Genesis 9:1, 3–6 Blood

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Genesis 9:1, 3–6.

This passage highlights blood’s importance to life, and God’s holy view of it. From this moment, to the laws governing sacrifices for sin atonement given to Moses on the mountain, to Jesus’ death on the cross and the many references to His blood being “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28), blood is sacred and has been since mankind first walked the Earth.
In early books of the Bible, many references are made to other “gods” (small g) to whom animals and even people were sacrificed as offerings. Some like Molech and Baal were so prevalent they were specifically warned against in God’s laws.

Why did blood need to be shed for the forgiveness of sins? Obviously, it is the stuff of life, carrying oxygen and nutrients through the body. With blood, we live. If it is spilled, we die.

Growing up in a structured denomination, I often wondered how Jesus’ death atoned for our sins. People said it, but I never understood their words’ meaning. When I gave my life to Christ, I had a hunger to read the Bible cover to cover. The first time going through Leviticus was tough but worth it, for I discovered the meaning behind His death on the cross. The Mosaic law, given to God’s people after leaving Egypt, describes shedding the blood of specific animals as atonement for a person’s or nation’s sins. If one sinned in those days, they would bring a dove or goat, depending on the need, to be sacrificed as payment. The person was then “made clean.”

God wants our obedience, however, not sacrifices (Hosea 6:6). When the moment was right, in His timing, a way was made for one final sacrifice, only One, for every person past, present and future. Since there is no bull or oxen or sheep big enough for that, God Himself came to Earth as a human, Jesus, and became the ultimate sacrifice. The blood of the Creator of the universe would be spilled, and done so voluntarily.

Jesus suffered “outside the city gate to make people holy through his own blood” (Heb 13:12). Because He is God, it was enough to atone for the sins of everyone in the world, if they will only accept it.

When thoughts or actions come between us and our relationship with God, we need to acknowledge and accept Jesus’ blood, shed for us as our atonement. We ask forgiveness, and are forgiven and made holy in His eyes. We might not have any specific answers for why blood must be shed in this way. Maybe all we need to know this side of eternity is that we’re precious enough in His eyes to die for. Anything else, we can ask Him ourselves when that day comes.


Lord, give me the peace to accept this simple truth: that You gave Your life and shed Your blood so I could be made holy again in Your eyes. For that, I am eternally grateful.