"And I will turn against anyone, whether an Israelite or
a foreigner living among you, who eats or drinks blood in any form. I will
cut off such a person from the community, for the life of any creature is in
its blood. I have given you the blood so you can make atonement for your
sins. It is the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement."
How solemn is this ordinance's voice! It speaks a stern
command. It sets a rigid fence around all blood. No common use may touch. No
lips may taste. It is laid up among God's holiest things. All reverence
enshrines it. A dreadful sanctity excepts it from the food of man.
My soul, this is a consecrated spot. Approach it meekly
and in prayer.
What, if offence occur? What, if the appetite profanely
take? What, if rash hands shall bring it to the table? Then penalty frowns
terribly. God's smile withdraws. His favor ceases. Wrath darkens. Excluding
judgments follow. The rebel is cut off from among the people.
My soul, terrors frequent this spot. Approach it meekly
and in prayer.
But why is blood thus sanctified? No slight design can
frame a law so strict. There must be significance—wise as the author—great
as the originating mind. It is so. For is not blood the Altar's food?
Yes. There is its constant flow. It is the stream from the expiring victim.
Blood reminds of death, as the desert of sin; and it bears witness, that
remission is prepared. Thus it is linked with expiating grace. No eye should
see it, without thought of the tremendous curse, and of a substituted
Blood then is holy, because it points to Calvary's
cross. Its instant language proclaims Christ. It shadows forth the
wrath-sustaining death of God's co-equal Son. It introduces Jesus bleeding,
that souls may live. Blood is full symbol of the redemption's price. It is
clear emblem of the one atoning Lamb.
Thus the grand significance of its holiness appears. When
an enlarged decree gave animals for food, the prohibition was annexed, "But
you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it." Genesis 9:4. So
soon as meat was granted for the table, this sign of expiation (the blood)
was reserved. From age to age, until the expected Jesus came, the same
forbidding voice was heard, 'Touch not, taste not, the blood. It is devoted
unto God. It is most holy unto Him. It pictures out redeeming suffering. It
is atonement for the soul.'
Reader, the elders of faith's family were thus
constrained to note this mark. No day could pass without remembrance of its
hallowed end. We live in Gospel-day. The wondrous death is no more veiled in
mystic types. We gaze with open eye upon the blood-stained cross. We can
approach the fountain opened in a Savior's side. We may sit down beneath the
trickling drops. We may there wash our every sin away. Shall we, thus
privileged, fall short in reverence? Forbid it faith, forbid it love, forbid
it every throb of every new-born heart.
Come, think for a few moments of the grand
antitype—Christ's blood. Ponder its worth—its use—its mighty
power—its unspeakable results. And may the Spirit reveal its glories in
their fullest light.
Revere it, for He is great, who sheds. Enter the garden.
Stand beside the cross. The sufferer seems a lowly man. Scorn and affliction
mark Him, as their own. Man verily He is. If it were otherwise, He could
possess no human blood. But is He only man? Oh! no. In that poor body Deity
is encased. He is the mighty God. He is the grand Creator, sovereign Ruler
of all worlds. Jehovah's plenitude of power is in His hand. Jehovah's every
glory is His right. Jehovah's everlasting being is His age. Godhead is His
property. Divinity is linked to all His sufferings in flesh, to all His
doings in our stead. That blood, then, is the blood of God. Acts 20:28.
If it were less, O sinner, what could it avail for you?
Your soul is justly sentenced to infinity of woe; because your sins have
trampled on infinity of claims. If all the angels in man's form could die a
myriad deaths, the pains would fall short of what you owe. Nothing but
boundless substitution can release. Jesus is God, and He brings blood, which
is essentially divine. Therefore it is enough.
Turn not your eyes from the grand dignity of Calvary's
Lamb. This is the marrow of all Gospel-hope. This brings in merit. God
cannot ask, or find, a greater or a worthier price. Oh! bless the Father for
this appointed help. Bless Jesus for this all-sufficient aid. Here is an
able Savior, for the blood flows in the channel of omnipotence.
From its grand worth turn to its efficacious
work. But here all tongues of men and angels fail. It is a theme, which
endless ages of incessant praise must leave untold. It is the ransom-price
of all the saved. This multitude is vast. Their number baffles number. Each
entered life the slave of Satan. Each was defiled with darkest stains of
guilt. Each owed a countless debt to every attribute of God. But now behold
them. Their robes are white. Not one speck spoils. Their penalties are paid.
Not one claim can be found. Their chains have dropped. Each adversary's lips
are mute. Whence is their freedom? Whence is their uttermost deliverance?
Whence is their open passage to eternal bliss? Whence their loud song—their
happy praise—their mansions in God's court? The blood has washed, and they
are clean. The blood has saved, and they are saved.
It is the peace of all the sons of peace. There was a day
when the awakened conscience tossed on the billows of acutest pain. The
misery, and filth, and woe of sin were deeply felt. The thundering law
denounced its curse. The wrath of God displayed avenging strength.
