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Daily Devotional Leviticus 17: 1-16

Some people fear the sight of blood. They have to look away during their annual blood test and have a hard time helping bandage a wound. While blood can be frightening, it is also necessary. Every moment, blood pumps through our bodies, keeping us alive by supplying our body with oxygen and nutrients.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

JOHN 6:54

In today’s reading, we have arrived at a major turning point in the book. Up to this point, the commands and teaching have been given to the priests. It instructed them on how to atone for sin and maintain purity in the tabernacle and the camp. Beginning in this chapter, Moses addresses all Israel (v. 1). This part of Leviticus teaches Israel how to maintain holiness in their everyday life.

This chapter addresses two issues. The first issue was how to properly slaughter animals for food (vv. 3–7). If Israel desired to slaughter an animal to eat, they were required to bring it to the Tent of Meeting and offer it as a fellowship offering (v. 5). This ensured that the animal was slaughtered properly. It also reminded Israel that food was a gift from God and a part of regular worship. It would prevent Israel from being tempted to sacrifice to false gods away from the tabernacle (v. 7).

The second issue was a prohibition against consuming blood of any kind (vv. 10–14). Blood represented the life of the animal. By refraining from consuming the blood, Israel showed respect for the sanctity of life (Gen. 9:4–6). Blood was also used in worship as a source of sanctification (Lev. 17:11).

>> The word “blood” takes on even more meaning in the New Testament. We speak of Christ’s blood when we observe the Lord’s Supper. It is His blood that cleanses us from sin and makes us holy in God’s sight (1 Cor. 11:23–26). When we are “Washed by the Blood”, as the hymn proclaims, we are forever changed!

Pray with Us

May we, “being rooted and established in love, have power” and “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge!” (Eph. 3:17–19).

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