Russell and Duenes

Atonement, Life and Blood in the O.T.

with 2 comments

One addition to Duenes’ most recent post: “Hard O.T. Texts: A Woman’s Menstrual Uncleanness.” Leviticus has strict regulations regarding blood mentioned throughout.  For example, in Chapter 17, there are regulations concerning the slaughter of sacrificed animals, regulations of other sacrifices, regulations against eating blood in food and then regulations concerning a person who eats an animal that has died or been killed by another animal.  Though there are differences between the spilling of human blood vs. animal blood as described in Leviticus, the greatest significance of these blood regulations was in their declaration of the preciousness of blood itself. This most certainly is due to the interrelationship between life and blood, and the atoning work of Christ. Notice too, that life found in semen is referred to in the same passage as menstruation; again showing the significance and relationship between life and blood. It is only in the light of the life and death of Christ that the significance of these life/blood regulations can really be grasped. The preciousness of blood and its regulations are a clear demonstration that the atoning work of Christ which was so critical, that God long beforehand began to ready both the Israelites and those to be engrafted into Christ by his life and blood. So, we would be remiss not to discuss Levitical law without confronting the issue of Christ’s atonement more fully. The vitality of blood and the principle of atonement are revealed very early here in the Pentateuch, and then clarified throughout the remainder of biblical revelation.


Written by Michael Duenes

June 15, 2010 at 11:27 am

Posted in Russell, Theology

2 Responses

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  1. An excellent point, and one we need to make again and again. The entire Bible is Christocentric, with particular focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection, so your drawing attention to it is critical and well said.



    June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  2. R-

    If the menstrual unclean laws were purely based on a respect for the sanctity of blood, wouldn’t all bleeding be unclean?

    Why wasn’t there a law saying a man is unclean if he gets cut working in the field? Or a child is unclean after his tooth falls out, or a nose bleed, etc?



    June 16, 2010 at 9:54 am

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