He Who Requires Blood
Psalm 9:12 - Sing praises to the Lord who dwells in Zion. Declare among the peoples His deeds for He who requires blood remembers them.
‘He who requires blood.’ I’m guessing that of all the names you can think of referring to God - the Alpha and Omega, Wonderful Counselor, King of Kings, The Good Shepherd - ‘He Who requires Blood’ would not be on your list. It sounds more like a character in a Wes Craven film than a title referring to our Heavenly Father. But, throughout scripture, we read that blood was required by God for the forgiveness of sin.
Blood. It represents our very life. And it is His righteous requirement for the remission of sin.
In the garden, when paradise was lost, Adam and Eve hid themselves from God. And when they realized they were naked, (a consequence of eating of the Tree of Knowledge) they covered themselves from each other. They, for the first time, saw their nakedness, and were ashamed. And they took for themselves a covering. A fig leaf. Sin and the subsequent shame that always follows, covered by the leaf that came to represent in the Bible the nation of Israel.
Israel was the holy (set apart) nation of God to whom the law was given. The law was meant to bring life, but in the end came to be just another covering of our sin. It came for freedom, but left bondage. It became to the religious elite their stairway to heaven. If they could obey the Laws in the word of God-the Pentateuch, and the subsequent 613 laws of the Talmud that later Rabbis wrote, God would be in their debt. If they could just follow the letter of the law, they could earn their way to heaven.
But it was, like the fig leaf of old, a mere covering over sin. Like a child who is asked to clean his room, and just stuffs everything in his closet, our lives may look fine on the outside, but we all know that there is a mess on the inside. In their hearts, the Pharisees had lust, greed, pride, anger, prejudice, and every kind of blackening sin, just like everyone else. But, since they diligently obeyed the externals of the letter of the law, their inner blackness was covered in outward piety.
But from the beginning God had a different plan for getting rightly related to Him. A plan not to hide or cover, but to pay a debt; not to conceal, but reveal the depth our sin and of His love and righteousness-a plan that required blood.
In the garden, Adam and Eve hid the consequence of sin with a fig leaf. But, God chose to clothe Adam and Eve with a garment that required the spilling of blood. He gave them a garment of skin. Some theologians conjecture that it was a lamb that was slain. Their God given covering required the sacrifice of something innocent. Blood was spilled to cover their guilt shame.
Throughout the Old Testament, with the sacrificial system, blood was spilled, the blood of innocent and perfect lambs, required for the remission of sin. It all pointed to the ultimate sacrifice–the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. The shedding of blood that was poured out for the sin of all mankind, that whoever would believe in this Savior/Sacrifice would have their sins of scarlet washed white as snow and would be clothed not in a mere covering for sin but clothed in the very righteousness of Christ.
What can wash away my sin – nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again – nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Questions for Thought
When we receive communion, what does the wine represent?
How does that tie into the righteous requirement of the Old Testament Law?
How have you tried to justify yourself before God?
Dan began as part of the Music Team in 1995 and in 1998 became a full time member of staff.
He is known for his skills on lead guitar. Dan leads the band by recruiting musicians and creating the musical excellence that is a cornerstone for Orchard Hill. He has a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA from Duquesne University in Music Performance-Jazz.
Dan and his wife, Lidija, and their three children live in Wexford.