34: Leviticus 17:11b


365 Prophecies: Prophecy 34

The shed Blood of the Messiah shall make atonement for the sins of the world.

Old Testament Prediction:

Leviticus 17:11b “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 26:27-28 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”


Where does our life come from?

Leviticus 17:11 describes life as residing in the blood. Certainly, we could not survive without the life which is given to us by our blood supply; but is this what Leviticus is speaking of?

When Jesus took the cup and gave thanks to the Father, He told the disciples to drink from it, all of you. The Lord defines the true meaning of this 33rd prophecy: Eternal life comes from the blood that the Messiah has poured out for us at the cross.

The way that this blood is appropriated to us is by our personal and earnest desire to have our sins cleansed by the death that Jesus offered for those sins. The method by which God purged our sins from us was through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice. The Old Testament establishes the principle of a sacrifice being necessary for sins. Jesus defines and fulfills what those offerings were supposed to accomplish.

In order to obtain eternal life, a person must come to an intellectual knowledge of who Jesus is and what His death and resurrection mean. Of greater importance is the necessity for each person to intimately receive Jesus into the very heart, where true salvation occurs. Salvation is made both by confession with the mouth and a sincere belief in the heart that Jesus is both Lord and Savior.

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

The specifics of the Old Testament teaching from the book of Leviticus, indicates that God is teaching us the importance of blood in the process of both life and our redemption. According to Levitical law, before the animal could be eaten, the blood had to be drained from the flesh.

The context of Leviticus 17:11 is about eating flesh and the life of that flesh that is contained within the blood.

Later in the New Testament, Jesus used the specifics of Leviticus 17:11 to teach us that it is His flesh as the Bread of Life that we must partake of, in order to have eternal life. It is Jesus’ blood that was poured out that cleanses us from all of our sins.

Matthew 26:27-28 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

John 6:55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

The difficulty for the hearers of Jesus’ teaching was that they did not understand the spiritual meaning of the words: eat my flesh and drink my blood. They heard only the physical act of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood.

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

John 6:61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?”

Many of the things that Jesus spoke in the presence of larger crowds of people were veiled in illustrations. When the Lord spoke privately to those who had already received Him as the Messiah, He spoke plainly and directly to the point. Why Jesus hid the true meaning of His teaching to large assemblies is certainly important. In a large crowd, many would come just to see what all the activity was all about. Others had heard that Jesus was giving out food, healing, or other miracles. Some came simply for the spectacle; others to get something. There were, however, a few who were looking for truth.

John 6:5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”

John 6:26-27 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

A majority of those who came to hear Jesus speak came only for what He would give them. To those who were physically hungry, Jesus did not deny them; He provided food for their bodies. To those who were spiritually hungry for meaning and purpose in their life, Jesus had much more to offer if they were honestly seeking Him.

The person who sincerely wants to know God and is searching for Him with all of their hearts, He promises to reveal Himself.

Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

When Solomon wrote the Proverbs, he described the search for wisdom as the greatest quest of all. Since the treasury of all wisdom resides in the eternal mind of God, our searching for truth should always bring us to the feet of our Creator.

Proverbs 8:17 (Solomon describing wisdom’s response to our searching) I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.

Only God knows what is truly in your heart. If you are in pursuit of the true meaning of life, and your journey has brought you to Jesus, then you have arrived at the true source for all wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:3 Jesus… in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

In order to appropriate these things for yourself, an expression of your desire must be made personally to God. He knows the difference between sincerity and fraud. If your heart longs to know if there is a God and should there be, you would like to know Him, then He has promised to reveal Himself to you.

The eternal life that He has guaranteed us, exists in the life, death, and resurrection of God’s Son. If you have read the 33 prophecies previous to this, then the Gospel of God’s Son has already been carefully explained. Here in this 34th prophecy, we learn how to appropriate these principle in our own life, and make use of the sacrifice that the Son of God has made for us.

You must take Jesus into your innermost being and make a relationship with Him deeply personal. By the genuineness of your own sincerity, God will reveal Himself to you and give to you eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins, if you come seeking Him with all of your heart.

This is what Jesus meant when He spoke to the crowds of people and the religious leaders of Israel who had come to Him. By stating that a person must eat His flesh and drink His blood, those who had not come in search of spiritual truth would walk away in disgust. Those who were looking for God with all of their heart would hear the words that Jesus spoke and then carefully consider what He was really saying.

Human intelligence, a hindrance

Today, there are many men and women who are highly educated, with advanced degrees, and have achieved some measure of notoriety. When they read the words of the Bible, they view what is written as foolishness to their intellectual minds. They believe that all things can be known and comprehended by intelligence. God has purposely hidden Himself from human wisdom. No person can find God by human reasoning or intellect. God has made the wisdom of this world foolishness when it comes to finding Him. He has, instead, revealed Himself to the foolish, the simple, the humble, and the sincere.

