask Jesus about it. After all, you were important enough for Him to die for. Jesus had time to bleed because His bleeding made it possible for your peace and your life after bloody death.
Do you believe enough to die?
In the developed world, when most people die their bodies are bled dry. Whether you were ready to die or not, when you die in the West, you’re gonna bleed. The undertaker cuts open your body and opens an artery until all your blood is drained. Then they’ll sew you up. They will then inject a solution of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, ethanol, phenol, water, and dyes back into your cadaver in order to simulate a life-like skin-tone (see https://www.everplans.com/articles/the-embalming-process-explicit). Yep, it’s gruesome, but that’s what happens.
When you’re out of time, you bleed. At that time – and there will be ‘that time’ for all of us one day – it won’t matter whether or not you bled when you still had time. Were you a giver, giving from your heart to live out the calling Jesus gives you, living out His fruit of His Spirit? Or were you Jesse the Body, raging day to day because ‘I ain’t go time to bleed?”
Tell me: is what you believe important enough for you to allow someone to kill you for it?
The fact is, Jesse had it all wrong. If you really want to overcome the temptations of our world, you make time to bleed. If you struggle against them, it’ll cost you. You’ll be persecuted, attacked, maybe destroyed. It (literally) may kill you. If you believe enough in resisting the temptation of sin, you’ll bleed. You’ll bleed emotionally. You’ll bleed rhetorically. You’ll probably bleed physically. All this will happen because sin and it’s father, Satan, are the ultimate predators.
And resisting the urge to sin, whatever your pet sin might be, is depressing. It’ll bleed you from the inside out. It’s tough to fight off the voices that tell you “just one more.” It’s wearying to have to say “no” when it would feel so good, so right, to simply give in. The predator knows that. He’s a damned coward, you know. He only attacks when we’re weak because we’re easier to overcome when we’re weakened. Yet if you truly believe in this Jesus and all He’s called you to be for Him, you resist. You hurt; you struggle; you’ll bleed. It’s important, you know. It’s what Christ did.
I’m sorry if this hurts; I’m sorry if you came here today looking for some happy uplifting words to get you through your day. That isn’t what’s on deck for today. This is a harsher truth. Today there is the sober reminder that, if you haven’t resisted the devil to the point of it shedding your blood, then you aren’t broken yet. Much as it may hurt, there will be more pain in store for you. It’s going to cost you blood. Life is a one-way death trip, and the only thing that’ll get you through it is blood: your believing in Jesus’ redeeming blood to the point of the world taking your own. Take heart, then, in knowing that it cost Jesus His as well. He’s right beside you as you struggle. When you dig for that courage to resist, that urge to go on just a little more, that’s Jesus’ Spirit building you up. Putting strength in your resolve and steel in your spine. Jesse Ventura could only dream of that. I hope he has time for it.
For further reading: Hebrews 10: 32-34, Hebrews 13:13.
Lord, when I bleed, let me bleed in service to You.