Dearly Beloved in Messiah,
Our thoughts turn toward LOVE every February, as the U.S. celebrates Valentine’s Day on the 14th, even though many have no idea what real love is. God is Love (I Jn. 4:8). He proved it by sending His only Son to earth to die for the sins of mankind. Yeshua’s blood testifies of this Love. This month, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will plunge into God’s salvific stream and attempt to connect BLOOD and LOVE, specifically Messiah’s blood and God’s love. In my heart and mind they are organically intertwined. I see love in every drop of blood that Yeshua shed for us. May you see it too!
The word for blood in Hebrew is dam—דם) DAHM)—most probably since it is edom, אדום) eh-DOHM), red, in color. The red earth from which Adam—אדם) ah-DAHM)—was taken by the Lord is adamah, אדמה) ah-dah-MAH). There is a Hebrew idiom, “basar v’dam”—בשרודם (beh-SAR veh- DAHM)—“flesh and blood,” which speaks of the whole of a person. If flesh, basar, is the material part of man, the dam represents the non-material or spiritual part. This means that there is some kind of God-breathed life in the blood. As the Scripture says in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Out of respect for the mystery and sanctity of life, God’s people were commanded not to eat blood. Blood symbolizes life in the Holy Scriptures.
The first blood shed in the Bible, in the Garden of Eden, is seen by implication. Adam and Eve had sinned, disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, and subsequently “knew they were naked.” Then they hid themselves from the presence of God. They had lost their covering—God Himself— through sin. Without a covering they also lost the Presence of God.
God was the first one to shed blood in order to cover Adam and Eve: “Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). The Lord had to kill an animal to obtain the skins. Blood was shed and a sacrifice was made to cover sin. From the beginning of time we see that “…the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23). A life for life principle goes into effect. Blood is needed for life…and covers sin.
Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves, trying to hide their sin. Not long ago, in a conversation with my son Jesse, he said, “Mom, there is no way that Adam and Eve could cover themselves with little fig leaves.” I replied, “Oh, really? I’ll text you a photo of the fig tree on my patio so that you can see how huge the leaves are!” (at least 12”x10”, and the fig tree is in a pot). But no matter what size fig leaves we use to cover our sin, only blood—Yeshua’s blood—avails. And only through His blood can we, as sinful human beings, be restored to the Presence of, and a relationship with, a Holy God who loves His children.
COVERING Blood speaks of THE FATHERING LOVE OF GOD.
Protecting blood always brings to mind the Passover where God commanded, through Moses, that the children of Israel take a spotless lamb, sacrifice it, and place its blood on their homes, so that Dearly Beloved in Messiah, the Angel of Death would pass over them. The LORD said, “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” (Ex. 12:13).
This protecting blood was a foreshadow of Messiah’s blood. When we apply His blood to the lintel and doorposts of our heart by faith, death passes over us. We are eternally saved. We have moved from death to life and are protected from the penalty that our sin deserves.
I have always appreciated this aspect of Yeshua’s blood. When my sons were teenagers, our computer and television were in a room off the living room that we called the “teen room.” I was concerned about what Jonathan and Jesse and their friends might be seeing or hearing in that room. So, one day, while they were at school, I decided to symbolically place the blood on the teen room door. When my sons and their friends entered the room, they had to pass “under the blood.” I got my bottle of Kraft barbecue sauce and smeared it on the lintel and doorposts of the door. It actually looked like blood when it dried—even sticky. Jesse was the first to see it. He was aghast. “Mom, what did you do? Did you kill something?” I smiled and said, “Jesse, did you know that blood is sticky?” I waited until Jonathan came home from school (who was equally mortified) to confess that it wasn’t real blood but symbolic of Messiah’s blood that I was pleading over all activity in the teen room. My desire was to protect them from the schemes of the enemy, haSatan.
