It Takes Blood

I’ve been reading through the book of Leviticus for my morning devotions for a while now and this morning came across a section I just had to share with you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: ‘This is what the Lord has commanded… “‘Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood.”

Leviticus 17:1-2,10-12

When you think of the book of Leviticus, I’m guessing you think of one particular word.  Laws.  Leviticus is FULL of laws.  So maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Pastor, you’re one strange man. No one enjoys reading laws.”  And I guess I could see your point, so please bear with me for a moment.

Very simply, the law God is giving to his people here says, “Don’t eat blood.” But notice that when he gives this command, God also rationalizes it!  By no means did God have to do that.  He could have simply said, “Don’t eat blood.  Why?  Because I said so!”  But he doesn’t do that.  He tells us exactly why he commanded the Israelites not to eat blood.

The life of a creature is in the blood. And I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”  In telling his people not to eat blood, God not only established a new law, he also taught a lesson. He taught his people that sin was so serious he was going to require blood, the very essence of life itself, to atone for our sinful lives (at-one-ment – to be atoned is to be made one with God again).  In the establishment of this one law, God gave his people a preview of what the promised Savior’s payment for the sins of the world would look like.  God’s promised Savior would give his blood to atone for the lives of all people.  This promised Messiah would give his life for ours.

Here, in a book filled with laws, we see the Gospel.  We see a foreshadowing of the sacrifice Jesus would one day make for us.  It is the blood of Jesus that makes atonement for your life and mine.  Our sins have been paid for in blood.  We are at peace with the Lord!

Thankful that Jesus shed his blood for you and me,

Pastor Z.