Leviticus 16:29-18:30; Mark 7:24-8:10;
Psalm 41:1-13; Proverbs 10:15-16
Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.
~Bella Swan Twilight
~Bella Swan Twilight
The next regulation is not to drink blood. You might have guessed that in addition to health issues, this is a highly symbolic requirement. Leviticus 18: 11 states,
"for the life of any creature is in its blood. I have given blood so you can make atonement for your sins. It is in the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement." (NLT)The word atonement means "covering." Going back to Genesis and Abel's righteous offering to God, we see that from the beginning, in order to picture what Christ would do to solve the problem of man's sin, God has required the shedding of innocent blood to cover sin. Blood is sacred for that reason. It was not to be consumed, because you do not consume the life of another creature. Many pagan cultures to this day drink blood to receive power. People eat death when they eat a dead animal.
Jesus shed his blood to cover the sins of all mankind. Jesus brings about a revolutionary teaching in the New Testament when he commands all believers to take Communion and remember him by drinking his blood and eating his flesh. He is tying back to this regulation and now saying that those who believe in him are to partake of his death (bread/body) and drink the new resurrected LIFE (found in the blood) that only he can provide. We are not only eating death when we take Communion, we are symbolically drinking new life that lasts forever!
Back in Genesis you may have wondered who Cain and Abel slept with in order to populate the earth. They would have slept with their sisters. We see throughout the writings of the ancient world that blood relatives have married and mated. In many parts of the world today it is common for cousins to marry. God allowed this practice for a period of time, but the Mosaic Law now forbids the Israelites from having sexual intercourse with blood relations. God is once again setting the Israelites apart from other people groups and protecting them against disease and genetic problems so that the Messiah could come through their line. Most of these rules are woven into the fabric of our own judicial system in the United States today. If followed, these rules prevent sexual abuse and degradation in families.
Other forms of sexual perversion are dealt with in this chapter. The domination of the pornography industry signals mankind's constant tendency to devolve into sexual perversion. Remember, sex is intended to be a picture of our intimacy with God. The marriage theme is constant in the Bible. That is because our physical marriages are pictures of God's relationship with us. Our love should be passionate, intimate and in the right context. The love of a husband and wife should be one of trust, deep love, comfort, encouragement, and passion. The sexual acts listed in this chapter do not comprise acts that God considers legitimate pictures of His love for us. This is His universe and He makes the rules. Perhaps you could form your own universe and make your own rules if you do not like His.
Have you accepted our modern take on sex, which by the way, is not modern at all, but actually ancient in its practices? How can you practice intimacy with God in your life? Does your marriage reflect your intimacy with God? If you are single, does your singleness reflect your intimacy and loyalty to God?
Next, Jesus shows us that he is a living picture of the Law and the Psalms. He has compassion on the poor and needy. He feeds the hungry and always has pity on those in need. Does your life reflect those qualities? Do you find ways to help those less fortunate than you? Do you have compassion for other people?
Verse 1 says, "Oh the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble."
Here, again, a theme emerges...The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their calamity.
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