Did you ever wonder why “blood” plays such a significant role in Christianity? Why did God establish blood sacrifices? Why did the blood of animals cover the sins of people in the Old Testament? Why did Jesus have to come to earth as a man to shed His blood? Why did Jesus say, “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day”? Blood, blood, blood! In our sanitized civilization it all seems so brutal and gross! Why then is there SO MUCH BLOOD? Today let’s try to answer that question from the Bible’s perspective.
*This is a long post due to the subject. Please get comfy and read this to the end!
To answer that question we need to start at the beginning, back in the book of Genesis. God made all things that exist. Those seen and unseen. Light and darkness, heaven and earth, water and land, stars and planets, animals and man and everything in between! God created everything! And God declared His creation as “very good”. Our impoverished English language really misses the mark on this one! God declared it towb meod… beautiful, excellent in the most abundant and forceful way! It was amazing!
When God created man, he created him in God’s very likeness and gave him the gift of free will. God called the man ADAM which means “earth”. This man was formed from the dust of the earth and God Himself breathed life into Adam with His own holy Breath. And man was also towb meod. And God created a woman for the man too. But not out of the ground as He made Adam but out of the rib of Adam. And Adam said, “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she will be called woman because she was taken out of Man”. The word “woman” is translated to mean “wife”. And her name was Eve. Eve means “to breathe ” as in to give life because she would bear children. And the man and woman were naked but were not ashamed. They were innocent of all things base and sinfulness.
God place the man and the woman on earth in a garden called Eden. Eden means “a delightful place” a place of happiness and luxury. God tasked the man with this job… Adam was to rule and reign over the earth like God, BUT UNDER GOD. He was to be God’s ambassador of the earth. He was to be a steward of the earth accountable to God.
God told Adam and Eve that they could eat of all the trees of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God said that if they ate of that tree they should surely die.
The man and the woman did eat the fruit of the tree when the woman was tempted to do so by a serpent. The serpent is a fascinating backstory of another created creature by God. His name was Lucifer, angel of light, who disobeyed God and was condemned and became Satan which means adversary. But that story is for another time.
Immediately, after eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve’s eyes were no longer innocent. They saw each other naked and were ashamed. Their mind was now open to sinful thoughts. They fashioned clothing from fig leaves to cover their shame.
When God came to walk with them in the garden as He did in the cool of the evening He could not find Adam and his wife. God called out to Adam and said, “Where are you”? And Adam said that he was hiding because he was naked and ashamed. God knew all the time exactly where Adam was and what Adam had done. Adam and Eve had willfully disobeyed God’s command to them and eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God also knew that the penalty of that disobedience was death! Not only an eventual physical death but a spiritual one as well! Now, because of their sin they were ashamed and disconnected from God.
And here’s what God said to the serpent, the man and the woman from Genesis 3…
The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
Right here in Genesis 3 we see the very first nugget of the God’s message of salvation. But that again is for another Sunday Scripture.
After God gave his judgement on the man and the woman it says…
AND THE LORD GOD MADE FOR ADAM AND HIS WIFE GARMENTS OF SKIN AND CLOTHED THEM. Genesis 3:21.
Did you ever stop to think where God got the skins to make the clothing? God, the Creator of all things, had to kill His very own creation to make the skins to cover Adam’s and Eve’s shame! He killed the thing He said ways towb meod, very excellent to the most exceeding degree. This was the first physical death in the Bible. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience the first blood was spilt. And it was God who had to do it. This also shows that, as God said through Paul the Apostle…
THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH Romans 3:23
God and sin can never coexist. God is a just God and He judges sin because He is righteous.
It also set up the way that man could cover his sins (disobedience to God) and still have a relationship with God. An animal would take the place of man and die and the animal’s blood would be spilled to “cover” man’s sins. In essence, the animal would be a temporary substitute for man.
The bible says
LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD Leviticus 17:11
How true. Our blood can tell us so many things about us! It is our very life. For without it we die. So the wage of sin, death, was paid through the spilling of all the blood from an animal and the animals death to cover sin. What a graphic reminder of the true cost of sin.
And this established animal sacrifice as the ordained way for sinning man to be able to still relate with God. God wanted to remind man that every time they sin their sentence was death. And by the blood sacrifice of an animal God made this reminder very graphic! Our sin is serious! And this gives us a glimpse of how deathly devastating sin really is!
We see animal sacrifice all though the Old Testament. Man using the blood of animals to cover the guilt and same and sentence of their sin. We have no idea of the reminder that killing an animal, the smell of blood, its sticky coagulation, the animal cries, the repetition of this ritual, the cost of the animals to be sacrificed and the impediment to everyday life this was to the Jews!
