Chapter 11 The Sanctity Of Blood

Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set My face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls (Leviticus 17:10-11).

This ordinance warns that no common use may be made of blood. It is fenced around most rigidly with the sternest of divine decrees. None must eat it. No lips must taste it.

The Type

Blood is set apart. Since God has designed it to be so, there must be a high and holy purpose for this. It is sanctified because it points to Calvary’s cross. It shadows forth the death of God’s beloved Son and the price of our redemption. It stood forth in those ancient days as a picture of the very life of God’s Lamb of atonement. Its shedding is the symbol of death.

After the flood of Noah’s day, God enlarged man’s diet, and no longer was man to live without flesh to eat. Even so, there was this solemn prohibition: “Flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Genesis 9:4).

So all through the ages until our Lord came, Heaven’s authoritative voice banned the partaking of blood in the diet. It was devoted to God. It was most holy unto Him. It set forth in figurative form the suffering and death of the Redeemer as He would make atonement for our souls. There was a holiness about blood which demanded reverence from men. None were permitted to forget the sacrifice which God purported to make in the fullness of time.

The Antitype

We live in a different dispensation than that of the Old Testament. That wondrous death of God’s Beloved is no more veiled in types and figures. The cross of Christ has been raised. He has hung there, and died there, and His side has been opened to release that which alone can cleanse from sin and wash away every stain.

The antitype of the blood shed on Jewish altars is the precious blood of Christ. That blood is unique and precious because of Him whose blood it is. It would not seem that He who hung on Calvary’s cross had blood different from that of any other man. The natural eye could not perceive that! Man, Jesus was, but not man of Adam’s race. Blood He had, but not the polluted blood of fallen man.

He who hung on Calvary’s cross was not man only, but the mighty God. Deity was enshrined in the body that hung on that cross, in that body which had been mauled and disfigured by wicked men. Godhood He has, and Godhood is His right. It is not a man only who suffered on the cross; it is God. The life of the flesh is in the blood. Blood is the symbol of life—therefore our Lord’s blood is essentially the life of God (Acts 20:28).

There is a preciousness, then, in such blood which could not be accumulated by all the blood of all sinless beings if blood they had. Myriads of angels could never die the death the Lord Jesus died, nor could their pains suffice to pay the debt of human sin. Jesus is God, and therefore brings a life symbolized in His blood, which is essentially divine. Therefore it is sufficient as a sacrifice and must by its nature meet every demand.

The Efficacy

Its efficacy no tongue can tell. It will be the incessant praise of the redeemed throughout the countless ages of eternity. It is the ransom price of all the saved ones—and the number of them is countless. Nothing but the blood of Jesus has saved them. No claim of law can be made against them. No chain can bind them. No adversary can accuse them. At one time the woes of sin, the terrors of the law, and the accusing finger of conscience denounced them. It seemed as though Heaven was frowning upon them, and hell was waiting to receive them.

But now all this alarm is past. A new day has dawned, and it sprang forth from the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God came with divine authority: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Faith believes it, and finds it is so.

How we should meditate on the blood! When we wake in the morning, go through the day, and come to rest at night, this should be ever in our thought. Angels desire to look into the mystery and power of it, but can do no more than wonder and adore. For us who believe, it is salvation’s door, the way to Heaven.

How we should love the precious blood! It is the proof that God loves us and that the beloved Son of God loves us better than Himself. Prize His blood. Let it sit high on the throne of our affections. Let us hold it in fond embrace and never let it go.

How we should use His blood! It needs to be used every hour—all the time. Use it in the battle with Satan. Use it in prayer. Use it in service. Use it in life, and use it in death. It is precious in God’s sight. Let it forever be precious in ours.

Not all the blood of beasts,
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away its stain.

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Took all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.

We now look back to see
The burden Thou didst bear,
When hanging on the accursed tree,
For all our guilt was there.

Isaac Watts