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"Life in the Blood"
Leviticus 17:1-16

Wednesday AM Bible Study
November 1, 2006

Theme: This chapter teaches us the reverence in personal worship that should be shown to the atoning ministry of Christ.

Chapters 1-16 were largely ceremonial in focus. Chapters 17-22 are largely ethical in focus. The first 16 chapter focused on how Israel was to worship; and with this morning's chapter, the focus shifts to how that attitude of worship is to effect one's private life. Together, chapters 16 and 17 are pivotal; because in chapter 16 the focus was on the day of atonement in which the blood of atonement was applied, and in chapter 17 the focus was on personal worship and the honor that is to be shown to that atoning blood.

Of chapter 17, and particularly of its key verse—verse 11—Dr. Scofield has written: “Two especially important truths are pertinent here: (1) The value of the “life” is in the measure of the value of the “blood.” This gives the blood of Christ its inconceivable worth. When it was shed the sinless God-man gave His life. 'For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins' (Hebrews 10:4). And (2) it is not the blood in the veins of the sacrifice, but the blood upon the altar which is efficacious. The Scripture knows nothing of salvation by the imitation or influence of Christ's life, but only by that life yielded up on the cross”.


A. The instructions here given regard the meat of animals that were acceptable for offering in the Tabernacle. The offering of these foods would, by necessity, be rare because of the fact that it would have occurred during the time of Israel's wandering in the wilderness. They could not slay their food anywhere they chose; but must bring it to the door of the Tabernacle and follow the procedure for offering given earlier in this book.

B. The practical reason is given in verse 7. This command enabled the people of Israel to avoid offering their foods to false gods. Failure to do as instructed would result in the blood not being accepted, the offerer guilty of bloodshed, and the penalty of being cut off from among his people.


A. In the eating of that which it is not necessary to bring to the altar at the Tabernacle, the people of Israel—or those who sojourn with them—must be sure to drain the blood from the animal and not eat any of the blood. They are thus to keep the blood sacred— preserving the picture it gives of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. “It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (v. 11).

B. Even that which dies naturally has blood in it. Therefore, all who eat of such—whether native-born or stranger—must wash his clothes, bathe, and be considered unclean until evening. To not do so is to bear guilt.

C. Note that, while Israel is forbidden to eat blood, we are invited to drink the blood of Christ (John 6:53-58—a figure for receiving its atonement for our sins).

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