Lev. 17, Idols and Blood

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Helen, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Chapter 17 has 16 verses. The first nine are a prohibition against sacrifices made to any other god or made in any other place other than the entrance to the Tabernacle. It turns out that all the miracles so far seen are still not enough and some or many of the Israelites are sacrificing to ‘goat idols’ (NIV) or ‘devils’ (KJV).

    What the Lord says in relationship to this is interesting:
    Any Israelite who sacrifices an ox, a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside of it instead of bringing it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord in front of the Tabernacle of the Lord – that man shall be considered guilty of bloodshed; he has shed blood and must be cut off from his people.

    So while idolatry is condemned throughout the Bible, there is something more going on here. There is something about the blood itself…

    The last eight verses shed a little light on this.

    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.

    The first time sin caused blood to be shed was the first sin, and God Himself sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve with the skin of it.

    When Cain killed Abel, the Lord told Cain, ”Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

    The first law we read about in the Bible is when God tells Noah, after the Flood,
    ”Whoever sheds the blood of man,
    by man shall his blood be shed;
    for in the image of God
    has God made man.”


    When Reuben is trying to make sure his brothers don’t kill Joseph, his plea for Joseph’s life is phrased this way, ”Don’t shed any blood.”

    The first Plague in Egypt was the plague of blood.

    The regulations for the sacrifices all had specific instructions regarding what to do with the blood, and in Leviticus 7:27 we have already read that eating blood was forbidden.

    Now go to the New Testament, and consider the following:

    Romans 3:21-25But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

    Romans 5:9Since we now have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

    Ephesians 1:7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

    Colossians 1:20For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (note: the word translated as ‘things’ in both the NIV and KJV here could just as easily be translated ‘those who’. The meaning is by implication and not direct translation from the Greek.)

    Hebrews 9 should be read at this point, as it explains quite a bit more. This is also the part of the Bible which contains the message, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    As Hebrews 9 makes abundantly clear, Christ’s shed blood was what bought redemption for man.

    But there is an interesting moment AFTER the Resurrection, AFTER Christ’s blood has been shed which deserves a look. Everyone knows about ‘Doubting Thomas.’ He was not there when the other disciples saw the living Lord and he wanted to see for himself before he believed. And so Christ graciously also appeared to him. Let’s pick up the narrative at that point in John 20:26-28:

    A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
    Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”


    How could Thomas put his hand INTO Christ’s side? Wasn’t it a blood-filled mess?

    No, the blood had been shed. Read this, from Paul:

    1 Corinthians 15:50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

    What about flesh and bone?

    Will our bodies have blood in the new creation?

    Go back to our chapter for today, and the passage quoted above:

    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.

    “I have given it to you to make atonement…”

    We know blood has a vital biological function and that we cannot live without it – in this creation.

    And I don’t dare go any farther than that. We will just have to see what happens after this.

    [ November 24, 2002, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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