The following devotional is from my book, “His All-Sufficient Blood: Living in the Daily Reality of What Jesus Conclusively Accomplished and Obtained.”
For he life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.
God’s holy, righteous, and good law states: “But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Ex. 21:23-25). Often, we think or say, “That’s not fair!” Within us, there’s an innate, God-given sense of justice. We state things like, “He’ll pay for that,” either literally or figuratively. When we’re wronged, we want justice.
Last time, we saw that the blood refers to one’s life. Today, we see the same: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Ultimately, this verse points to Jesus and His life. The author of Hebrews stated that as follows: “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near” (Heb. 10:1). The sacrificial system is a shadow of Jesus’ sacrifice.
In our modern, humanistic society, the concept of blood sacrifices seems preposterous and cruel. The issue, however, isn’t based on whether or not we consider it absurd, but if it’s based on truth and reality? Most of us have lost the notion of a holy God who created us to live in accordance with His will. We don’t realize He’s “of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong” (Hab. 1:13).
While we’ve removed God from our culture, it doesn’t diminish the reality that there’s a holy God to whom we are accountable, including for every thought, emotion, motive, word, and deed. We can try to “suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18), but that doesn’t mean it disappears. We can refuse to acknowledge God (Rom. 1:28), but that doesn’t erase Him as the supreme sovereign in this universe.
We have willfully sinned against God and greatly offended Him, loving darkness rather than light. As such, there’s a just price to pay, which He will require from us. Nevertheless, in His great love and mercy, He has given us a way of escape. He has provided a substitute—one who will “make atonement for your souls” by giving His sinless life on our behalf.
Paul wrote that the message of His bloody sacrifice is a stumbling block to religious and moral people. They think they’re good enough to merit heaven, having no need for a divine redeemer. The human mind considers the cross foolishness. To those, however, who realize their need for such an atonement, it is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:21-24).