Read to Read …Again
Daily Reading: Leviticus 5-7
Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.
Let’s talk about blood. Specifically, the prohibition that God put upon the eating and or drinking of blood. Probably most will think that the Lord proclaimed this for health reasons. Perhaps that played a part, but then, perhaps there is a deeper reason.
Matthew Henry wrote: “The main reason why blood was forbidden of old, was because the Lord had appointed blood for an atonement. This use, being figurative, had its end in Christ, who by his death and blood-shedding caused the sacrifices to cease.” Indeed, it is the Blood of Christ that is the propitiation for our sins. Romans 3:25 states clearly, Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; and then there is Hebrews 9:11-14 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Yes, that is a lot of Bible but it’s needed to understand this. When in John 6:54 Jesus said, Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. This, to the Jews was sacrilege. It was directly contrary to the Law of God as given by Moses. Blood was forbidden. Now, this man named Jesus is telling them to drink his blood. No wonder in just a few verses later John wrote, From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:66)
They could not see that the blood of bulls and goats, birds and oxen, was not the real substance of redemption. That rests only upon the blood of Jesus Christ. He is the New Testament sacrifice for sins, His body and blood satisfied God the Father’s requirements for the forgiveness of sins. Isaiah understood this for he wrote all about it in Isaiah 53.
Yes, all the Old Testament sacrifices, including their blood, only looked forward to that time when Jesus, the Messiah, Emmanuel, God with us, would shed His life’s blood on the cross for sinners such as I. Truly the old song title is right “Love grew where the blood fell.”
Much has been left out of this devotion concerning this subject. It is only meant to give a broad overview of the truth it contains. Not one book, but books upon books could be written about the blood atonement available through Jesus the Christ. There is no way all things that should have been considered and written here would be possible. Suffice it to say, that the prohibition to eat or drink blood in the Old Testament was physical, wherein Jesus in John is speaking spiritually. Just like we cannot eat the Word of God we cannot drink the blood of Christ. Except that is, spiritually and in remembrance of Him.
William T. Howe Ph.D.