Spring 2009: Nothing But the Blood
Author: John Triplett
Publish date:
 
 

All people search for peace. Peace from the whispers of a troubled conscience, peace from guilt and shame, peace from mistakes of the past, peace from uncertainty. The longing for inner peace is one of the common needs transcending all cultural backgrounds and societies.

But where did this longing for peace come from? Where did it begin? This battle for inner peace began in the Garden of Eden.

Sin and Separation

Adam and Eve were created to live in harmony with God. They were to know nothing but peace, but they chose to sin, separating themselves from God and bringing shame and guilt upon themselves and all their descendents. Sin is war against God, His government, and His character. Adam and Eve’s choice to sin eventually brought horrific war, mayhem, and chaos to this planet.

Since that terrible day in the Garden, humans have desperately wanted that peace that was lost. Most people throughout the ages have chased that peace in all the wrong ways. Philosophers have written tomes about how to find it, but in the end they have failed miserably.

So how does one obtain true peace? Does it come from the penance that sincere Roman Catholic Christians perform? Does it come from walking across coals of fire in pagan rituals? Does it come from doing good works within your own circle of influence? No. True peace cannot come through our own actions or intentions.

Atonement through Christ

In politics, peace is often obtained through dialogue that leads to treaties and agreements. God goes about signing His peace treaty with us in a more intense and invested manner. Leviticus 17:11 says this about how God brings us peace:

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 two operative words in this verse are blood and atonement. Atonement means to make peace, or to bring into oneness. Because of sin, we have been separated from God. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. The God of heaven has a revolutionary solution to bring us back into oneness with Him.

Peace through Blood
Leviticus 17:11 says quite clearly that blood makes atonement. Notice what the verse does not say. It doesn’t say that performing painful penances makes an atonement for the soul, or feeding the homeless make atonement for the soul. It is only by the blood that we are brought back into oneness with God.

Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crucifixion.jpg
The word blood in the aforementioned verse is connected to life. The blood is in reference to the life of the individual. The Old Testament talks about shedding the blood of animals as atonement. But are we saved by the blood of animals? Certainly not. The animals are simply a symbol that God used in order to teach His people a lesson about the Messiah who was to come (See 1 Peter 1:19).

The blood of Jesus, which symbolizes the life of Jesus, saves us. The only way that sin could be met is with the justice of death (See Romans 6:23). Jesus came to live a perfect life in your place, and to die in your place as a perfect substitute.

What are the implications of such a truth as that? What hits me when I read Leviticus 17:11 is that you, me, the famous movie stars, the presidents, the highest moral leaders, the homeless beggars on the streets, and the mass murderers on death row are all on the same level. We are all sinners destined for destruction without the blood of Christ that makes atonement.

Some may be inclined to think that they are on higher ground spiritually because of their good works. But to think in such a way is quite dangerous because we are actually on the same ground. We are all sinners and our best works apart from the blood (life) of Christ are void and meaningless.Perhaps this is why at the very end of time many professed Christians will be shocked to find out that they will not be among the redeemed.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22-23).


We need to understand that everything we do amounts to nothing in comparison to what Christ has done for us. If we keep this thought ever before us we will be hard-pressed to think of ourselves more highly than we should. This will also help us to view every single person we come across as a very special person in the eyes of God, and a candidate for heaven.

The good works we do are to show God that we love Him, to glorify Him and to share His love with others. They’re not about us at all.

So, what can we learn by contemplating the concept of blood in the Bible?

We learn that, despite the seeming contradiction, blood brings peace to us and reconciles those who were once estranged to God.

Leviticus says “the life is in the blood." When we link that to the blood of the lamb shed in the sanctuary, we realize that that very blood that was shed was the life of God’s Son lived in our stead and given in our place. Our life, our peace is in that blood.
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