Ministry Partner Truth of Genesis
Do you ever wonder why the Bible says so much about blood in connection with salvation? We read about the blood sacrifices in the Old Testament and about the blood of Christ in the New Testament. Scripture tells us a lot about what the blood does, has done, and will do.
In Exodus 12:13 the blood of the sacrifice applied to the doorposts protected the Israelites from the death angel who passed over the dwelling with blood applied. First Peter 1:1-2 tells about the cleansing work of the blood of Christ in Christians. Hebrews 9:22 instructs us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
The Bible also shows us that redemption comes only by the blood of Christ, it atones, or covers our sins in the Old Testament (Exodus 30:10) and now removes our sins (Romans 5:9-10). And, Hebrews 10:19 offers us fellowship and communion with God since we can boldly enter the Holiest place, the throne of the Father, through the blood of Jesus.
But, why blood? The first clue comes from looking into the original Creation in Genesis. When God created animals and man, they were made with “nephesh”, or life. This is the soul, or consciousness principle. In fact, nephesh is translated as soul 428 times, as life 119 times, as person 30 times, and as creature 9 times. This is clearly different than plants. Plants had no nephesh and are understood not to be “alive” in a Scriptural sense, but rather they were metabolic machines to produce food for the nephesh creatures – living animals and mankind, as confirmed in Genesis 1:29-30.
Man was distinctly different from all other animals in that God created man with the eternal image of God. Another difference is that the source of nephesh in animals is the ground, but the source of nephesh in Adam was God’s breath. But a difficulty arose. When man sinned against God, he became separated from God and began to die, as God had warned (Gen 2:17). The penalty for sin was death. And since man was an eternal being, this could only mean eternal death.
In Leviticus 17:11 it says, “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 make an atonement for the soul.” The life of the flesh is the nephesh of the flesh, which was in the blood. We get a glimpse of this mystery about the blood when God told Cain that the blood of murdered Abel was crying out to God from the ground (Gen 4:10). Again, in Isa. 53:12, Christ poured out His soul unto death – here “soul” is “nephesh”.
Also, in the Leviticus text, atonement for the soul is the atonement of the nephesh. Nephesh is translated as both “life” and “soul” in the same sentence. There is a wealth of scientific and spiritual truth here.
Modern science did not realize this fact until about 1620, when scientist William Harvey, a godly Christian man, discovered the circulation of the blood that maintained biological life, both by carrying nourishment to all parts of the body, and carrying away its wastes.
The spiritual truth is even more significant. The “life” of the flesh is actually its “soul”, for “life” and “soul” both translate the same Hebrew word (nephesh) in Lev 17:11. When blood was offered, it was thus the offering of life itself in substitution for the life of the sinner who deserved to die.
God abruptly illustrated this to Adam and his wife - that death was the penalty for sin when God slew an animal and skinned it, providing coats of skins to clothe them (covering their sin (Gen 3:21)) after pronouncing that they, too, would die (Gen 3:19). Blood was first shed as a covering for sin in Genesis chapter 3. No doubt, Adam and Eve wished they could return to that perfect fellowship they had enjoyed, but they had a problem.
In fact, we all have a problem since we all sin. How can we return to perfect fellowship with God without paying the full penalty? That penalty is death; but because we are eternal beings, it is eternal death. No man could pay for his own sin, get to the end of eternity, and then rejoin fellowship with God, because death is death, and forever is forever! Also, no man can die for another man, for his blood would inevitably be contaminated by his own sin.
In the Old Testament, the blood of a “clean animal” was required. Animals do not possess the “image of God”, including the ability to reason about right or wrong, and therefore cannot sin. Even such clean blood could only serve as a temporary covering and could not really “take away” sin.
For a permanent solution to the sin problem, nothing less was required than that of the sinless Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. Since His life was in His blood, He was “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:20).
Only God can pay for your sin, and for my sin, to return us to perfect fellowship, because His eternal blood is not contaminated by sin. But how could He pay for all sins, for everyone? Because God is infinite, therefore His blood is also infinite in scope and power. Therefore, He could pay for any number of sinful people. He not only could, He did, proving His love is infinite!
What you must do to receive this forgiveness of sins is to accept this great, eternal, and infinitely powerful love gift that takes away your sins by the blood of the Lamb. The provision has been made – now reach out and receive eternal life from God. Ask Jesus to come into your life and heart.
Want to know more about a relationship with Jesus? www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html