Studies in the Blood of Jesus – Part 4
1.And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him. Abraham: and he said, Behold here I am.
2. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up and went to the place of which God had told him.
4. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8. And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said Here am I.
12. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven a second time,
16. And he said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thy only son:
17. That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of thine enemies;
18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (KJV)
This morning’s reading is surely one of the most well-known stories in the Holy Bible – the account of Abraham and his son Isaac. This account of the “almost-sacrificed” Isaac is actually a prophecy which was acted out by living persons. The prophet Jeremiah was famous for his acting out, in person, many prophecies God gave him. Read the Book of Jeremiah. There are many fascinating such enactings of the prophecies. In Jer 13:1-11 we read of God telling him to go and buy a linen belt and to wear it. After a while he had to hide it in a crevice in the rocks. Later he had to recover it, and when he did, he found it ruined and useless. This was to let Israel know that their pride would make their worship with God useless. You must remember that all this was done in the presence of the people of Israel. They saw every action and move he made. I also see in this the burying of one’s talents. If you do not use that which God has given to you to the service of God, then God is one day going to ask an accounting from you. So please use your talents, and so please God!
Jeremiah, at the potter’s house, in chapter 19, is also well-known. In chapter 28 we read of Jeremiah wearing an ox-yoke around his neck, and so we can go on. Today’s reading of Abraham and Isaac had something that the others do not have – the sacrificing of a life. God often tests us to see if we are really genuine in our walk with Him. Trials and tribulations will come our way, and we are to take them as they come. In this I want to point out one very important factor which I stress in some over and over again, and it is this: If you do NOT have Jesus as your Saviour, your Master, your Lord, or King of your life, and you do NOT serve him as you should, the chances are very great that you will NOT come out the other side of heavy trials WITHOUT some spiritual scars. However, if you are completely in Jesus, and Jesus is completely in you, THEN, you will have that wonderful peace of God, that great SHALOM, right through all the hardships, and you will come out the other side better than you went in!
This is exactly what happened to Abraham. Remember, some years back God had given him a promise; a promise that through Isaac, God would bless him in that through Isaac many nations would come to light. In his heart Abraham must have been a very worried man because his whole hope of the promise was on Isaac staying alive. Being human, the doubts about God’s integrity must have flashed through his mind. Yet he, through past experience, knew that he could trust God to the very end. That is why he told Isaac that God would provide an animal offering. At this point I want to read to you Gen 9:5, from the KJV, as I believe it correctly interprets this verse from the Hebrew Masoretic Text. It reads as follows: “And surely the blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man.” I once thought that this had to do with man-killing animals, and animals killing man, but looking at the context we see that not all animals are man-killing, and the text is talking about ALL kinds of animals. What Gen 9:5 is really saying is that God had provided animal blood in place of human blood to atone for man’s sins. With this in mind we can now see why Abraham had such great trust in God in that an animal WOULD be provided in place of his son Isaac.
When Abraham went to offer Isaac, God provided an offering-animal, a ram, that eventually died in Isaac’s place. This was done to confirm the covenant God had made with him. This confirmation is in verses 15 to 19 of our reading. Again you will see that any covenant God made was confirmed by the shedding of blood. I believe that the angel of the Lord mentioned in verse 15 was Jesus Himself talking to Abraham. No ordinary angel can or may swear by himself – only God can and may do so. It was Jesus looking down at the enactment of a future event that was to take place in His own life some 2000 years later – a reference to the Cross on Golgotha. Only at the Cross there was to be a greater difference! The difference being that this time God did not provide an animal in place of His own precious Son. God went all the way and provided the ultimate Sacrifice – Jesus Himself. His blood was the confirmation of the New Covenant already promised by God in Jeremiah’s time.
Talking about the confirmation of Covenants, the covenant made on Mount Sinai was confirmed by the shedding of blood. In Exod 24:6-8 we read, after the animals were sacrificed, “Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half [he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, ‘We will do everything that Lord has said; we will obey.’ Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with these words.”
Does this not remind you of the words Jesus spoke in the Upper Room the night of his arrest, when He said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”?
Turn with me now to Leviticus chapter 4, and I want to read to you verses 13-21. In it you will see the parallel of what Jesus did on the Cross, and after that I will show you something very interesting that I myself only learned the other day, and when I point it out to you, you will rejoice to see just how wonderful the Scriptures all fits together. Let’s read these verses now: “If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty. When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of the Meeting. The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull’s head before the Lord, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the Lord. Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull’s blood into the tent of the Meeting. He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the Lord seven times in front of the curtain. He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the Lord in the Tent of the Meeting. The rest of the blood he is to pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of the Meeting. He shall remove the fat from it and burn it on the altar, and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. Then they shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community.”
Compare this to what actually happened to Jesus and you will see just how wonderfully and supernaturally Jesus fitted ALL that was required of the law to fulfill the Old Covenant and usher in the New Covenant. We don’t have time now, unfortunately, to do the comparison. It is good Bible study for you to do at home.
I would like to point out verse 17: “He (the anointed priest) shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the Lord seven times in front of the curtain.”
Did you know that this is just what Jesus did? He fulfilled this part also! Have I taken you by surprise? Seven times Jesus sprinkled His blood before the curtain of the Temple just before it tore in half.
Let’s do a count:
1) Blood flowed when the crown of thorns was placed on His head. (1st time)
2) Blood flowed when he was scourged, ie, whipped with the cat-o-nine-tails, when he received the 39 strokes. (2 times)
3 and 4) Blood flowed when the nails were driven into both hands. (This makes it a total of 4 times – 1 for each hand)
5 and 6) Blood flowed when the nails were driven into both feet. (This makes it a total of 6 times – 1 for each foot)
7) Blood flowed when the soldier thrust his spear into Jesus’ side. This makes it seven times His blood was sprinkled.
The seventh time blood flowed we also see that the Offering of Sacrifice’s blood was poured out on the ground. Praise God for His Word that is new every morning!
This to an end our Bible study of the blood of Jesus under the Old Covenant.
In the next message, God willing, I will reveal to you what the Blood of Jesus means to us, today, under the New Covenant.