“THE BLOOD OF ISRAEL”
1. THE SHEDDING OF JEWISH BLOOD
The shedding of blood . . . the pogroms, the Warsaw Ghetto, the concentration camps . . . oceans of Jewish blood!
All the books ever written could not contain the accounts of the personal heart-rending stories; all the bottles of the world could not contain the tears shed; all the world’s computers could not record the cries of the babies, the little children and the aged “mamallas and papallas” in the night.
Could man, made in the image of God, be so inhuman? We know the answer! Who can say that it will never happen again? Power and greed corrupt the best of men and leaders of nations. When there is a crisis which seems unsolvable, evil men look for a “scapegoat,” someone on whom to put the blame.
Though so-called “civilized” man has made great scientific advances and has developed a society flooded with technological wonders, the truth is, that he possesses the same “human” nature, capable of inhuman acts; the same inherent potential to commit the horrendous deeds of the past. Indeed, we are shockingly aware that our highly sophisticated elite age of scientific technology has developed and perfected and has used instruments of war which can destroy humanity on a large scale. The greater the number of inventions of destruction the probability increases that once the evil inclinations of man are unleashed, there is no limit to the terrible means he will employ in order to pursue and to fulfill the insane ideological plans in his heart. In fact, the Holy Scriptures predict by the prophet Zechariah that all nations shall gather against Jerusalem and that there will be a holocaust such as the world has never seen. Then, the Living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through divine intercession will save His people, and destroy their enemies. He will usher in a new age of blessing and establish His Kingdom of Righteousness.
2. THE SHEDDING OF THE BLOOD OF THE SACRIFICE
The shedding of the blood of the innocent, regardless of the race of people against whom such crime is committed, has always caused our people to rise up in righteous anger to condemn the persons who are responsible. Indeed, one is following the teaching of the Torah and taking God’s part in doing so — for — since God is Holy He hates sin.
Though we may look with disgust upon those who commit terrible sins, the truth is, if we are honest, that all of us have personal sin — and against Whom do we sin — against none other than the Most Holy One, Blessed be His Name.
But, God is merciful! How did He forgive the sin of our fathers? In God’s dealing with Israel, He chose the symbol of blood to make us aware of the awfulness of the “sin nature” of man and to reveal His Holiness. Blood represents life. It was through the shedding of the blood of an innocent animal, a sacrifice for sin, the life of the animal in the place of the life of the man .. . that, forgiveness was granted and atonement was made. Even as it is written in the Torah, in the Book of Vayikra, or Leviticus, chapter seventeen, verse eleven:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. “
The man who sought peace with God through the forgiveness of his sin would go to the flock and choose a perfect lamb. He would bring it to the place of sacrifice (the Tabernacle in the days of Moses, and later the Temple). After placing his hand upon the head of the animal he would kill it and the Kohen, the priest of God would sprinkle the altar with its blood, and then the animal would be placed upon the altar and be consumed by burning.
And so it is written:
“And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation-(Leviticus, chapter 1, verses 4 and 5).
Perhaps we may think this unkind or cruel of God to demand such a thing as to offer an innocent animal to atone for sin — but let us realize that the “spiritual life” of man is of far greater importance to God — for this lesson was to teach him the Holiness of God and the necessity of a holy life in relationship to Him … resulting in the greatest happiness which can be enjoyed — for the greatest blessings of life are known when we are in fellowship with God and live in peace with Him and with each other.
Rather than bringing the judgment of death upon man for his sinfulness, God in His mercy chose to provide a “scapegoat,” or a substitute who could take the penalty of suffering and death for his sin. Thus, when the one who sinned placed his hand upon the head of the lamb, he was aware that his own sin was being transferred or imputed to the innocent so that he might receive forgiveness and fellowship with God might be restored.
A similar lesson was taught on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, as recorded in Leviticus, the sixteenth chapter. On this most solemn and holy day, the head of all the Hebrew priests, the Kotven Gadol. the High Priest, would choose three animals. The first animal was offered as an atonement for the sins of the men of the priesthood, its blood sprinkled upon the Altar of Mercy in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle; then, the second animal was offered in the same way for the sins of the people.
The true significance and meaning of this sacrifice of atonement is discovered when we observe what happened to the third animal. This animal was not slain as the others were as an atonement for sin. Rather, God provided this animal to give the children of Israel a very clear picture and a sure understanding of His mercy:
“And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
“And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the -wilderness” (Leviticus chapter 16, verses 21 and 22).
This animal is given a descriptive name. In Hebrew it is called saw-eer* la-az-aw-zale’, meaning” scapegoat,”: one who takes the blame and punishment which another deserves. The fact that the animal was never to return to the Camp of Israel portrays the spiritual truth that God had borne away their sins, granting atonement for the Nation, for another year.
3. WILL THE BLOOD OF THE MESSIAH BE SHED AS AN ATONEMENT
There are two amazing predictions in our Tenach, the Holy Scriptures, that declare that the blood of Mashiach ben Dovid, Messiah the Son of David, would be shed and that the pouring out of His blood would make atonement for sin.
