Growing up in West Africa as a missionary kid left me with a curiosity for strange and exotic wildlife. Perhaps it was the four-foot green mamba with the deadly poisonous bite that dropped from a tree right in front of my bicycle, the geckos that climbed my bedroom walls and ate the spiders that lurked in the corners, or being raised with the menagerie of pets in my backyard including an African Grey Parrot, a monkey, dogs, and so many others including a fruit bat at one time. As a boy growing up in Africa, I developed an interest in animals and why and how they behave the way they do. So when browsing the New York Times website, the video link entitled “How the boa kills” instantly caught my attention.
It has long been assumed and taught that a Boa constrictor squeezes the life out of its prey by wrapping itself around the body of its victim, then each time the helpless prey takes another breath the snake constricts tighter, eventually suffocating its target meal. However, in this video the scientists from the “Journal of Experimental Biology” debunk the common myth that these constrictor snakes kill by suffocation. In actuality, boas kill because they block blood flow and cause circulatory arrest in mere seconds.
Leviticus 17:11 states, “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.” Like the deadly Boa constrictor, Satan knows that ultimately his attack on our life, in order to be fatal, must disconnect us from the blood of Christ. Christ shed His blood so that we through His grace could be made clean and whole before Him. We may feel like the pressure of the world is taking away our breath, our energy, our ability to thrive, but in actuality the enemy is after something much more deadly. If we are constricted by sin, by doubt, by deception, by worldliness we will easily be disconnected from the lifesaving blood shed for the remission of our sin.
Today many shy away from the subject of the blood of Jesus. They want it removed from the songs we sing and the vernacular we use. However, our elders knew the importance of talking about the blood of Jesus. They walked the floors singing beautifully penned songs about the blood of Christ. They preached about the blood. They taught Bible lessons about the blood. They understood that the blood was essential for salvation. They wanted to be sure they did not lose connection to this life-sustaining force. I pray this generation never loses its connection to the blood. I pray that we won’t be afraid to preach the necessity of Christ’s blood as atonement for a lost and sinful world. Our souls, and the souls of our children, depend upon it.