An ongoing, visual reminder about the cost of sin!
Now, let’s switch gears just a little and talk about another system God set up for the nation Israel and eventually for us as well. The KINSMAN REDEEMER.
Let’ go back to the time in the Old Testament when the nation Israel was about to enter the land that God promised to them. It was forty-some years after they had been set free from their bondage of slavery to Egypt.
God had already given them the Law and the Torah through Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Torah (God’s light) is first 5 books of what I call the Bible. In it was the history (or the highlights) from the creation of the world till their present time. It also held new laws to help the nation Israel live when they came into the land of Canaan. These laws showed the Israelites what sin was and ways God wanted them to live to be blessed and an example to the world around them.
It was never God’s perfect will that His people Israel would ever be a slave to anyone any longer or for their land to belong to anyone but them. God made a covenant, a legal binding contract better than a promise, with the nation Israel that they would be His people and show the world who He was. He also promised they would have the land He had given them forever.
However, the nation Israel sinned and did not keep their end of the covenant. But because God was bound by the covenant He would still be true to the covenant He made. The Jews will always be God’s chosen people and their land will forever be theirs.
God set up another system to guard the freedom of each Israelite and the land they possessed. It was called the law of the Kinsman Redeemer.
If any Jew was destitute and had to sell a member of his family or himself into slavery or sell his land God set up a way for the family member or land to be bought back.
A kinsman (someone who was the next male blood relative) could redeem (buy back with a price) the slave or land. There were three conditions of a kinsman redeemer. One, he had to have the authority. He had to be a next of kin male blood relative. Two, he had to have the price. He had to be able to purchase the slave or land back with the funds of the set price. And three, he had to have the will. It was not required any kinsman redeemer buy his kinsman or his kinsman’s land back. A kinsman redeemer had to want to.
Wee see this law being acted again and again in the life of the nation Israel throughout the Old Testament. It is most beautifully portrayed in the book of Ruth! And it is a foreshadowing of the perfect Kinsman Redeemer that would come to save the world.
Let’s shift our attention once again as we now talk about the life and death of a man named Jesus of Nazareth. Did you ever wonder why Jesus came to earth? Why did God have to come in flesh? God, in the form of Jesus came to earth to die and to show God’s righteousness.
God’s way of dealing with all sin is by death. We, all people past, present and future have become slaves! Slaves to the power of sin and this world and Satan. Most of us don’t think of ourselves that way. But, that does not change the truth! And in God’s economy we all needed a Kinsman Redeemer to buy us back from this deadly slave market!
That is why Jesus came to earth as a man and not as God. He, Jesus had to be a Kinsman of the human race. Our blood relative! Remember that a kinsman had to have the authority, the ability to pay the price and the will to do it?
Jesus did have the authority. He was our kinsman. Our flesh and blood relative!
But, did Jesus have the ability to buy us back from sin, the world’s corrupt systems and the stronghold of Satan? Remember… the wages of sin is death. And a death that spills blood!
I bet that many of us, knowing the truth of this fact, would gladly pay for our own sin debt or the sin debt of those we love to be “not guilty” of God’s judgement of sin and eternal damnation. We may be kinsman, but we do not have the ability to pay the price. Yes, the price is blood. But we cannot pay for sin with blood tainted by sun. So, not one human has the ability. Not one human has the right price! We all have blood tainted by sin!
But, our Kinsman Jesus did. He came as a flesh and blood kinsman and lived on planet earth 33 years. And here’s the amazing trurth… although tempted in every way to sin like the rest of us He never did. He never had a rebellious or ungodly thought, word or action!
SO JESUS EXPLAINED, “I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THE SON CAN DO NOTHING BY HIMSELF. HE DOES ONLY WHAT HE SEES THE FATHER DOING. FOR WHATEVER THE FATHER DOES THE SON DOES LIKEWISE”. John 5:19
Jesus was so closely connected to His Father God when he lived on earth that he acted and thought and said only those things that God did and did not sin. For God cannot sin!
Jesus blood was not tainted! It was sinless. His sinless blood could pay the price for our sin according to the law of the Kinsman Redeemer!
The last requirement was that the kinsman redeemer had to have the will to pay his kinsman’s debt. And yes, Jesus was willing. Willing from the beginning!
So Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer came to earth as a human, lived a sinless life and paid the price of His precious sinless blood to pay the price of sinning. He died on the cross to pay that price for you and for me!
Jesus declared with His dying words on the cross.
