Lent Devotion for February 17
“The life is in the blood.”
Reader: “The life of a creature…”
Response: “is in the blood.”
SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 17:6-14
6 The priest is to splash the blood against the altar of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting and burn the fat as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 7 They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.’
8 “Say to them: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice 9 and does not bring it to the entrance to the tent of meeting to sacrifice it to the Lord must be cut off from the people of Israel.
10 “‘I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the 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 any foreigner residing among you eat blood.”
13 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing 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.”
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
The past few days you’ve undoubtedly noticed how often blood has appeared…toes, thumbs, earlobes, horns on the altar, spilled on the ground. Today’s Scripture passage enables us to go a little deeper into the significance of blood. What was the situation? As frequently happens, people get familiar with a practice and then begin to “do their own thing.” That was apparently happening in regards to worshiping God in the Israelite camp. People were skipping the priests and the Tabernacle and doing their own sacrificing out in the fields to goat idols, something they had seen in their time in Egypt. Moses’ words to Aaron and his sons were clear; the Tent of Meeting was the only place where sacrifices were acceptable and those only done by the priests. Failure to do so meant being permanently cut off from God’s people. In some pagan worship, blood was drunk as part of the act of worship. It was, and is, an abomination to the Lord. Verse eleven gives us some direction. The life of a creature is in the blood. It is the most vital part of a living creature. It carries food for all the cells and removes the waste. It is the servant to every part of the body. Eating blood disrespects the life of a creature made by God. Every living being is to be treated with respect. Since the life is in the blood, drinking it steals the life, effectively committing murder. Since there is a major sin problem, and with sin comes death and separation from God, and whereas we should die for our own sin, God provided that the shed blood (life) of an animal be given to (temporarily, incompletely) atone for that person’s sin. The blood (life) of the animal was given to atone for the sin of the person. The animal’s blood was treated with the greatest respect and care. Even an animal that is hunted for food was to have its blood drained out on the ground respectfully and covered with dirt (v.13). You can begin to see the great significance of Jesus’ blood, God’s ultimate, holy and perfect Lamb, atoning for all the sins of all the people of the whole world, for all of time, since the creation of the world. Our eternal life is guaranteed in the blood of Christ, for all who would put their trust in Him.
“There Is A Fountain" by Selah (Watch on YouTube)
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. Lord, you have justified us by the blood of the Lamb, the holy, perfect sacrifice for our sin. But Father, in Jesus’ death in the shedding of His own blood and the giving up of His life in our place, for we should have died for our own sin, He conquered death eternally. His blood overpowered sin, death, and the devil, completely destroying sin’s hold on death. “What language can I borrow, to thank Thee dearest friend?” To you alone be glory for all eternity! I love you, Lord, forever! Amen.
- Dan Sharp