The first prophecy is found in the Book of Daniel. In the ninth chapter, Daniel confesses the sin of his people before the Lord. Then the Lord reveals to him that reconciliation shall be made for iniquity. And then we read in the twenty-six verse about the death of the Messiah:
“. . . shall the anointed (Mashiach in Hebrew, Messiah]— be cut off, and there shall be none to succeed him: and the people of the prince that come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.”
We are informed that the Messiah shall be “cut off,” or put to death, but not Himself, that is, not for any sin which was in Him — but for others; and then the Holy Qty, Jerusalem, and the Temple shall be destroyed.
Have we ever seen anything like this occur in Jewish history? Indeed we have! About 2000 years ago, One Who was proclaimed to be the True Messiah of Israel was put to death upon a tree. Just a short while later, in 70 C.E., the Roman legions, under the leadership of Titus, on Tisha B’Av, wrought great destruction upon the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, burning them to the ground, leaving only the Western or Wailing Wall standing. When did God say that Israel’s True Messiah would come and then be put to death? Before the destruction of the City and the Temple!
Jewish men of God, His Talmidim (disciples), who heard His words and saw the Glory of His Holiness, spoke of His death as an Atonement for the sins of the world through which all men might come to know and experience the mercy of God!
The second prophecy is found in the Book of Isaiah. In the fifty-third chapter, astounding details of the Messiah’s life and death are foretold:
“He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne griefs inflicted by us, and suffered sorrows we have caused; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded through our transgressions, bruised through our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon him.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: as a lamb which is brought to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
He was taken away from rule and from judgment; and his life who shall recount? for he was cut off out of the land of the living; through the transgressions of my people was he stricken.
And one made his grave among the wicked, and his tomb among the rich; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
But it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: if his soul shall consider it a recompense for guilt (a payment for sin), and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath laid open his soul unto death, and was numbered with transgressors; and he took off the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
At Pesach, Passover, while He was upon the Earth, Yeshua took a piece of matzos, and broke it saying, “This is my body which is broken for you.” Then, pouring the fruit of the vine, said, “This is my blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for the remission of sins.”
It pleased God, that before the Temple was destroyed, one final, most perfect sacrifice, the innocent Lamb of God, the Holy One of Israel, should be offered as an Atonement for sin.
And it was fitting that such an offering should be provided on Pesach. For, as you remember it was on the very first Passover that the lamb was slain and the blood placed on the doorposts to avert the wrath of God and the judgment of death which fell on those who believed not. The first Passover lamb pointed to the sinless Lamb of God, even ‘Messiah Yeshua, Messiah Jesus. Through His blood, shed for us, we may receive the Atonement for our sins.
In Love, He willingly became the sacrificed lamb and the “scapegoat,” taking the punishment and the death we deserve for sin, according to the very word and promise of God Himself — so that Shalom may come into our hearts, the Peace which only God can give.
The Jewish men of God who experienced this forgiveness wrote in the Brith Hadasha (New Covenant, New Testament) these words of testimony:
“… the blood of Yeshua HaMashiacb (Jesus, the Messiah) cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).
“. . . redeemed . . . with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and •without spot” (I Peter 1:18,19).
“In Whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his undeserved mercy” (Ephesians 1:7).
“. . . him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
“. . . by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11).
“And he is the propitiation (offering for sin to turn away God’s wrath and judgment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2).
What then is the will of God? To believe upon Him Whom He has sent!
After the miracle of His rising from death (according to the prophecy in Psalm sixteen) He spoke these words:
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must he fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the. prophets, and in the psalms concerning me.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and this it behoved Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day:
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:44-47).
There will be great trouble for the children of Israel in the day ahead. If you should meet God could you stand before Him as one whose faith in Messiah has made your heart “kosher,” clean. He guarantees that through the blood of the Messiah it can be so, unconditionally. Not by “mitzvahs,” good works, but through faith — for the “just” are those who live by faith and are accounted “righteous” in the eyes of God — (even as Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness). For it is written.
“For by the undeserved mercy of God are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast ” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
A prayer of faith. (How to receive the mercy of God for the forgiveness of sins).
Dear Father in Heaven, I see the Light. Yeshua is the Messiah. I want a clean heart. Please forgive all my sin. I open my life to your mercy and to the atonement provided for me. Grant me the Shalom, the Peace, and the Simcha, the Joy, which is promised to me through Him. Amen.
“Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (Writings: II Chronicles 20:20).
“Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that hears
my word, and believes on him that sent me,
has everlasting life, and shall not come into
condemnation; but is passed from death unto
life” (John 5:24).
Correspondence with author invited. Jewish persons may receive without charge the Old Testament Prophecy Edition of the New Covenant in English, Yiddish, Hebrew or other languages. Please write: Shalom JCM 527 Lavergne Ave., Wilmette, Il 60091
© COPYRIGHT, JOSEPH SANDERS. 1978