Shedding Of Blood In The Bible


Some skeptics of the Bible point to the animal blood shed under the Law of Moses as simply an act of violence.  Likewise, the death of Jesus is simply a violent act sanctioned by a bloodthirsty and mean-spirited God.  But, are these acts those of violent people serving a violent and bloodthirsty God?  Or is it something else entirely.  Let us consider Hebrews 8 and 9 and look at this matter . . .

First, let us start with an introduction to the book of Hebrews.  Hebrews is a book written to men and women who had grown up as Jews, but later in life became Christians around the time that Christianity began.  These Hebrew Christians were suffering persecution by the Romans, who thought of them as some sect of the Jews.  They were also persecuted by fellow Hebrew people still serving the Law of Moses and Judaism.  Many were even disowned by their families.  So many of these Hebrew Christians were leaving the church in order to go back to Judaism and thus avoid more persecution.  The Hebrew writer spends 13 chapters striving to convince these Hebrew Christians that the new covenant under Christ is a superior covenant to the old covenant instituted by the Law of Moses.  Chapter 8 and 9 compare the physical tabernacle and priesthood to the spiritual tabernacle and priesthood.

Hebrews 8:4-5 explains that the physical tabernacle was a physical copy of the spiritual tabernacle in Heaven.  The idea continues into chapter 9.  Chapter 9 then discusses the shedding of blood, both under the Law of Moses and also Christ's shed blood.  The blood shed under the Law of Moses served to dedicate the law (Hebrews 9:18-21) and to cleanse man of sin (Hewbrews 9:22-28).  These acts are not the acts of violent people serving a violent God.  Rather, blood has two purposes.

First, Hewbrews 9:15-17 reminds us that a man's last will and testament only goes into force after the man is dead.  We know today that the beneficiary of a will does not receive the items in the will until the one who made it dies.  Thus, Jesus had to die for the new covenant (Law of Christ) to go into effect.

Second, the shedding of blood reminds man of the awful cost of sin.  While sin can be pleasurable (for a short time) and seem to have no cost, in reality sin has a huge cost.  In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sinned and tried to cover themselves physically with clothes to hide their nudity.  God showed that such coverings were insufficient and provided man with skins of animals.  The idea was to point out that their sins cost the life of these animals.  Likewise, the blood of bulls and goats, under the Law of Moses, pointed out that these animals had to die in order to atone for man's sin.  Yet, the blood of bulls and goats did not remove sin (Hewbrews 10:4), but instead pushed the sin forward each year until Jesus came and died.  When Jesus came, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and resurrected, then man's sins were permanently removed (for those obeyed God's commands).

So, the shedding of blood in the Bible is not a bloodthirsty act, but rather a reminder that our sins are never freee, but have real consequences.  The blood  serves to remove man's sins and to discourage man from self-desructive acts of sin.

If you are interested in considering this matter further, please feel free to email, call, and more importantly, study this matter for yourself.  Our God is not violent, but loving, and desires that we understand the terrible consequences of sin, as well as the beautiful redemption available to all who decide to leave their lives of sin and pursue an obedient relationship with God.


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