Today’s Reading: Leviticus 16:29-18:30 (additional reading Psalm 41:1-13 and Proverbs 10:15-16)
Key Verse: “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.” Leviticus 17:11
Hopefully, as we have been studying Leviticus your view of this book has already changed for the better. It’s easy to lose sight of the focus of the book by getting caught up thinking it’s all about the tedious details. Hopefully, as we have been looking at all these offerings, we have seen they are ways of giving God worship. They were the way that the Jews offered reverence and respect, and they were ways the Jews could show God their love for him, giving him gifts out of the gratitude of their hearts.
Yet, we see most of these offerings had to do with killing animals, shedding the blood and scattering the blood. Why is there all this focus on blood in the book of Leviticus???
The answer if found in Leviticus 17:11. One of the key verses in Leviticus is; ‘for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD.* It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.’
The blood sacrifices were a reminder to the people that they were sinful and God wanted them to be holy as He is. That was the reason in the middle of Leviticus we find all the laws of cleanliness and purification, all the dietary restrictions — to remind us that God is holy. There were also health and hygiene issues involved whereby God was protecting the Israelites, (this is rather amazing that God gave them rules for healthy living years before science ever discovered them) but ultimately it showed the need to be pure.
The Blood is a reminder that sin is costly! As we look in Leviticus to these sacrifices, we see that it cost the Israelites something whenever they sinned. Imagine if we had the same system in our churches, every Sunday morning people would pay the fines for their sins during the past week. £10 for each time you cussed, £50 for each time you lusted, £100 for each time you acted proudly: it would probably do a great deal to help us overcome our struggles. This may sound extreme, but remember Jesus’ teaching? “If your hand or your foot causes you to fall into sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire.” ( Matthew 18:8)
We must never forget that sin is very costly in our lives. It brings great damage to us personally. It separates us from fellowship of our God and it cost the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Blood is a reminder that Salvation comes through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9 tells us, the law requires that nearly everything is cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. The blood of Christ was necessary for our salvation.
So, why all this blood? To teach us to love God, who reconciles us to Himself.
- Have you ever tried to cover your sins with good works?
- How has sin been costly in your life?
- How can you take sin more seriously?
Father, Thank You for making a way to reconcile us back to yourself. Help us to look past our modern difficulties in understanding the need for blood sacrifice, but reflect on Your love for us. Thank You that salvation comes from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen