Blood was an important symbol in the sanctuary in Israel. It was a symbol of the sacrifice that Christ would give for the remission and cleansing of the sins of His people. Each day the priests would make a morning sacrifice and take a portion of that blood into the Holy Place of the sanctuary and sprinkle it upon the curtain, or veil, that separated the two compartments. Each evening this service would be repeated and, again, the blood of the sacrifice would be brought into the Holy Place and some of the blood would be sprinkled on the curtain dividing the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. However, once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, known to the Israelites as Tishri 10 according to the Jewish calendar, the Jews were to observe what was called the annual Day of Atonement.
This annual Day of Atonement was for the entire nation of Israel. On this day a special sacrifice was made for the cleansing of the sanctuary. This ceremony signified the removal, or cleansing of all sin that had been transferred to the sanctuary by the people during the year. This was an important day also for each individual, in that each person in the entire nation was to search his own heart for any unconfessed sin, so that all sin could be done away with then and there, completely. One of the important differences on this day, in the ceremonious (?) sense, was that the blood of the sacrifice was brought into the Most Holy Place and the High Priest sprinkled it on the mercy seat, which was on the Ark of the Covenant; the very dwelling place of Jehovah (Exodus 25:22, 37:1-9, Psalm 99:1, Hebrews 9:24).
The question is, what did this blood represent? The blood was a symbol of the price Christ would pay for the forgiveness of the sins of His people. The Bible is very specific about what the blood represents. The Bible tells us, “…the blood is the life” (Deuteronomy 12:23). “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Genesis 9:4).
In these verses, God is giving us a command about not eating blood, and He is very clear about the blood being the life of the creature. (See also Leviticus 17:11, 14). Therefore, we can see that the very life of our Savior was shed for us when He died on Calvary, and Christ’s very life is presented on our behalf to His Father in Heaven as He intercedes for us. Jesus said, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
Today, we know that Christ is in heaven, so what about those of us who are living here and now? How do we benefit today by Christ’s ministering for us? The Bible states, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16).
If we are, today, a living temple, or sanctuary, of the Living God who dwells in us, then we need the blood, or the life, of Jesus in us to be our mediator, or minister, for us now. The
more we realize our sin, and our sinful nature, the more we understand the need for the very life of Christ to be in us and to dwell in us. This life of Christ is a spiritual life that can be given to us. That’s why Christ told us in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Again, we read in 1 Corinthians 15:45 that Christ is made a life giving spirit for us. Notice Paul’s words, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”
Friends, this is how we have the spiritual blood, or the life of Christ, applied to us directly in our body, which is the sanctuary that God has created us to be. Christ is our mediator who lives within us so that our heavenly Father, who dwells in Him, may dwell in us also. This is how Christ is cleansing our sanctuary! What a tremendous gift from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ!
(Rick Tyler works with Mark Martin and Ed Short at Prophecies of Hope in Staunton, Virginia. You can reach their ministry by phone at 540-296-4673, You can email Rick at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit their website at: www.prophecyhope.com. Editor)