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The Meaning of Blood: The Meaning of Life (Leviticus 17)

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CHAPTER 17 Mar. 10 
Regulations concerning Animal Blood
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded, 3Whatever man there is of the house of Israel, who kills a bull, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, 4and hasn’t brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to offer it as an offering to Yahweh before the tabernacle of Yahweh: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5This is to the end that the children of Israel may bring to Yahweh their sacrifices which they sacrifice in the open field, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to Yahweh. 6The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of Yahweh at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 7They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them throughout their generations’. 8You shall say to them, ‘Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9and doesn’t bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to Yahweh; that man shall be cut off from his people. 10Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life’. 12Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who lives as a foreigner among you eat blood. 13Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust. 14For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is its life; therefore I said to the children of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any kind of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off. 15Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening: then he shall be clean. 16But if he doesn’t wash them, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.


17:9 Sacrifice couldn’t be offered anywhere. It wasn’t the case that the fact someone had a desire to do something for God thereby made them acceptable to Him. He had to be approached in the way He stipulated; and Jesus said “I am the door” (Jn. 10:9). It’s not therefore true that all spiritual roads lead to the same place. We can only come to God in His way. 
17:10 Blood represents life; to take life to ourselves rather than recognize it is God’s results in us losing our lives (:14). Just as simply as the blood was to be given to God, so we are to give our lives to God. To take the blood to themselves is in fact spoken of as being as bad as murder (:4). This seems extreme language, but it underlines how important to God is this principle- that life is His and we are to give it to Him rather than live or take it to ourselves.
17:13 Cover it with dust- Burying the life, as it were. In baptism, we give our lives to God and figuratively die and are buried with Christ (Rom. 6:1-10).