Blood. Why was this such an integral part of Old Testament worship? Man’s sin required a way to reestablish fellowship with God. God required a blood sacrifice. The Passover is a good illustration.
Israel is under bondage to the Egyptians. They cry out to the Lord. God hears their cry and sends Moses to deliver them. Pharaoh would not allow the Hebrews to leave. God sent 10 plagues upon Egypt. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. The first plague was turning the river water into blood. The last plague was the death of the first born which could be avoided by the blood.
Disobedience to God’s word is sin. Pharaoh and anyone following him sinned against God. So in Exodus 12, God tells Moses what the Hebrews need to do to avoid this plague. If they obey, they live. If they disobey, they die.
Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
They obeyed, lived, were promptly allowed to leave. However, from time to time, the nation of Israel disobeyed God. God instituted animal sacrifices to cover the sin, but not take them away. Hebrews 10 explains this.
But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Obey God. But when we don’t, we need to repent, go to God and ask His forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 states, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Tomorrow, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Tom Stearns, WASI, 907 715-4001