God’s people all meet at one altar in His appointed way,
thereby preserving unity and family love among themselves.
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, saying,
3 What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp,
4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:
5 To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the LORD.
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the LORD.
7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.
8 ¶ And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice,
9 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the LORD; even that man shall be cut off from among his people.
10 ¶ And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
15 And every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean.
16 But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh; then he shall bear his iniquity.
Leviticus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Leviticus 17:1-16 – “The Life of the Flesh is in the Blood”
Every animal that was slain for food was regarded as a kind of peace-offering, and was therefore slain at the door of the Tabernacle. This law, though it expressed a great principle, was only provisional. It was kept as long as Israel dwelled in the Wilderness, but repealed when they entered the Land of Promise, where their numbers and diffusion would have rendered its strict observance impossible. See Deuteronomy 12:15-24.
Very earnest insistence is laid on the prohibition of blood as an article of diet. See Leviticus 17:10, etc. The reason of this is in the repeated announcement that the life (or soul) is in the blood, Leviticus 17:11 and Leviticus 17:14. When we are told that the blood maketh atonement, we learn that it does so because it represents the soul of the victim. Life is given for life, soul for soul.
Thus our Lord gave His blood, i.e., His life or soul, a ransom for many. “He hath poured out his soul unto death.” See Isaiah 53:12. It was His blood, not as it was in His veins, but as poured out, that effected the reconciliation. See Ephesians 1:7. It is the death of Christ in which the sinner finds peace. Compare Leviticus 16:30 and I John 1:7. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Leviticus 17:11—The life of the flesh is in the blood.
There is probably a deeper truth in these words than man has ever fathomed. Why that reverence for blood; that horror when it is unrighteously shed and gurgles forth; that perpetual reference of Scripture to the blood of Christ? Probably the answer to such questions would be given, if we perfectly understood the affirmation of this remarkable verse.
When Jesus gave His blood, He gave His life, the life of His holy soul.—We are accustomed often to speak about the blood of Christ, by which we mean the life of Jesus, shed forth for us substitutionally and sacrificially. The sinner takes this blood, this life, in his hands, and presents it to God as his plea. Does the broken law require satisfaction, homage, acknowledgment? Here it is in this priceless, pure, and sinless blood, never infected by pollution, never heated by passion. Let this shed life atone for thee! “God be propitious (because of the sacrifice on the altar) to me the sinner.”
Five bleeding wounds He bears,
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly plead for me
“Forgive him, oh, forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die.”
When we are bidden drink His blood, it is of His life that we partake.—At the table of our Lord we symbolically drink of His blood; in doing this we identify ourselves with his death, and give up our self-life to the cross. Yea, we do more; we testify our desire to receive into our natures more and more of the soul and life of our Blessed Lord, so that we may dwell in Him, and He in us. —Our Daily Homily