Tormenting flames glared fierce and near. All heaven frowned. All hell
seemed gaping at the feet. To live was piercing fear. To die was agony of
But all these clouds have vanished. A bright and lovely
morn has dawned. Whence issued forth these cheering rays? They all spring
joyously from Jesus's blood. The Spirit led the trembler to the cross. He
opened an enraptured eye to see the cleansing stream. He showed its
reconciling worth. He gave a living power to the truth, "Though your sins be
as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool." Is. 1:18. Faith heard, and washed, and left accusing
guilt behind. Faith looked, and entered on the pastures of repose.
It is the fruitful source of sanctifying grace. He is the
holiest man, whose tent is fixed beside this well of life. He most flees
sin, whose eye is riveted upon the blood. Can he love that, which gave those
wounds to Christ? Can he embrace the monster, which pierced Jesus's heart?
It cannot be. The sight of Calvary slays the love of sin. The cross unmasks
the hideous form, and kindles righteous hate.
O child of God, make this your study. For first,
for last, for every thought, here is food. Let morning call you to this
view—let mid-day find it your delight—let evening's hours close round it.
Here is a depth, which you can never probe—a height, which you can never
reach—a length and breadth, which you can never grasp. Angels here fix a
prying gaze. They wonder. They adore. But they glean no advantage from it.
To you it is Salvation's price. To you it is the gate of heaven. Then study
it with intensest thought.
Need I add, love it. Heart's every fiber should
here entwine. It is the proof, that God loves you, as His own Son—that Jesus
loves you better than Himself. He is not spared that you may be redeemed.
Let then this blood sit high on your affection's throne. Hold it tightly in
your soul's embrace. Your warmest feelings should here cluster. That mind is
rock, which is not melted by such flame.
Need I add, praise it? All lips commend the charms
of beauty and heroic deeds. But what is as beauteous as grace leading Jesus
to the Cross? Where is a noble act, like His surrender of Himself for you?
It is the bright display of Godlike glory. It shows Jehovah on His highest
throne. It has done that for you, which nothing but itself could do. My
soul, my soul, praise Jesus's blood.
Need I add, use it? Use it. When? In every hour;
for every hour may be hallowed by it. Use it, when temptation's darts are
flying round. It is a sure defense. No hell-sent arrow ever pierced the
blood-anointed shield. Use it, when you seek light from Scripture's page.
Those lines are brightest, in which the blood is seen. Use it in prayer. It
is the plea of pleas. It goes directly to the heart of God, and wins a
blessing smile. Use it in sanctuary-services. That service is cast out,
which is not perfumed from this fragrant field. Use it in all your holy work
for God. It consecrates the motive, way, and end. Seed, sown in Jesus's
blood, brings harvests to heaven's garner. Use it, when death draws near.
The chilling waters then recede, and a bright passage opens to God's home.
Use it, when seated upon glory's throne. You then need noble theme. This
theme is nobly fit for God.
You ministers of Christ, if any read, lift high your
voices to set forth this blood. Your office is to show Christ's saving
power. But can Christ save, apart from His atoning blood? Christ and no
cross, is an unmeaning tale. You doubtless long to win souls to salvation.
Here is the magnet of attraction. Cast wide this net, and large will be your
gain. You strive to lead a righteous flock in holy ways. But flames
unkindled will not blaze. Motives must be supplied. The mightiest motive is
grateful love resulting from Christ's dying love.
You cannot prosper, without the Spirit's aid. It is His
province to apply the blood. If this be cast behind, your helper will
depart. Here is safe teaching, which cannot mislead. Here is a truth, with
triumph in its hands. If then you would add jewels to the Savior's crown—use
this grand instrument. The blood can uplift from nature's filth. It can
upraise to God's own throne.
Parents and teachers, you have anxious charge. The young
drink earliest lessons by your side. You occupy the heart's first ground.
The seed sown by you takes deep root. The color of your words will tinge the
life. Your precepts perish not, when things earthly die. Think, shall your
training be a link in glory's, or in perdition's, chain! It will be so,
according as the blood is shown or hidden. All knowledge, without this, is
splendid folly. He only, who knows this, is wisdom's son.
Reader, pause now, and look within. The blood is precious
in God's sight. Its type profaned brought woe. What is their case,
who scorn the grand reality? Think, then, what is its value to your
heart? Can you reply, I prize it above price. It is my all. Ah! perhaps you
hesitate. Its blessed sprinklings are not on your soul. Remember Israel's
dwellings. The door-posts without blood were no exclusion to the messenger
of wrath. The absent sign gave passage to destruction. But your destruction
has not yet arrived. Awake! Awake! Flee to this only remedy for sin. How
blessed will this hour be, if it finds you
blood-marked—blood-washed—blood-saved! Almighty Father, grant it, for
Christ's sake! Compassionate Redeemer, plead until hearts yield! Resistless
Spirit, conquer by these feeble words!