Recently I was talking to a friend about who shed the first drop of innocent blood in the Bible. Her answer: “Cain.” There was a time when I would have said the same thing. But since reading every scripture from Genesis to Matthew that mentioned blood, I know the real answer is “God”. Yes, God Himself shed the first drop of blood when He made coats of animal skins for Adam and Eve after the fall. That meant an innocent animal had to die in order to cover their sins.
From this we can see that right from the beginning God set up the blood standard, that “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Sin was not to be paid for by gold or silver; or compensated for by good works; or exonerated because of family ties, lineage, or status. That’s why in the Old Testament under the Law the priests slaughtered animals and sprinkled their blood over the altar to atone not only for individual sins but for the nation’s sins. “In fact, under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins” (Hebrews 9:22 Amplified Bible). Still . . . all this was but a foreshadowing of things to come; a foreshadowing of the perfect solution.
Enter Jesus, the Lamb who allowed Himself to be slaughtered for you and me. “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”(1 Peter 18-19)
I don’t know why it took me over thirty years to connect the dots, thirty years to move from a vague knowledge that Jesus came and died for the sins of the world to the absolute knowledge that He died for me; that all my good works were but filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6); and that the only standard that God acknowledges is the blood standard. And that God, not only instituted this standard but actually completely satisfied it Himself. Period. The end.
This Thanksgiving, if I had to name the one thing I am most grateful for, it would be the blood standard. Because of it, and because I have acknowledged and appropriated it for myself, I have peace with God. I am accepted. I am forgiven. I have a hope and a future that extends far beyond this earthy realm. I can’t think of anything more wonderful.
Until next week,