by Tad Lindley
Many of you will remember the old Budweiser beer slogan: For all you do, this Bud’s for you. Generations took it to heart, drinking Budweiser as a way of getting through life. Bad weather, drink a Bud. Good weather, celebrate with a six pack. Ashamed of things that happened in the past, drown it in Budweiser. Embarrassed by what you did while drinking last weekend, this Bud’s to help you forget. Managed not to drink for a week, this Bud’s to help you celebrate the fact that you can quit drinking whenever you want to (you just never want to). Getting married, get a keg of Budweiser. Getting divorced, drink it by yourself out of the can while you listen to old Neil Young songs. For all you do, this Bud’s for you.
The things Bud can’t cover
When Adam and the woman sinned in the Garden of Eden, they knew shame for the first time ever. Their first response was to cover it up. They tried to with fig leaves. It didn’t work. Many of us have tried to cover up our sin with alcohol. It doesn’t work very well either. All it does is make us forget for a brief time, and in the process, we often add more sin to our lives.
Baptized in Budweiser
Sometimes our hurt is so deep, and our shame is so severe, that the only way we can face life is in prolonged drunkenness. Many have been abused, betrayed, or molested in the past. When sober, the torment of those memories is overwhelming. Those of us who have lived that way have attempted to baptize ourselves with alcohol, saturating our anguished minds in a drug induced relief. Baptism in Budweiser leads to a tragic life of broken dreams and lost souls.
His blood is better than “this Bud”
Almost two thousand years ago Jesus was having supper with his disciples. He raised up a cup and said, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). In other words, Jesus was pointing them toward his coming crucifixion, and saying, “For all you do, this blood’s for you.”
Jesus endured the shame, humiliation, and bloodshed of the events leading up to his death on the cross for you and for me. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). You will notice that when Adam and the woman sinned, instead of fig leaves, God shed the blood of animals and clothed them in animal skins. Across human history, animals were killed to seek God’s forgiveness, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). The reason that Christians do not offer animal sacrifice is because we have a much more excellent sacrifice in Jesus Christ. God was manifest in the flesh to become the propitiation for our sins.
Is everyone automatically saved then?
It would be so wonderful if from Jesus death on the cross until this day, every one of us was automatically saved. Unfortunately this is not the case. It would take billions of gallons of Budweiser to make the world forget their own sins for just one night, but it only takes a few pints of Jesus blood to buy forgiveness across eternity for all people. It is not a blood shortage that keeps people from being forgiven, it is a faith shortage.
What must we do to be saved?
When the apostle, Peter, was asked this question he answered, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). Without the operation of faith in Jesus’ blood, we will die in our sins. If we have faith in Jesus, we will obey his word. We will be baptized (by being immersed in water) in the name of Jesus Christ. And as the Bible plainly states, we do that for the remission of sins. This is why when we come out of the baptismal waters, whether it is a bathtub or the Yukon River, the weight of sin is lifted from our lives.
What if we sin again after we are forgiven?
It would be nice if we just got caught up into glory out of the baptismal waters, but alas it is not so. The sins of our past are remitted in God’s eyes, but what if we sin again? Writing to people who had already repented of their sins and been baptized in Jesus’ name, John answered this very question: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
It really is for you
It is tempting to think, “God doesn’t want me, I’ve sunk too deep in sin”; not true. Here’s what Jesus said, If any man thirst let him come unto me a drink (John 7:37). That includes you. In II Peter 3:9 we learn that the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. “Any” includes you, regardless of how horrible your sin is. You cannot have sinned so much that he no longer loves you and wants to see you saved. For all you do, his blood’s for you.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, AK.