In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were prohibited from eating blood.  The reason for this prohibition is given in Leviticus 17:11, “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: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”  The fact that the blood actually possesses a living principle, and that the life of the whole body is derived from it, was a Divine revelation given to the people.  At this time, no one knew that it was the blood that carried nourishment and oxygen to the body.  King Solomon would later write in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  It is the heart that pumps the blood throughout the body, keeping the body alive!

Since blood is the sustainer of life in the body, it is blood that the Lord required to make atonement.  Notice that in Leviticus 17:11 that the blood of animals were used to make an ‘atonement’ for the soul.  The word ‘atonement’ means ‘to cover’.  The sacrifices of all these animals could never put away sin, they could only cover sin.  We read in Hebrews 10:1-4, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

It took something much more valuable than the blood of animals to put away our sins.  It took the blood of the holy Son of God!  Let’s read Hebrews 10:10-12, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”  It is the sacrifice of Christ for us that completely takes away our sins.  Not only can the blood of animals not save us, neither can the riches of this world save us either.  1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

How important is it that the Lord Jesus shed His blood for us?  Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.”  If the Lord Jesus had not shed His precious blood for us, there would be no way that we could be saved.  This is what God required, and the Lord Jesus was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)  (226.8)