Chapter 13 The Drink Offering

The drink offering thereof shall be of wine (Leviticus 23:13).

Wine, which cheereth God and man (Judges 9:13).

On most occasions in the tabernacle ceremonies of the Old Testament, wine was outpoured and, as a drink offering, completed the worship. A cup was there and, in the cup, a wine offering. The revealing rays of the Spirit make faith to fly from this to the last paschal feast which our Lord interrupted to inaugurate His own remembrance feast. It was here that our Lord took a cup full of the juice of the vine, uplifted His thanks, then gave the cup to His little flock, saying, “This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

Thus wine is a gospel sign. It takes its place among the holiest of symbols. “This is My blood!” And this symbol is the key which opens to us the treasure of the drink offering of old. It is one of the choicest emblems of redeeming grace.

The blood which streamed from Calvary’s cross is of infinite and exceeding preciousness. It speaks first of our Lord’s true manhood. Jesus had blood, or else He could not have been man. Without blood, He could not have been a true kinsman of our race. And He must be true man if He would be man’s Surety. He must have blood to be truly man.

But let us never forget that He assumes this manhood without ceasing to be God. His blood, symbol of life, is man’s blood, yet divine. The blood is God’s, yet human. This is a most profound mystery to us mortal men, and we can never fathom the uniqueness of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We now go forward to Calvary’s cross to see our Lord pouring forth His blood. Until this precious blood flows, there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). But our Lord does not withhold His blood. It begins to fall in circumcision when He is eight days old, later in Gethsemane’s garden, then when scourged, again when He is crowned with thorns; finally, it is fully outpoured at the cross. His brow, His hands, His feet, His side, His heart—all weep blood. This is the sure proof that atonement has been made! Without the shedding of blood no sin could be forgiven—no atonement made. But in the shedding of His most precious blood, our Lord paid a full redemption price for us, and made salvation possible to all men everywhere.

In Scripture wine also speaks of joy. “Wine, which cheereth God and man.” Thus blood and joy are joined together. And that joy is marvelous.

Joy To God

From all eternity God has willed to have a human race of exultant souls with Him in Heaven. That was ever the divine intention. But a mighty barrier interposed. Sin came between God and man and separated them. How, then, can this barrier be removed? Sin has dug a very deep abyss for man. How can sin-fettered souls and sin-defiled man enter God’s holy Heaven? Jesus came and took away the barrier, and God now sees believers complete in Him. The great sacrifice on the cross cleared the way for God by grace to execute and fulfill His plans.

Joy To Angels

Angels, too, yearned that fallen man be saved. When a sinful man becomes saved, we read that there is a mighty outburst of celestial joy among the angels of Heaven (Luke 15:10). If this is so over one sinner that repenteth, what loud praises there must be over the whole multitude of the redeemed! All this happy rejoicing among the angels of Heaven is made possible through the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus. The angels of Heaven know well that if all of them together had consented to die, such corporate death could not have saved a single sinner. They know who He was who died on Calvary’s cross, and thus they cry: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” He is the supreme delight of the angels.

Joy To Men

Peter speaks of this joy to men as “unspeakable” (1 Peter 1:8)—that is, something beyond adequate expression. Gratitude can only utter its thanks in feeble praise and joyful song. Through the outpouring of this precious blood by the Son of God, the great Creator God (the sovereign Ruler over all things) becomes the portion of believers. He becomes their Father and their God, and they have access to His smile and favor. The heart of man can know no happier throb than to be able to look up into the face of the living God, the blessed and only Potentate, and say, “My Father!”

Men search for happiness in vain if they seek it not in Christ the Lord. God can never give joy to any man apart from faith in His beloved Son—for there is no other channel of conveyance for that joy save through His Son and the sacrifice He made for sin. The blood of the Lord Jesus, in symbol, is in this cup. Here, in the wine which the cup contains, is the emblem of His most precious blood, and in the pouring out of that blood you can read all the heart of God—and the travail and passion of His great love for us. Let our souls rise in heavenly joy and grateful praise unto Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us. May we adore Him forever!

Rejoice and be glad!
The Redeemer has come!
Go look on His cradle,
His cross and His tomb.

Sound His praises!
Tell the story
Of Him who was slain!
Sound His praises!
Tell with gladness
He liveth again!

Rejoice and be glad!
Now the pardon is free!
The Just for the unjust
Has died on the tree.

Rejoice and be glad!
For the Lamb that was slain
O’er death is triumphant,
And liveth again.

Horatius Bonar