Sunday, March 27, 2011

Leviticus 17 - The Life of the Flesh is in the Blood

LINK: Leviticus 17

BACKGROUND


Leviticus 17-20 was additional information about what had already been covered in Leviticus 1-7. Its emphasis was more on the mistakes that the people might make regarding sacrificing and eating meat.

Do you know what the key word is for Leviticus 17?  I'll give you some time to think about it . . .

BLOOD!


This word is used 460 times in the Bible. It is mentioned 362 times time in the Old Testament and 13 of those are in this chapter!

Blood is the key word, and Leviticus 17:11 is the key verse:


For the life [soul] of the flesh is in the blood
and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; 
for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.

There are seven directives that prohibit the drinking of blood in the Pentateuch (Genesis 9:14; Leviticus 3:17; 7:26-27; 17:10-14; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:15-16, 23-24; 15:23), but this one explains why: blood makes atonement for the soul.

Yesterday, we learned about atonement when studying the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The blood makes atonement. 
God has chosen sacrificial blood as the ransom price for a person's life, so the life of the substitute is given up in death; therefore to refrain from eating blood is to show respect for its sacredness as a vehicle of atonement. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, p. 199)

The Scarlet Thread says that Jesus was that substitute that was given up in death for our life!

REFLECTION


We usually have a little devotional before communion every Sunday, but this morning, no one showed up for the 8:15 a.m. service! I almost jumped out of my chair and ran up there. I wanted to proclaim to the world, "The life of the flesh is in the blood! The life of the flesh is in the blood! I just read it this morning!" Well, I did consider it, but I refrained.

But I still wanted to proclaim it from the rooftop. It is an AWESOME thing.  The reason why I keep referring to it as the Scarlet Thread of Redemption is because His scarlet blood was shed at a sacrificial atonement for our sins. Jesus said:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54)
Can you imagine how confused the orthodox Jews would have been in light of Leviticus 17? Jesus was saying that it was His own blood would make atonement and give them life. They needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood, and that was prohibited (Genesis 9:3-4; 19:26). He was not saying to literally eat and drink but to receive Him into their innermost being and believe that His life could give them life (John 6:40, 47, 50-51).

I should have gotten up and done the communion devotional. Drat!


APPLICATION

I put a hold on The Passion of the Christ movie today.  The idea of the blood of Christ is brought home in this movie. I have not seen it since it came out in the theaters, and I have waited for my kids to be old enough to watch it before Easter. I think they are ready. It is not pretty so I am not sure I am!

PRAYER

Thank You that Your blood atones for me and gives me life. Amen. 
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