“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
God teaches us here that the life force of a creature is in their blood. Pouring out the blood is taking the life of the creature and results in death. Paul tells us the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and the old testament sacrificial system used blood sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin.
Sin requires reparation, or payment, in order to reconcile the guilty party back to God. This is what is meant by “atonement”. The writer of Hebrews teaches us that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins, they were only temporarily covered for another year, and the worshipers still felt guilty.
In Jesus Christ, the final perfect sacrifice, we learn that the old testament sacrifices were a foreshadowing of the only atonement that will satisfy God the Father – the lifeblood of the Son, willingly offered by Jesus. By His one sacrifice, “He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14)
Sins were only deferred from one year to the next under the old system. But, in Jesus, forgiveness of sin is achieved forever, not deferred. Where sins have been forgiven, “sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” See Hebrews 10:1-18.
Our permanent reconciliation back to God the Father, and our restoration of relationship, was achieved once for all, finally and forever, through the blood atonement of Jesus.
Praise the Father for providing the perfect plan, and thank Jesus for executing the plan, that through the Holy Spirit brings you forever into right relationship with God.
Dive Deeper: Study Leviticus 17; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:1-18.