A few years ago, Zac, one of the boys’ childhood friends, saw me for the first time in years and said, “Mrs. Lash, do you still put blood on your doors?” Actually, I do! The red poster board “blood” (three pieces) that I made with Jonathan thirty years ago has been on the outside door of my home every Passover since then. But after Covid 2020, I decided to leave the blood up, since the “plague” was still very much with us. I trusted in the blood of Yeshua to protect me from Covid. I never got the plague, nor did my Orthodox next-door neighbor who I placed under the blood with me. (She once told me not to take the “red stuff” off my door, even though she knows what it represents! Pray for Sandi, please.)
I moved the blood to the inside of my front door when they painted my patio. It remains there to this day. (P.S. I also take the Lord’s supper at home on a regular basis because of the power in the blood of the Lamb. It gives me strength and joy!)
PROTECTING Blood always reminds me of the POWERFUL LOVE OF GOD.
Atonement—at one ment—with God, has always been through blood. There is a continuous scarlet thread of blood throughout the Bible, pointing to God’s chosen way of reconciling people to
Himself. He instituted a sacrificial system for His people which included a High Priest (Cohen Gadol כהןגדול (who took the blood of an innocent animal and placed it on the horns of the altar to make atonement for the sins of the nation (Ex. 30:10). No blood. No atonement. The God of Israel made it abundantly clear: “‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul‘” (Lev. 17:11).
This blood necessitated sacrifice. Something or someone had to die so that others could be forgiven. Enter Yeshua. He humbled Himself, came to earth in the form of man, for the express purpose of dying (shedding His blood) to make propitiation for the sins of the world (I Jn. 2:2). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). “…without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).
The Messiah purchased new life for us through His sacrifice. Not only “new life,” but “His life.”Yeshua said, “…’Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man [Ben Adam] and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (Jn. 6:53). His blood is life-giving—abundant life here and eternal life hereafter. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood means believing in Him, living in Him by faith, and appropriating to ourselves His sacrificial death. Also, eating and drinking in Hebrew thought expresses sharing, relationship, and friendship.
Where is the blood of atonement today? Sadly, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is a day without atonement in traditional Judaism. Since 70 AD there has been no Temple in Jerusalem in which blood sacrifices for sin can be made. The ancient rabbis, concerned with the lack of sacrificial blood, devised a three-part alternative: tefillah (prayer), t’shuvah (repentance), and tzedakah (charity or giving). One of the verses upon which they based this bloodless atonement is Hosea 14:2, “Take words with you [prayer], and return to the LORD [repentance]. Say to Him, ‘Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.‘”
But God still requires blood for atonement. He sent Yeshua to be the final atonement for sin, as prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 53, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (vs. 6). When we receive the Messiah and His blood atonement, we have peace with God, forgiveness of sin, and the promise of eternal life.
YOU can receive this atonement right now if the following prayer expresses the desire of your heart: “Dear God, I confess that I have sinned against You and am sorry for it. Messiah Yeshua, please come into my heart and life and cleanse me with Your blood of atonement. Thank You for dying for me and giving me new life in You. I now receive by faith the peace of God, the love of God, and the joy of my salvation. Amen!”
The ATONING Blood is the greatest example of God’s SACRIFICIAL LOVE.
Covenants in the Holy Scriptures were sacred, solemn, legally binding agreements. They were “cut,” always including the shedding of blood. The Hebrew word for covenant is brit, ברית) beh-REET), literally to “cut covenant.” When an eight-day-old Jewish male baby experiences a ritual circumcision, the ceremony is called a “brit milah,” or simply a “brit” or “bris.” Blood is shed.
The first blood covenant in the Bible is the one cut with God’s friend Abram in Genesis 15. Animals were cut into two pieces and a “smoking oven” and a “burning torch” passed between the pieces. Abram was in a deep sleep while this happened, since God was actually making a covenant with Himself on Abram’s behalf. He was promising Abram all of Himself. Abram had nothing to offer. It is possible that the two “lights” that cut the covenant were the pre-incarnate Yeshua and His Father. The sign of the Abrahamic covenant would be a sign in the flesh that involved the shedding of blood: circumcision.
When God gave His Torah to His people at Mt. Sinai, He made a covenant with them. “And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words‘” (Ex. 24:8). (See also Hebrews 9:18.)
