Our Cleansing Is Thorough And Complete
Read Leviticus Chapter 17
Lev 17:10 “ ‘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.” 13 “ ‘Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.”
You may note, as you read this one, that it is very similar as the devotion of November 15. I hope that’s okay with you.
Have you ever wondered why God forbade His children to drink blood or eat meat which still had not been bled? I have. Maybe I’m the last one to get a handle on that question. If so, it’s not the only thing which caused me to be last to the table for supper. This passage has a few clues.
- The life of a creature is in the blood – Blood gives and preserves life. When blood is gone, life dwindles away. No creature and no person can live without blood.
- Blood makes atonement for one’s life – When the Lord commanded men to bring a sacrifice to the altar as the atonement for his sins, that blood was the payment. The shedding of blood symbolically paid the penalty in his behalf. The blood belonged to God. If not presented to God, it was not accepted as an appropriate sacrifice.
Heb 9:19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
This passage mirrors the one from Leviticus. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Blood is a precious commodity, not only for life here on earth, but eternal life as well. Blood paid the price for sins, allowing man to inherit eternal life.
Jn 6:53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him.
So why did Christ say that we must drink His blood? Blood is so precious that we cannot partake of it, yet we are required to drink of it. It sounds like an irreconcilable conflict between scriptures. Here are my thoughts.
- The blood sacrifices of the OT had no real way to atone for man’s sins. It was only symbolic of the life-giving blood of Christ. To drink the blood of animals would be the same as believing their blood can cleanse a man.
- Christ’s body and blood was the perfect sacrifice, from a sinless Man, from the Son of God. There is no other blood which could suffice. When we “drink” of His blood, we partake of the real deal.
- Therefore, in order to have eternal blood coursing through our veins, it must be perfect blood, the blood of Christ. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are symbolically drinking the blood of Christ. It is the perfect cleansing blood of the only sacrifice which is of any value.
1Pe 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
We who are dealing with SSA often have difficulty believing that God could ever forgive and cleanse us. We really don’t have to worry about that. Next time we partake of communion, let’s imagine that the “blood” we drink is coursing through our veins, going into the darkest parts of our bodies, cleansing us through and through. That’s what He has done for us.
Prayer: Thank You!!