Q: #62. Why has God required blood to be shed to pay for sins?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Truthfully, I do not fully understand why God has chosen this method, but He has and He knows what He is doing .
Let me try and explain Biblically why blood is required. First, let's look at an example found in (Ex 12:1-13) called the Passover. In these verses, we are told how God required the Israelites to take a one year old unblemished lamb and kill it. They were then to take its blood and put it on the doorposts outside of the house. When God went through Egypt to strike down all of the firstborn, He would see the blood on the doorposts, and "pass over" that house. This was a picture of a life being given, and blood being shed, so that others could live.
The penalty for our sins is death (Rom 6:23), both physical and spiritual. In order to have atonement (forgiveness) for our sins, and be saved from "death," God has required that a life must be given, and its blood be shed (Heb 9:22). A living creature must forfeit its life, so that another can live.
During the Passover, the unblemished lamb (picturing Jesus) was slain, and its blood shed, so that those in the house could be saved. Animals in the Old Testament were sacrificed, and their blood was shed so that a person could be made clean, or have their sins be forgiven.
God said in (Lev 17:11) that the life of a living creature is found in its blood. Blood represents life. When a life was taken, and its blood shed as a sacrifice, it represented new life for another. It made atonement for their soul (same verse).
Because of what blood represented, God would not allow anyone to eat the blood of an animal (Lev 17:12). Anyone who ate it was to be cut off from among the people (Lev 17:14).
The Bible tells us, however, that the blood of bulls and goats could not actually take away sins (Heb 10:4). The Old Testament sacrificial system, and the High Priest, was simply a picture that pointed forward to Jesus. Only through the blood of Jesus can we actually have remission of, and redemption from our sins (Mt 26:28)(Col 1:14)(Eph 1:7). His blood cleanses us from ALL sin (1 Jn 1:7). Through the offering of Jesus' body, we are sanctified once for all (Heb 10:10). Those in the Old Testament looked forward to this, and today we look back at it.