Leviticus 17 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Therefore, I said to the children of Israel, ‘none of you shall eat blood, not shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.’” Leviticus 17: 11-12

If you ever travel to Israel, one thing you’ll find out quickly is how awful the beef tastes! Why? It has been drained of all its blood and stripped of most of its fat. It must be so, in order to be certified “kosher” by the rabbis who inspect the meat processing plants and restaurants.

Unlike the laws of clean & unclean animals (Acts 10:9-15), the command to “not eat blood” has never even been suggested to have been repealed by the L_rd. At least, Scripture does not indicate such. Perhaps this poses a challenge to us: How rare can we get that steak before it’s considered “eating blood”?

As a young follower of Yeshua, I used to wonder, “What’s the deal with all of the talk anf focus on the ‘Blood’ of Yeshua?” I understood suffering and I get how He paid the penalty we deserve. I understood the resurrection, proving the power and will of G_d to do miracles. But the blood…?

In today’s passage, we find some clarity. The practice of shedding animal blood, for sin atonement, was given to Israel, by G_d. Why? Perhaps the best explanation is that “blood sacrifice” gives a vivid picture of the serious deadliness of sin, ovserved by the individual worshipping, and lets them consider how their sin looks to God and the punishment awaiting them if their sins are not atoned-for.

Almost everyone thinks their children are saints, compared to everyone else’s kids. We justify our own sin to ourselves, but condemn others. Sometimes, it is good to separate ourselves from our “selves”, and get a more detatched, elevated and objective view of our lives. A “G_d’s perspective” view of how we measure-up to His standard.

In what seems like cruel performance art, G_d is showing Israel…and now us…that sin sheds blood. And it is OUR blood that sin sheds. By choosing to sin, we are literally killing ourselves. Apart from Messiah, we work toward sinful goals, and the wages of that labor are death.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of G_d is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua, our L_rd.” Romans 6:23

G_d, in His gracious mercy, allows us to veiw sin as He sees it, through the commandment of the blood sacrifice. He has given life in blood. Because Yeshua is eternal, through Yeshua’s blood we are offered eternal life. When we consider the Roman cross on which Yeshua died, we see what WE deserved, yet were spared through Yeshua’s atonement. And we see the urgentcy of sharing the gospel with non-believers!

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Sunday, April 27, 2014