Meditation for Monday

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11

For more than two thousand years, until the late 1800’s, the practice of bloodletting was a very common treatment for all sorts of ailments. The concept of bloodletting was based on the notion that draining a certain amount of blood allowed the ‘humours’ of the body to be restored to a proper balance. In many cases, a bloodletting session was considered a success only if the patient fainted. This practice shows a complete disregard for the truth contained in today’s text, that the life of the flesh is in the blood. This text also unveils to us the significance of the offering of the blood of the Lord Jesus as an atonement for our sins.

What does atonement mean? There are various ways of defining atonement; let us look at one in particular. Scripture makes it plain that our sin has created a rift between ourselves and God. This happened in Eden and persists in us today. Atonement is the means whereby that rift between us and God is removed, so that we are reunited with God. Removing that rift is impossible with us, because we are too weak, too poor to satisfy the demands of atonement. We cannot remove our sin, and, in our natural state, we would not if we could. So atonement is a work of God alone. Atonement can be accomplished only if our sin is removed, if the price of sin is paid. What is the price of sin? Death! The wages of sin is death. Our deaths are a result of our sin, but they cannot pay for that sin to clear us of its debt. We need an atonement that actually covers the cost of our sin.

The history of religion is the record of man’s attempt to atone for his sin. Cain set the pattern, the work of his defiled hands and the produce of a cursed earth. Religion has devised codes of conduct, books of doctrine, sacrifices, and a vast repertoire of rituals and ordinances with all their trinkets and trappings. Religion has paid rivers of blood and billions of money and has not yet paid a fraction of a percent of the cost of atonement. Self-atonement fails utterly. Only God can provide the atonement required.

His incarnation brought the Lord Jesus a body in which he dwelt among us. Within that body flowed blood untainted by sin, blood that gave Him His human life. Upon the altar of Calvary, He gave that blood as a payment for our sin. He could proclaim ‘It is finished’, because the atonement was achieved. Forever more, God could look upon the travail of the soul of His Son and be satisfied.

The great I Am became the Lamb, and shed such precious blood, that the crimson tide could satisfy forever a holy God. – Jim MacIntosh

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