Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 9

The use of blood in the Bible

Hebrews 9:21

The author of Hebrews writes that Moses splashed the tabernacle with blood. The tabernacle was the holy tent where Israelís priests served God. And Moses also splashed all the objects that the priests used. He did it to make these things clean, so that they would be ready for use.

Other books in the Bible mention some, but not all, of these ceremonies (for example, Leviticus 8:15). However, it seems that these ceremonies were well-known. An ancient writer called Josepheus mentions them. And it was not just Moses who carried out these ceremonies. Each year, the chief priest did it, on the special day called the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:18-19). That was the day when God dealt with the peopleís sins (wrong and evil deeds).

The purpose of the blood was to make the objects clean. Of course, you cannot really clean anything with blood. So clearly, what mattered was the meaning of the ceremonies, and not the ceremonies themselves.

The blood was necessary because of sin. Sin ruins peopleís relationship with God. It even spoils the things that they use in order to serve God (Leviticus 16:15-16). The result of sin is death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). But the remedy is blood because, in the Bible, blood means life. It is because of the blood that God can forgive sin. Read Leviticus 17:11.

That blood had to come from animals that were perfect. The lives of those animals were a gift to God. The priests burned the bodies of the animals. Those animals were sacrifices (gifts that God considers valuable).

From these ceremonies, we can learn many important things about Jesus. He was perfect, like those animals; and he was without sin. But he gave his life so that God can forgive us.

We are all guilty because of our sins. But God wants to forgive us. And he has make it possible by means of Jesusí death.

Jesusí death was the perfect sacrifice. The blood of Godís precious Son is the gift that God considers most valuable. People have ruined their relationship with God by means of their sins. But God has provided a remedy.

That is why it is so important for us to confess our sins to God. And that is why each person must invite Jesus into his or her own life. Jesus offered his blood to God when he died on the cross. We deserve death because of our sins. But God offers us life.

Next part: The importance of the blood for Christians (Hebrews 9:22)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.