11 “For the life of every living thing is in the blood. So I myself have assigned it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives, for the blood makes atonement by means of the life. 12 Therefore, I have said to the Israelites: No person among you is to eat blood, and no resident foreigner who lives among you is to eat blood. 13“‘Any man from the Israelites or from the foreigners who reside in their midst who hunts a wild animal or a bird that may be eaten must pour out its blood and cover it with soil, 14 for the life of all flesh is its blood. So I have said to the Israelites: You must not eat the blood of any living thing because the life of every living thing is its blood – all who eat it will be cut off.’”
“Moreover, as for you, because of our covenant relationship secured with blood, I will release your prisoners from the waterless pit.”
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.”
1 Peter 1:18-20 (NLT)
18 “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but He has now revealed him to you in these last days.”
Hebrews 9:22 (NLT)
22 “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”
I know – the picture kind of grosses you out, right? it does me. The sight of blood is enough to make some people pass out, strike still others with fear or disgust. There is power in the blood, but it is not because of man’s perceptions. What is it about blood?
Blood is life. Without blood we cannot live and according to God’s word, without the shedding of blood we cannot live. Our lives are costly and therefore the payment for our sins, which destroys our lives, is costly. Spilled blood makes us aware of the value of the life lost. Innately we know life is precious.
To sophisticated man, all this talk of blood is barbarian. We would rather not hear or know about it. It remind us that we are but dust and finite beings. To need blood as our ransom is humbling. We would rather be independent and provide for our own needs. But alas, we cannot.
The offerings in the Old Testament were necessary before a holy God. They might be hard for us to understand in our current culture, but God’s standard of a life for a life is borne out by the provision of blood covering our sins.
Today we remember His sacrifice in communion but can easily forget the symbolism of the cup of blood we drink. His blood was spilled for our transgressions and should not lightly be accepted. While we could not stand in the presence of God, the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus, Who gave His life for our own, enables us to not just be forgiven of sins, but to have a relationship with a Holy God.
I had the privilege of attending a Bethel worship concert last week. During that time, one of the worship leaders, Steffany Gretzinger, shared an insight into the power of God’s blood that has stuck with me. She spoke of the dilemma many are in because of coming from a bloodline marred in sin, but then spoke of the hope we have in Christ’s bloodline, which trumps every bloodline on earth.
Sweet victory is ours! Whatever our past, whatever sins were passed down or we ourselves committed, they have all been trumped by the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who set the standard for the wages of our sin then fulfilled them Himself – with His own blood.
How costly blood is, and how much more so from God Himself! This amazing gift of salvation is not casually accepted; no, it is part of a covenantal relationship which holds us accountable. We cannot continue in sin when such a cost was paid. He Who set us free is worthy of our lives, as well.
Lord, how amazing You are – to know our need for Your covering before we ever were. Thank You for Your sacrifice. May we never take for granted this gift of Your life for ours.