Leviticus 17:1-4,10-12 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the people of Israel and say to them, This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the LORD in front of the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man... "If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.
Over and over again, the LORD God speaks to Moses to instruct the Israelites and the stipulations of the law are so many and so comprehensive that it seems easier to live outside the law than in the confines of it.
With the new regulations on slaughtering animals and eating the blood of animals, what is God speaking to us today?
The first aspect that struck me as I read the chapter was how God instructs Moses to command the Israelites.
Obviously Moses had an obedient heart and a listening spirit that he was able to hear God and that touched me because I seem to talk more than listen.
Being a christian is about submitting to the will of God and that submission involves obeying His word and being in constant relationship with God listening to His direction.
Moses was accredited for being a listener and a great leader and this is reflected again by several other Bible greats including Jesus Himself who spent hours praying to God the Father before He did anything.
We now consider the killing of cattle by the Israelites. The direction from God was that they were to bring the animal to the Tabernacle so that it was sanctified for them and they would be given the flesh to be eaten as a peace-offering.
Again here we note that some of the Israelites still seemed to sacrifice cattle to their own gods and this was clearly unacceptable to God.
When the Israelites entered Canaan, this ritual only continued with respect to sacrifices. Today the spiritual sacrifices we offer are not place bound.
We have no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift but instead the temple of God is in us and through Christ, we offer thanks before we sacrifice and partake of our food and therefore are sanctified.
This applies to those of us who are now saved by the grace of God and it is a joyful requirement of us to thank God for His kind provision to us before we partake of it.
The last aspect is the eating of blood. This again was ceremonial law and was done away with in Christ because the ransom is not paid anymore by the blood of cattle but by the blood of Jesus Christ alone!
The blood of cattle now only provides nourishment and cannot be used to atone for our souls. Only the blood of Christ can atone and even though it was shed 2,000+ years ago, it still is fresh and available to anyone who seeks to make amends with God and find hope in Him.
Is it not amazing how all the requirements of the law was met by Christ alone and through Him, we have access to God the Father without any condemnation?
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In His Loving Service,
Hebrews 9:13-14 (ESV) For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
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