The scarlet thread: present in the Old Testament, absent in "The Bible"

This article is on Dr. Adrian Rogers' website "Love Worth Finding." There is a button to share it on blogger so I am taking advantage of that to present this essay to you. Dr. Rogers is in heaven now with the Lord, but his work remains and continues to bear fruit for the kingdom.

If you read the essay then at the end I make a remark about something in today's culture.

The Scarlet Thread through the Bible
Dr. Adrian Rogers

Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by…and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. Joshua 2:18-19

Rahab, the woman spoken to in this passage, was a harlot in the city of Jericho. As the Israelites came to possess the land, her city was destined for destruction — and she along with it. But she was delivered, and her life transformed, simply by tying a scarlet cord in her window.

This cord represented the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it pointed toward the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. In fact, all of the Bible is about Jesus Christ and His blood redemption, and you will find this scarlet thread throughout the Word of God.

The Prophecy of the Blood

From the very beginning of human history, it is revealed. When Adam and Eve sinned, God shed innocent blood in order to make them clothes from animal skins (Genesis 3:21). This is a picture of the covering of righteousness that we receive when the Lord Jesus Christ died for us.

In Genesis four we read that Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. They instinctively wanted to worship God. Cain sacrificed the fruit of the ground. Abel had already learned that God demanded blood, so he brought a lamb. God accepted the blood of Abel's lamb, but He did not accept Cain's offering. Why? Because "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin" (Hebrews 9:22).

And God told Abraham to sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac (Genesis 22). Just before Abraham plunged the dagger into the quivering heart of his son, an angel stopped him. Abraham saw a ram caught in a thicket. Isaac was set free, but an innocent animal's blood was shed instead.

Then, God wanted to deliver His people from bondage in the land of Egypt. On the night of the Passover, God instructed each house to slay a lamb and put the blood on their door. God said in Exodus 12:13, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you."

And in the tabernacle and later in the temple, thousands upon thousands of sheep, oxen, and turtle doves were killed and their blood spilt as sacrifices for sin.

And finally, the Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross. His death was the fulfillment of all the prophecy and promises. Revelation 13:8 proclaims that He was slain before the foundation of the world. He came to die; He planned to die; He lived to die; and He was born to die.

Blood is throughout Scripture, but what does Christ's blood mean to us?

The Power of the Blood

His blood redeems us. There was a price against us that we could not pay, but the blood of Jesus redeemed us. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things.... But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

His blood brings us into fellowship with God. According to Ephesians 2:13, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Without the blood of Christ, man is a long way from God.

His blood makes peace with God. Man, by nature, is at war with God; and we can only come to God on His peace terms — the blood atonement. The Bible says in Colossians 1:20, "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself...."

His blood cleanses. Not only does it remove the punishment of sin, it removes the pollution. I don't care what sin you've committed; "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

His blood gives power over the devil. It's the blood that Satan fears. Revelation 12:11 says, "And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb...." The devil doesn't want you to learn about the blood. He hates it!

Before this planet was ever swung into space, God had determined in His heart that He would send His Son to die upon the cross. How wonderful it is to trace the scarlet thread of the blood of Christ woven throughout the Bible! How much more wonderful to experience its redemption personally. Praise God for the blood of His Lamb!

~~~~~~~~~end Dr. Rogers~~~~~~~~~

I want you to understand how important the Old Testament is. The scarlet thread runs throughout it. There are pictures and shadows and copies of the Messiah to come. See these verses

Hebrews 8:5
They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 9:24
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

Hebrews 10:1
Christ's Sacrifice Once for All - For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

HE is the scarlet thread and woe be upon anyone who removes Him from the Old Testament as well as the New.

Yet the producers who created the History Channel's series "The Bible" have removed this scarlet thread. We heard nothing of the promise of a redeemer as Noah recited the early Genesis verses. Passover was not explained. The sacrifice of Isaac was not explained and they made a monumentally blasphemous substitution of the lamb for the ram. The sin of Sodom was removed.

As the series unfolds, the doctrines which the series presents are crafty and subtle, just as we would suspect satan to be (Genesis 3:1-2). It subtly overemphasizes man’s acts, underemphasizes God’s sovereignty, and worst, underemphasizes man’s sin. Noah is responsible for reconciling man to God after the flood. Saul is responsible for uniting the two kingdoms. Sins are ‘mistakes’, and judgment comes because of ‘bad decisions.’

As the series moves forward, the reason for the coming of Jesus is repeatedly stated that men will “change the world.” Paul is going to change the world. Peter will change the world.

However, Jesus came to save the world and the second coming will be to punish the world. Nothing about Jesus’s intentions are to ‘change the world’ yet that thread is the one which the series creators have replaced the scarlet cord with. And who will change the world? Men.

It is very well to be aware of the doctrinal problems in The Bible miniseries, but it is hard to use the bible to see what isn't there. It is always harder to detect what is missing than what is present.

The Jesus we know and love and honor is missing, and that is because His scarlet thread is plucked out of the perfect tapestry of the interwoven Word. And you know what happens when a thread unravels from the piece: it comes apart.


  1. Very well said. I was thinking of the scarlet thread just the other day and the Bible Miniseries.

    I have that book the Scarlet Thread through the Bible by W.A. Criswell.

    You've done a fine job in juxtaposing the two messages. The Bible miniseries is the black thread of condemnation that they have running throughout the Bible

  2. Excellent post. Excellent visual illustration. Thank you.


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