IT IS FINISHED. John 19:30
The word Jesus uttered was “TETELESTAI” which means ” PAID IN FULL”!
Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer paid in full the price of death for our sins that we could not pay. His blood did not cover our sins like the blood of animal sacrifices did. It totally paid it! It was a once and done event! And although we are still guilty of sinning God in his righteous judgement declared us not guilty!
Romans 3: says that we are
JUSTIFIED (declared not guilty) BY HIS (God’s) GRACE (benevolence, favor underserved, gift, kindness) AS A GIFT THROUGH THE REDEMPTION (buying back with a price) THAT IS IN JESUS CHRIST (for those in relationship with Jesus the Messiah).
So all of us who accept the free gift of Jesus’ death on the cross are saved from eternal death and an eternity separated from God by the law of Kinsman Redeemer.
We are saved when we see our lostness and inability to connect with the Give of life because of our rebellion. And we see Jesus as our only great Hope!
When we accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ we become bound in a covenant too! Remember, a covenant is a legal binding agreement that is better than a promise? We are then bound to Jesus.
Covenants have signs. Things that are done that denote two parties making a covenant. We can see this far back into the earliest times in history. We can see these signs in the covenant relation we have with our Kinsman Redeemer. You may not have know that these were signs but they are.
One sign is the shedding of blood. Yes, we see that in our covenant with Jesus!
Another sign of a covenant is the exchange of clothing. And yes, we see that too.
GOD MADE HIM WHO HAD NO SIN BE SIN FOR US, SO THAT IN HIM WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. 2 Corinthians 5:21
We exchanged or clothing of sin for the righteousness of Jesus. What an exchange that was! We who are in a covenant relationship with Jesus wear white robes of righteousness! When God sees us He doesn’t see our sin because it was paid for and done away with. He sees the righteousness of Christ!
And yet another sign of a covenant is sharing a meal. Ancients who were preforming the rituals of a covenant sat down to eat a meal together. The meal signified a oneness. It was the two parties saying, “Just like the food and drink I am partaking goes into me becomes a part of me, so I am now a part of you. And you are a part of me”. It was a sign of being bound so closely together you were now one. Two made one by a covenant.
So when Jesus said…
WHOEVER EATS MY BODY AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS ETERNAL LIFE. AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY John 6:54
He was saying that anyone who is in a saving, covenant, kinsman redeemer relationship with Him will have eternal life! Because we are one with Jesus and He lives eternally, so will we!
Jesus also asked His disciples to remember Him by eating a meal together to remembering the covenant they had with Him.
We have just strung pearls of truth and followed a thread of red from Genesis right to the doorstep of Revelation! It is in Revelation that God’s perfect plan come to a culmination. The earth will go through horrible and amazing things! There will be a huge battle of good and evil. Jesus will come back to planet earth, the Jews will see Him and believe He was and is the long awaited Messiah (anointed of God), Jesus will rule planet earth for 1,000 years and then those who rejected God’s free gift of salvation from all times will be judged by their unbelief and works. But that is not the end of Revelation. We will talk about that at another time!
Did you know that Jesus will rule and reign on planet earth for 1,000 years? We see that in Revelation 20. Jesus will do the job that God gave to the first man Adam and a job that Adam could not do because of sin and death. Jesus will rule and reign like God but again submit to His Father’s will and reign under God. Jesus, God in the flesh will rule the earth! He will fulfill God’s purpose for man that the first man failed to do because of sin.
We have followed the red thread of truth from the Garden Of Eden to animal sacrifices to Kinsman Redeemer to the Cross! And even to the immanent rule of Jesus on earth! It is red from the stain of blood on history!
So, let’s ask again… Why SO MUCH BLOOD?
WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS OF SIN Hebrews 9:22
That is why there is so much blood in the bible and why it is so important!
As we enter into this holy week reflecting on the events of the last week of the life of our Savior Jesus I hope you will re read and reflect on these amazing and God-ordained truths. I pray that you will read the scriptures for yourself and if you have never made Jesus your Kinsman Redeemer you would do it today!
Your salvation is by nothing you have done. You cannot save yourself! Your salvation is a gift. Will you accept this priceless and free gift and enter into a real and forever relationship with the Lover of your soul, Jesus! Acknowledge your rebellion against God and let Jesus take your place and pay the price you cannot. He is your Kinsman Redeemer. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to save you from a life without Him!
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE SENT HIS ONLY SON THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. John 3:16
Amen and Amen!!!!
Today’s bible memorization verse is: FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE SENT HIS ONLY SON THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. John 3:16