Story Behind the Song: “The Blood of Jesus Speaks for Me”

Songwriter David Moffitt shares the story behind co-writing the song “The Blood of Jesus Speaks for Me” from Travis Cottrell’s brand-new worship collection All That Is Within Me. Be sure and check out the album on iTunes, Spotify, and on our site as a choral collection.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

These words jumped into my mind as I drove to pick up my son John David from soccer practice. I don’t remember what I was thinking about right before that moment because the words came out of nowhere and grabbed and held my attention. I might have been concerned about the next item on my to do list, troubled by a conversation I had with someone earlier in the day, or concerned over any number of things I’d been praying about and waiting for answers.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

 Often, as a songwriter, I can have a creative spark and think, “That’s a decent idea. I could write a song about that sometime.” This time felt more like, “Stop everything. Now. Clear your head. You need this. Write this song.”

So I sat there in the parking lot waiting for the soccer practice to end, thinking about Hebrews 12:24 and the blood of Jesus that “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel,” the sprinkled blood of the Savior that speaks forgiveness and grace instead of anger and revenge. I sat there, trying to get my little mind around something as massive as that.

I love it when I can hear a song beginning to organize in my head, this time very hymn-like and strong, and I catch a vision for what it might become. It can feel exhilarating, kind of like riding a roller coaster. Uphill it’s hopeful anticipation/expectation, downhill it’s the thrill of creating something new that might do some good somewhere for somebody. But honestly, it’s also real to be a little dumbfounded by a theme as rich as the blood of Jesus. Am I ready to get on this ride? Am I up for this? Sometimes I can feel so speechless.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

How am I going to say everything I need to say here in just a few lines? Man, this is a lot of deep theology. How am I going to express all…

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

What if I can’t come up with anything new that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before? For centuries people have been writing better songs than I will ever write about the blood of Jesus, what if….

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

Who am I to think that I have any authority when it comes to…

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

I pulled out my phone and typed the words in:

The blood of Jesus speaks for me:

Grace. Mercy.

Pardon. Power.

Freedom. No condemnation.

When I don’t know exactly what to say…

When other voices say…

When my accuser…

When my accuser makes the claim

That I should die for my offense,

I point him to that rugged frame

Where I found life at Christ’s expense.

I called my friend Travis Cottrell and rambled off my idea and read him the few scattered lines that would later become the third verse. We were writing for a new project for Brentwood Benson, so I said I’d finish the lyric while he started on a melody.

Sometimes the lyrics write themselves quickly and sometimes you have to write and write, and write again. Yes, I think it’s done! No, maybe not. Why does that line bother me? Maybe this would be better up here?

We ended up with more versions and variations of four verses than I have ever written for one song. Pages. You feel like everything is there, but it doesn’t fit together right. It’s like moving lots of puzzle pieces around until they finally fall into place and everything that has been scrambled and confused, twisted and tangled up, messy and embarrassing, completely lacking, and very, very flawed and imperfect suddenly becomes clear.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

A verse about forgiveness. Forgiveness instead of vengeance. His blood, His love, rising out of the dust, and dirt, and filth, there at the cross of Calvary, pleads for me before the throne. Forgiveness for everything completely lacking, for everything flawed and imperfect.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

A verse about pardon. Once and for all. Yes, from every guilty stain. Everything messy. Even the most embarrassing hard-to-get-out stuff. Amazing. Surrender over my shame to Him and what does He do? He breaks the chains. Freedom!

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

A verse about victory. Victory that silences the accuser, deceiver, and constant stalker. The fountain that flows from Jesus’ hands, His feet, and His side shouts this victory. I am His, bought with a price, even though I don’t deserve it. No one can take it away. Shout it and the enemy really has nothing powerful to say.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me!

Worthy is the Lamb,

Lamb for sinners slain!

Jesus, Lord of All!

Glory to His Name!

Suddenly, we were a few days from the live recording of the new project. The song had looked done on paper, several times, but I didn’t feel like the ride had come to a complete stop yet. Travis is used to this by now. A few years ago we were recording a song called Jesus Saves, singers already in the studio, charts already printed, and an idea came that changed the final verse dramatically for the better. Everybody got out a pencil. I am grateful for those moments so I try to keep listening until the last second.

I went into the kitchen to get some coffee and my wife Susan asked what I was working on. That song again. Something was missing in the last verse. She’s used to it by now too, so she mentioned something almost in passing, something reassuring about being confident because the process wouldn’t be in vain. Another learning light bulb moment.

The blood of Jesus speaks for me.

Rest. Peace. Freedom. Confidence. Assurance. Into everything scrambled. Into everything confused. He is fighting for us. He is King and the Word He speaks will forever stand.

That was it. I went back into my office and poured the glue into the final gap. Grateful. Incredibly humbled. A little shaky, honestly, like I had just stepped off the roller coaster. Hopeful for another ride soon. It’s my favorite verse of the song.

What a journey we are on! Aren’t you thankful that at every twist and turn His Word has you completely covered, that His blood is speaking for you in every situation? I am. And I’m thankful that it’s not all about what I say or don’t say along the way. It is what He says that truly counts. Sometimes it’s good to be left speechless. Jesus speaks a better word.

O let my soul arise and sing

My confidence is not in vain

The One who fights for me is King

His oath, His covenant remain

No condemnation now I dread

Eternal hope is mine instead

His Word will stand, I stand redeemed

The blood of Jesus speaks for me

 

About the author: David Moffitt is a worship leader and Dove Award-winning songwriter whose songs have been recorded by artists such as Natalie Grant, Travis Cottrell, Audio Adrenaline, The Booth Brothers, and many others. He is also the writer/creator of nineteen worship musicals for Brentwood Benson. David and his wife Susan live in Hendersonville, Tennessee and have three teenagers — Grace, Glory, and John David.

12 thoughts on “Story Behind the Song: “The Blood of Jesus Speaks for Me”

  1. David…these words will ring over and over in my head as I walk my Walk for the Lord each day!Keep writing. Your songs are a blessing. Please give Susan a big hug for me.

  2. I am sitting here at my computer reading these words and crying at the impact that they are having on me right now. What powerful words especially in this time of such confusion. The one who fights for me is King. Makes you just want to scream it to this mixed up world. I know David in a round about way. My son is Johnathan Crumpton so I have met him a few times and I have been in services at Long Hollow Baptist when he was there. Thanks to these gifted writers who use these words to uplift us on a daily basis.

    1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Donna. Powerful to hear how this song is reaching people. God bless!

  3. I actually assumed this was an old hymn that I had just never learned! I have been listening a lot to Hebrewsl lately and this song is a wonderful back drop to it..thank you for this amazing song…it is very encouraging!

  4. I was so moved by the story alone and
    then when you get to the song its self
    my chest started tight in up. I read it through slowly moved by each line.
    I knew I couldn’t just pass by and leave the feeling there. So I wrote them down. Thank you but most of all
    I’m so thankful to Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.

  5. I first heard this song in January in Houston when Travis Cottrell performed it at a Beth Moore event. Those words are a complete sermon and so very moving!! I couldn’t wait to download it!!! I love those biblical truths! Thank yoi! Definitely a favorite!

  6. I have played this song over and over in my car trying to get the rich rich verses in my head glued there so I can sing with it! But I just can’t yet. I now know why I kept wanting to hear it again! I have to teach SUNDAY school in the morning and the lesson title is One Great Savior. I plan to use the story behind the song as a perfect wrap up. It’s awesome. I first heard it at LPL in Mobile Aug 26-27. I fell in love the first time I heard it. I cannot get it out of m head!!! Thank you!

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