Life is Found in The Blood

Charles Swindoll tells a story about the 19th Century agnostic Thomas Huxley (some of you might know that it was Huxley who promoted Darwinism and Humanism in his attacks on Christianity). Huxley was in Dublin and was rushing to catch a train. He climbed aboard one of Dublin’s f … More


Chapters 17-20 reveal a legal code of conduct for the people of Israel, touching on many areas of their public life. These four chapters deal with four special areas of life that must be respected and kept holy: (1) The sanctity of life (Chap. 17), (2) the sanctity of sex (Chap. 18); (3) the sanctity of the law (Chap. 19); and the sanctity of judgment (Chap. 20). The emphasis isn’t as much on justice or civic righteousness as it is on holiness. The motivation of Israel’s obedience had to be more than fear and punishment. The people also had a need in their hearts to please God and a determination to be a holy people who would bring glory to His name (Ex 19:3-6). While obedience to the law isn’t God’s way of salvation (Rom 3:19-20), a love for holiness and a desire to obey God are certainly evidences that we are the children of God (I Jn 3:1).

Chapter 17 deals with the sanctity of life which is found in the blood. Long before medical science discovered the significance of the circulation of the blood in the human body and its importance for life, Scripture told us that life was in the blood. Throughout Scripture it is the blood that makes the atonement for our sin. Warren Wiersbe states that “Any theology that ignores or minimizes the blood isn’t founded on the Word of God.” Of the prohibitions in the Bible against eating blood this one in Leviticus is the clearest. Verse 11 gives two reasons: (1) to refrain from eating blood is to show respect for the sanctity of life and (2) God choose it as a fitting symbol of the reality of atonement and forgiveness.


As believers we need to appreciate the importance of the “precious” blood of Christ (I Pet. 1:19). Through His blood we are justified (Rom. 5:9), redeemed (Eph. 1:7), washed (Rev. 1:5, sanctified (Heb. 13:12), brought near (Eph. 2:13), and cleansed (I Jn. 1:7). I need to be thankful for all of this and express my thanks. 

Leviticus 17:1-16 (English Standard Version)

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