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

You cannot discover God by intellect. He has not made Himself known to those who seek to discover Him by the pride of their education. He reveals Himself to the simple who come to Him in honesty and ask Him to reveal Himself to their humble hearts.

To the wise of this world, who hear that the blood of God’s Son had to be shed for their sins, they are often offended. In their minds, “only the uneducated believe in the concept of sin.” In an enlightened mind, a person makes his own moral judgements and decides for himself what is right or wrong. Ignoring God, they do not understand or comprehend that all law, all moral judgement, must come from the One who has made all things. Only He has the wisdom and knowledge to determine what is truly right or wrong. God alone, who is eternal and has created us, has the right to determine morality and what is truly righteous. He determines these things from an eternal, unlimited mind.

Self-righteousness, a hindrance

The statement by Jesus that a person must drink His blood and eat His flesh, is offensive to many people today. For a majority, the thought that they are a sinner and in need of the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse them of their sin, is insulting. Countless numbers of people today believe that they are basically good, and that their good works outweigh their bad works. Jesus taught that human beings may believe that they are good, but they will never be good enough. We must be perfect in order for God to accept us.

Proverbs 21:2 All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart. (NIV)

Matthew 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Until a self-righteous person comes to the end of himself and realizes that despite his best efforts he will never be good enough, salvation is an impossibility. The single biggest hindrance today which prevents a person from coming to Jesus to receive the forgiveness of his sins and eternal life is—pride. Believing he is already good, he sees no reason to come to Jesus since he does not believe himself to be a sinner.

What Jesus said was “spiritual”

Jesus clarifies his intended meaning for eat my flesh and drink my blood, a little later in John 6:63, where He tells his listeners: The words that I speak to you are spirit.

John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

Jesus’ intention was that all those who come to Him for the forgiveness of their sins and the obtainment of eternal life must understand that it will require more than an intellectual knowledge. (“I know Jesus”). The acquisition of salvation will require the sinners to experience a heartfelt acknowledgement of their sins and the need to receive Jesus personally as their Lord and Savior.

In the same way that we eat a particular meat or vegetable and it becomes a part of every cell of our body, so also must we partake of Jesus in such a way that He becomes a part of everything in our life.

This was the intended meaning of Jesus’ graphic language: Eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

Jesus fulfilled this 34th Old Testament Prophecy, by becoming the body and blood of the only acceptable sacrifice to God for all sins. It was in the giving of Jesus’ body and His blood that fulfilled the requirements of the Levitical law for the cleansing of sin and a right standing with God.

When you come to Jesus in humility and sincere repentance for your sins, as well as a belief that He is able to cleanse you of all your sins by the sacrifice He made of His life, you have obtained salvation.

Eternal life occurs when we hear and understand that we are sinners who are separated from a Holy God. There is no good work that we can do that will ever change this. According to the law of God, a penalty is owed for our sin. We can choose to pay the penalty ourselves by eternal separation from God, or we can allow Jesus to pay the penalty for us. The way that we appropriate God’s solution for our sin is by coming into a personal relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ. We must know Him, experientially not simply know about Him intellectually.

Finally, we must come to God in humility for our sins and be willing to turn from them in order to obtain eternal life. There is no forgiveness of sins without sincere repentance. Many today who claim to have believed in Jesus Christ at one time but now no longer believe, obviously, did not appropriate eternal life in the first place. These people simply came into an intellectual knowledge of Jesus and began to practice Christianity, without having obtained the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or a personal relationship with the Lord.

Romans Chapter 8 describes the point at which a person is genuinely saved.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Notice the condition of salvation: If the Spirit of God dwells in you. The secondary negative of this condition is: If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Those who claim that they once believed in Jesus Christ but have given up because they no longer believe, actually, were never saved in the first place. No one who has the Spirit of God dwelling in him can cease to believe. Once we have come into a personal relationship with God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we will remain His forever.

An example of this is seen in Judas Iscariot. Although he knew Jesus because he was with Him, he never came to a place of absolute surrender of his life to the Lord. Judas went through all of the motions of following Jesus without an inner commitment being present. The Bible describes this inner evidence as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If we do not have the Holy Spirit, we are not saved, no matter what we may claim.

In this 34th Old Testament prophecy, it is in the blood of a perfect sacrifice that we have all our sins cleansed and experience eternal life. Only by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus Christ, figurative of taking Him into our inner most being, are we saved. We must come into a personal relationship with Jesus where He becomes a part of every aspect of our life. If we do not take Jesus into our innermost being, then His Spirit cannot dwell within us. If we do not have His Spirit, then we are not saved.

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