The Only One Drop Rule

“For on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you; from all of your sins you will be clean before the Lord.” ~ Leviticus 16.30

“For the life of the creature is in the blood and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement.” ~ Leviticus 17.11

“The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” ~ First John 1.7

“What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” It is the blood of Jesus Christ that serves as our pardon, that wipes the slate clean. It is because of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ that we are made complete through a reunion with God.

The blood reminds us of the cost of sin “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6.23) and is a central component of the Christian narrative. It is this salvation through sacrifice that we reenact during Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Jesus Christ is our sacrificial lamb, the Lamb of God who died once for all (Hebrews 9.23; 10.10).  The blood of Jesus Christ is our New Testament scarlet cord. It saves us from death by setting us apart (Hebrews 10.19, 22).

The blood of Jesus Christ has “wonder- working power” but in matters of race, the color of our “blood” can render some persons socially powerless and unclean.  For race, blood also has a color.  There is black blood and white blood. And the two are not to mix.  They must be kept separate in order to maintain their purity.  The color of our “blood” determines our social participation, the nature of our relationships and subsequent interactions, our history and future.

The One Drop Rule was used as a means of social classification and labeled persons as black who had a drop of “black blood.”  The “racial blood fraction” began as one- fourth, then one- eighth and later one thirty- second.  The practice was made legal in almost every state by 1925 and by then, one drop was all that was needed to be socially defined as black.

Many have killed in the name of race and for the cause of racial purity.  Countless persons have been sacrificed on the altar of race for social righteousness. Aeschylus, a Greek tragedian, asked, “What atonement is there for blood spilt upon the earth?” The answer is, “None.” There is no savior race, no supreme human beings.  It is not our blood that sets us apart but Christ’s. There is only Christ who has already died for us and made us pure in the sight of God, cleansed from sin not the social coloring of our skin.

Christ’s blood is the only blood that matters.  His blood is the only blood that makes a difference.  And it was not black blood or white blood because Jesus Christ is not the Savior of a culture but of the world. His blood is not considered pure because of His “race” but because Christ lived a sinless life as the Son of God.

Our blood cannot compare to the blood of Christ.  It can add nothing to us and it certainly cannot take anything away.  And it doesn’t take much of Christ’s blood to change us, perhaps only a drop. This is the only one drop rule.

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