Tuesday, 25 August 2020 Leviticus 17:1-16
“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.” -Leviticus 17:11
The Book of Leviticus may seem far-fetched with its many laws and regulations which were meant basically for the Levites- priests of Israel, instructing them on many things pertaining to the daily living and worship of the Israelites. Chapter 17 gives us the principle of atonement. Derek Prince explained the word “Atonement” like this: ‘At- One-ment’, meaning atonement is that which makes us “at one with God!” The key verse says, “…it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” Sinful man cannot approach a holy GOD. It is God’s principle that “The person who sins will die.” (Ezekiel 18:20). Unless sin is atoned for (made amends for), death is the right punishment for sin (Romans 3:23).
God’s provision for the atonement of sin in the Old Testament times was the sacrifice of an animal whose blood was to be shed and sprinkled on the altar of the Tabernacle- the place of worship for God’s people. As our key verse explains, the life of a creature is in its blood and hence shedding its blood was equivalent to giving its life as a substitute for the sinner who deserved to die! Only then could he be made acceptable before God. The Law (Old Testament) was only a shadow of the things to come- the reality of which is now found in Christ. Jesus Christ, whom John the Baptist described as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” became the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE on the altar of God - the cross of Calvary. Romans 3:25 says, “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” We now have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ (Col.1:14).
While in the OT, the sacrificial system was a continuous process for the remission of the sins of the people, by the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, He has once and for all paid the penalty of sin on our behalf: “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18 NLT). Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” There is no more need for sacrifices to be made on behalf of man- Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient for us to be made acceptable to God!