Leviticus 17 is all about the blood. In chapter 16, Aaron has instructions about sprinkling the blood on the mercy seat and in front of it.
This is something the Lord hasn’t taught me about yet. I don’t understand all the specifics about the blood, the putting it on your finger and sprinkling it on the east side and then in the front seven times. I know God well enough to know it all means something. He doesn’t just flippantly say things. He does things on purpose.
In today’s chapter, it’s about being guilty if you eat an animal without first pouring out its blood or if you sacrifice an animal without bringing it to the tent of meeting. The repeated lesson in this chapter is that the life is in the blood.
The life is what is precious. Life is found in the blood. The blood shed takes life away but gives life to another. The animal gives its life so that the Israelites could be forgiven and live.
Jesus spilled His blood, pouring out His life, so that we could be given life. Jesus’ life was eternal and His life blood gave us eternal life in return. That’s the exchange of blood, life for life.
That reminds me of the law of justice, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. Justice demands a life for a life. Justice demands death for sin. But there’s a greater law at work, the law of love and mercy, of “khesed” (in Hebrew), undeserved grace, agape love. It fulfills the law of justice, but with a twist. The guilty party receives the pardon, receives their life, and the judge, the law giver, dies in their place.
We find our lives in the blood. Without coming through the cross of Christ, we’ve missed salvation and just found religion. There was a life exchange on the cross: His life for ours, but then we each need to come to the cross for a second exchange.
The cross is where we come to die to receive life; it’s a life exchange. We give up our lives to receive His life. And that’s eternal life, the life we begin living the moment we enter into that blood covenant, a life for a life.