The New Covenant, the Brit Hadashah, promised to the House of Israel and the House of Judah, in Jeremiah 31, is also a blood covenant. The blood that initiated this covenant in which everyone would “know the LORD” had to be special, sinless blood—the blood of the promised Messiah. Yeshua said, “‘For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins‘” (Matt. 26:28). Yeshua’s blood speaks: “to Yeshua the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:24). While the blood of Abel cried out for vengeance, the blood of Yeshua cries out for mercy.
COVENANTAL Blood speaks of the FAITHFUL LOVE OF GOD.
The blood of Yeshua was sinless; the blood of His mother Miriam was not. She sinned like us. Yeshua did not. Miriam was like a surrogate mother to the Son of God. Her blood did not mix with His. Medically, the blood of a pregnant woman never mixes with the blood of her unborn child. Since Yeshua was supernaturally conceived, His blood was divine. The Ruach HaKodesh supplied the sinless blood of Yeshua. His blood is indeed precious.
Yeshua’s blood was also incorruptible blood. M. R. DeHaan, M.D., explains this in The Chemistry of the Blood. “Sin made human blood corruptible. Soon after death, decay sets in, and it begins in the blood. That is why meat must be drained well of its blood, and why embalmers place the embalming fluid in the blood. David said that Jesus’ body should not see corruption. Though He was dead three days and three nights, His body did not corrupt.” In summary, Jesus’ body was of Mary; His blood was of the Holy Ghost. This sinless, supernatural blood was the only price of redemption God could accept without violating the integrity of His holy nature.”
Yeshua’s SINLESS Blood testifies of His PURE LOVE for us.
When I think of the power of Messiah’s blood to cleanse us of all sin, my Salvation Army heritage comes to mind. William Booth, the founder (1878) and first General of the Salvation Army is famous for his boldness in preaching the Gospel to the destitute and rejected men and women of the streets of London. They said of him, “Booth led boldly with his big bass drum. Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” The Army placed special emphasis on the blood of Yeshua and its power to cleanse even the vilest sinner. Then, we can walk in the light with one another (I Jn. 1:7).
My great-grandmother ministered with General Booth. My grandfather, Commissioner John Allan, was the Army’s eighth Chief of Staff. I have his original preaching Bible. He has highlighted Hebrews 9:12-15 concerning the cleansing power of the blood of Messiah. I praise the Lord for such a godly heritage.
“Thank You, Abba, for the precious blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of God, that washes white as snow, has wonder-working power, and gives us clean hearts and renewed minds.”
CLEANSING Blood sings of the UNFAILING LOVE of God.
In Leviticus 8, we read about the blood of consecration being applied to Aaron and his sons. This blood set them apart as priests to their God. Believers in Yeshua are now a holy priesthood to God (Rev. 1:5-6), as well as His purchased possession—purchased by the blood of Messiah. “…you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-19).
We are “blood-bought,” and our consecration is based on the death of Yeshua on the tree of sacrifice. Since Yeshua purchased us with His blood, paying the mohar or bride price, we no longer belong to ourselves, but to Him (I Cor. 6:19-20). “Therefore Yeshua also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate” (Heb. 13:12). This blood of consecration has rightfully been called “possessing blood.”
Yeshua’s CONSECRATING Blood speaks of the JEALOUS LOVE of God.
How can we be “more than conquerors” as promised in Romans 8:37? Revelation 12:11 has the answer: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and
they did not love their lives to the death.”
The blood of Yeshua helps us defeat the enemy of our souls. It causes us to triumph and will give us the victory in 2024! I like what the late David Wilkerson said (in 1996!): “Jesus has won the victory for us; His blood has prevailed. And I believe our battle cry should be, ‘I proclaim the victory of the blood of Jesus! I am blood-washed, blood-bought, blood-justified, blood-safe, and blood-ransomed.”
Messiah’s CONQUERING Blood testifies of His VICTORIOUS LOVE.
Bought with a price and thanking God
for the blood that says, “You are LOVED,”