Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Why Blood?

Although I was raised in a Christian home, attended church twice on Sunday and heard about Jesus shedding His blood on the cross for my sins almost every week, it was a mystery to me.

I belted out lyrics like What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus, and There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.

There was nothing lackluster about my singing, but I admit to a limited understanding of the words.

Why blood?

Today’s CBN readings bring together both. Let’s take a look.

Leviticus 17-18 take place after the time of the Exodus from Egypt and while they wandered in the wilderness. God set up a set of rules and regulations on the way His people were to live, interact, and worship, and blood played an integral part in that worship.

Think about this quote from Leviticus 17:11,

“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.”

The context of the above verse prohibits the Israelites from eating blood for two reasons: the life of the creature is in the blood and God established a blood sacrifice to make atonement for mans’ sins. In simpler terms, in the Old Testament, the blood sacrifice for sin covered the sin of man—we have been reading all about this in the book of Leviticus. The animal died as a substitute for man, the sinner.

The word used is atonement. One definition from Dictionary.com is, “satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.”

Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sins.

The only way to approach the Holy God of Israel was through the life or blood of an innocent victim.

Fast forward to Matthew 27:27-50, the New Testament reading for the day. The perfect, spotless, Son of God was mocked and tortured by the very people He created. He hung naked on a cross while the crowd challenged Him to come down.

Matthew 27:50 states,

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.”

Now, the only way to approach the Holy God of Israel is through the life or blood of an innocent sacrifice.

Jesus traded places with us. He is the sacrificial lamb. Atonement has been made for you and for me.

That makes me grateful. The fact that Jesus died for my sin makes me humble. And it makes me want to sing.

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

Copyright © Pauline Hylton, used by permission.

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