|THE LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD
We sing songs such as, "Are you washed in the blood?", "There is power in the blood," "When I see the blood," etc., and often don't think much about the significance of what we are singing. Moses' wife called him a "bloody man," circumcision was bloody; sac-rifice was bloody.
The Bible has quite a lot to say about blood. It is mentioned in scripture a total of 447 times. Yahweh forbade the eating of blood, because the life of man and of beasts is in the blood (Lev. 17:10-14).
After Cain had killed Abel, Yahweh told him his brother's blood cried out to him from the ground. He said later that whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.
And man certainly has a history of shedding blood. The Bible is full of incidents where individuals and nations shed much blood. Man's inhumanity and brutality to his fel-low-man down through history is well documented in all ages. Hitler did nothing new. It had all been done before. Even today, we have our Saddam Husseins, our Islamic, Catholic and Protestant extremists, our tyrants and terrorists throughout the world, who don't hesitate to shed innocent blood to advance their own purposes. Look at Bosnia, Ireland, England, Israel, Syria, Libya, Iran and Iraq, and even here in the U.S.
But Yahweh is not going to let this go on forever. Man's reign of death and destruc-tion is about to come to a close. And much blood will be required of unrepentant sinners. Yahweh has proclaimed that the wages of sin is death. Consider:
Isaiah 63:3, I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
Revelation 14:20, And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand six hundred furlongs.
But Yahweh has made a way for those who will heed His call, to escape all these things. Even so, it still requires shedding of blood; a blood sacrifice. Yahweh says the wages of sin is death, and He does not compromise. When we sin, someone or something must die. There is no other way. If there is, then Yahshua died in vain.
Passover is almost here. In ancient Israel this was a bloody time. That lamb had to die so the people would be spared. Originally the head of the house killed the lamb, caught the blood and put it on the door-posts and lintels of the house, and then the lamb was prepared and eaten at home (Exo. 12:3-8). Then later, this procedure was transferred to the place where Yahweh had placed His Name (Deut. 16:5-6).
Later still, after the Temple was built, this became a priestly chore. The people brought their live lamb to the Temple, the priests killed the lamb and sprinkled the blood on the altar, the Levites flayed (skinned) the lamb and then returned the body to the head of the household to take home and prepare for the Passover meal. This was the method in effect during Yahshua's lifetime here on earth.
In addition, there were also all the Old Covenant animal sacrifices that were required under the Levitical priesthood. Even the Old Covenant itself was sealed or confirmed with blood. Read Exodus 24:3-8.
Why so much blood? Why is blood so important to Yahweh? As we've already seen, Yahweh said the life of all flesh is in the blood; when the blood spills out, we die. Sin causes the shedding of blood. Until the Saviour came to die for us, before His precious blood was spilled for us, we were all doomed to die for our own sins. But Yahweh made a way for us to escape. When we repent, we must die symbolically with Yahshua at baptism. He then ap-plies His blood to cleanse us from our sin.
He says that without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. Turn to Hebrews and read Heb. 9:11 to 10:14, noting especially 9:22. So we see that we don't have to make blood sacrifices every year as they did, we only have to remember His once-for-all sacrifice by taking the symbols of His broken body and shed blood once a year at His Memorial Sup-per.
Before we get into that, let's look at something Yahshua said which caused many of His disciples to turn back from following Him. They didn't understand what He meant, and were offended. It's the incident recorded in John 6:47-69. Please read this for yourself, and I'll just summarize. He told His disciples that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. They didn't know at that time what He meant. This is a hard say-ing. But, of course, we know now that He was referring to the symbolic act of renewing our covenant yearly with Him by partaking of the emblems He established on the night He was betrayed.
You can read of this in 1Cor. 11:23-26, and also in Matthew 26, Mark 14 and Luke 22. This is what He meant. This is how we renew the covenant with Him year by year. Notice Paul said Yahshua did these things "ON THE SAME NIGHT IN WHICH HE WAS BETRAYED." That is the same night in which we do them - the evening of Abib 14.
1 Cor. 10:16 says, The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Messiah? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Mes-siah?
And so that's the way we eat His body and drink His blood - symbolically - today. That's how we are reconciled to Yahweh. There is no other way. When we are bap-tized, we enter into a covenant agreement with Him - the New Covenant. And we have to re-new it every year, on the anniversary of the same night in which He was betrayed. That's how oft we do it. If we aren't washed in His blood, then we are none of His.
The ancient Israelites applied the lamb's blood to the door posts and lintels of their homes, ate the Passover lamb, and then the death angel passed over them.
We eat the bread symbolizing His beaten and broken body, and apply the Lamb's blood to the door posts and lintels of our minds, and our minds are renewed.
Ephesians 1:7, In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Eph. 2:13, But now in Messiah Yahshua ye who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Messiah.
1John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yahshua Messiah his Son cleanses us from all sin. (A comfort-ing, wonderful thought).
Revelation 1:5-6, ...Yahshua Messiah, who is the faithful witness and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto Yahweh and his Fa-ther; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The ancient Israelites purified themselves before Passover. John 11:55, And the Jews' Passover was near at hand; and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem BEFORE the Passover, to purify themselves.
We don't go through a purification ritual, but we must examine ourselves. Not to see if we are GOOD enough or RIGHTEOUS enough to take the emblems, but to be certain we are in the right frame of mind. If we are humble, repentant, aware of what His great sacrifice means for us. We must examine our attitudes, our hearts and our minds. We will NEVER be righteous enough of ourselves. We must be sure we discern Yahshua's body, understanding what His death and resurrection has done for us.
2 Cor. 13:5, Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how the Yahshua Messiah is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Let's look at 1 Cor. 11:26-30 again: For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Master's death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Master, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Mas-ter. but let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks destruction to himself, not discerning the Master's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (are dead).
These Corinthians did not discern Yahshua's body. They seemed more interested in partying than in memorializing Him.
Some read that word "unworthily" and think we have to be, of ourselves, worthy, and so they won't keep His memorial. They say they are not "worthy." But that is not what is meant, as explained previously. It means, "in an unworthy manner, not discerning Yahshua's body." We MUST keep this service. If we've been baptized into Yahshua's saving Name, then this is an obligation. He said, "This do ye, in remembrance of Me."
Remember, we are justified by His blood, and shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:9-10, Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to Yahweh by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
So, brothers and sisters, let's not be found wanting. Let's examine ourselves. Let's spend extra time praying, studying, meditating, even fasting if necessary, as this Holy Day season approaches. Visualize Yahshua hanging on that stake, suffering to pay for OUR sins - His warm, life-giving blood pouring out on the ground beneath, growing cold - and Him, in agony, finally uttering the words, "It is finished." Then He died there, alone and forsaken, to pay for OUR transgressions.
But thank Yahweh! He didn't stay dead! Exactly three days and three nights after He was buried, Yahweh remembered Him, and raised Him back to life. He now sits at the right hand of His Father Yahweh, the first-born of many brethren, Romans 8:29.
And what are we to do after we renew the Covenant? Paul tells us in 1Cor. 5:7-8: Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Just as the freed Israelites didn't stay in Egypt, neither are we to stay in sin. Now that we are freed from sin and justified before Yahweh, we must flee from sin. That is what the seven days of Unleavened Bread picture - our coming out of sin. We clean leaven-ing products out of our homes to picture putting sin out of our lives. ~Frank Brown
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