But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. (Genesis 9:4)
Life Is In The Blood
The heart is an amazing testimony of the creative power of God. Formed in the womb, the muscular organ begins to pump blood through the child’s developing body and will not cease its work for many, many years, sometimes lasting more than one hundred years. Every day, the heart beats nearly 100,000 times, moving the life-giving nutrients and oxygen to the organs. Blood is necessary for life in most animals and required for life in all humans. There are different kinds of flesh: one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. After the flood in the days of Noah, God permitted man to eat from the animal kingdom. The animals were given to man to subdue and have dominion to supply his needs for food. Shedding the blood of animals was not prohibited, but the eating of flesh with its life, that is, its blood, was an abomination to the Lord. Killing an animal was not sinful, although blood was shed because an animal was not created in God’s image. Whoever kills another human being commits murder when he sheds the blood of one made in the image of God.
Blood is different in animals. Transfusing blood from one human to another is possible but using animal blood is impossible. Life is in the blood, but an animal’s life is nothing more than a creature that has no eternal existence. When an animal dies, he returns to nothing. When a man dies, the spirit returns to God who gave it, and he continues as an eternal creature never to cease from existence. One of the things that separate men from animals is the nature of the blood. The blood of man is precious to God as He formed His creation into His own image. Throughout humanity’s history, animals have been used for sacrifice without penalty because their blood was not sacred. One of the greatest abominations before the Lord was human sacrifice. The distinction between animal sacrifice and human sacrifice was the blood. Offering the blood of bulls and goats was commanded by the Lord. Human offerings and the shedding of man’s blood in sacrifice were sinful.
Life is in the blood. Over the centuries, thousands upon thousands of animals were sacrificed to appease the wrath of God. While commanded by the Lord, the blood given on the altar could not take away sin. The nature of the blood was not composed of a sacrifice worthy of the holiness of God to take away sin. No animal was created in the image of God, and so the blood was nullified by its nature. Human blood was sacred before the Lord as man was created in the image of the Divine. Shedding the blood of a man would bring redemption because the man was created in the image of God. The problem was the blood required had to be without blemish. In animal sacrifice, an animal must be without defect, or it was an unholy sacrifice. The blood of man would be acceptable to God if man were perfect and without sin. Among all the great men that lived holy lives, there was never one found that was sinless. Redemption remained distant, and the man was without hope.
In the little town of Nazareth, a young maiden conceived in her womb the Son of God. The heart of Jesus formed to pump blood throughout His tiny frame as it developed into a human body. Nine months later, while Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem for the census, Jesus was born. For more than thirty years, the heart of Jesus beat nearly 100,000 times a day, supplying His human form with the nutrients and oxygen required for life. The Jews rejected Jesus as the Son of God and killed Jesus on a cross through the authority of the Roman government. Like all men, Jesus bled. His blood became the atoning sacrifice for sin because not only is physical life in the blood; eternal life is in the blood of Jesus because it was from a man created in the image of the Divine that lived a perfect life. Jesus had done what no man could do. His blood was without blemish. The blood of Jesus could redeem man. His sacrifice appeased the wrath of God. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, and no man has ever lived a perfect life but Jesus of Nazareth. Thank God for His blood because eternal life is in the blood of Jesus.