In the Garden of Eden when Adam ate of that tree something happened to his blood – it became corrupted and human blood is corruptible. How do we know it is corruptible? Soon after death what happens? Decay sets in and where does it begin? It begins in the blood. How do we know? Well easy, when meat is killed, it has to be drained of its blood, otherwise it is just useless, you cannot eat it.
That is why the embalmers put the embalming fluid where? “In the blood.” It is the blood which decays and deteriorates quicker than anything else. Turn with me back to Psalm 16 and follow this through. In Psalm 16 we learn an interesting thing. Verse 10: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; (this is referring to Christ, this is one of the Messianic Psalms) neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One (that tells us who it is) to see corruption.”
Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. The body of Jesus, what happened to it at the crucifixion? It lay in the tomb three days and three nights and yet it didn’t corrupt. It didn’t decay. Remember with Lazarus, four days he was dead and they said “he stinketh.” Christ’s body didn’t have a terrible odor, it didn’t corrupt, and it didn’t decay.
Here is something that I think is absolutely astonishing. You think about this. Because Christ was sinless, and His Blood was incorruptible, the soldiers couldn’t put Him to death! You think about that – they could not put Him to death! The Bible teaches this clearly. Why couldn’t they put Him to death? Because the life is in the blood! And Christ’s blood is incorruptible.
That is, Christ is immortal. Are you with me? The life is in the blood, the blood is incorruptible, and therefore the life is incorruptible. Does the Bible teach us this? Yes, it does. Turn over to John. Christ was an immortal being. Those soldiers could have stuck as many
of the spears as they had liked and they couldn’t kill him. John 10.
We tend to forget this, we think of Christ being whipped and scourged and let us never underestimate the suffering He went through, heaven forbid! But that suffering did not kill Him, the pain of the Cross did not kill Him, men could never have killed my Lord and Saviour. John 10:14, and this is the Lord himself speaking: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (15) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I that Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (Note what he says “I lay down my life for the sheep”) (16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, (why?) that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. (Now you couldn’t get a clearer verse than that! Christ decided when to lay down His life (die) and when to take it up (resurrection) I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
It is almost as if He is saying here – I am going to give you the news and I am going to give it to you again – This commandment have I received of my Father.
You see the soldiers couldn’t put Jesus to death because He was immortal. Christ chose to die on the Cross, why did He do that? So that the sins of the world could be placed on Him, (on His body) and He arose by His own power afterwards – why? Simply because death had absolutely no claim on Him, except of course the claim of other people’s sin and when that was paid for, Jesus Christ arose.
Let us get back to the Blood for a moment for the concluding part of this study. I think we are now getting to some really interesting things.
Turn right back to the Book of Exodus. You think that blood is important and it is; it is bad if you run short of it, if you are anemic and so on, but it is far more important than that. Exodus 12:1: “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, (2) This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (3) Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house: (4) And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls, every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
(5) Your lamb shall be without blemish, (it is not just anybody’s lamb, “it’s your lamb”) a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (6) And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (7) And they shall take of the blood, (note “the blood”) and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”
So you know the story, you had to put the blood on the lintel. Look at verse 12 and in this verse we find the reason: “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.”
Verse 13 is the “key” verse: “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, (put a ring around the word “see,” you will understand why in a moment because it is very important) I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
Blood was the key, what was God looking for? God was looking for the blood. After Moses and the Jews fled from Egypt and wandered in the wilderness, where did God take them to? He took them to Mt. Sinai and what did He do? He gave Moses the Ten Commandments on the two tablets of stone. But was that all God gave to them? No, it was not.
God gave them all the plans and specifications and measurements for the Tabernacle, He gave all the instructions for making the Ark of the Covenant.
We often tend to think of things in Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers as being as dull as dishwater, well they are not. This Ark of the Covenant was an oblong box, it was made of acacia wood and it was overlaid with gold. In this box, together with a little pot of manna and the rod of Aaron, was kept the Law of God – the Ten Commandments, which really demanded the death of all the Israelites!!! The Ten Commandments demand the death of every guilty sinner – which is you and me!!!
Why did it demand their death? Because you remember the story; Even before Moses had got down from the mountain the children of Israel had broken just about every rule God gave them – they had done all sorts of things. They had melted down all their jewelry and made themselves a golden calf and – you name it, they did it! Now listen carefully – God had made a provision whereby the guilty ones could be spared from death and the penalty of the Law.
God gave Moses the Law, and of course there is more than just the Ten Commandments, there are a lot of other rules. And He gave them a way whereby they could be spared and this provision was a thing called, “The Mercy Seat,” which rested on the top of the Ark.
Now here is this box and the “Mercy Seat” rests on the top of the Ark that contains the Law of God.
Turn with me, and this is exciting, to Exodus 25:10 – we will look at the Ark first. This is the instruction which the Lord gave to Moses – these instructions start at verse 1, but we are Imagesly concerned with the passage from verse 10, “And they shall make an ark of
shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. (11) And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold around about.”
So here is a box, around about three foot nine inches by about two foot three inches – we are still in the old feet and inches, that is the box, the Ark of the Covenant. Look at verse 17,“And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. (18) And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat (there is one at each end).
(19) And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof. (20) And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.
(21) And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
(22) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from (where?) above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”
Do you get the picture? Here is this ark, this box and on the top of it is a golden seat with a couple of cherubim – one at each end and when God comes down, He comes down from above. Now listen very carefully, this is not boring, it is astounding if we concentrate on
The Mercy Seat was of no use until the High Priest had taken some blood from the altar and he sprinkled it on the top of the Mercy Seat which was over the Ark. And then what happened? When Jehovah God came down upon the Ark in this cloud of glory which we call the Shekinah Glory – what happened?
God didn’t see the commandments, the Law that was inside the box, why not? Because on top of the box (or the Ark) was the Mercy Seat and on the Mercy Seat was the blood sprinkled. So what did God see? He saw the blood! And when He saw the blood, as far as God was concerned, that’s the way He works, the Law was satisfied and God was satisfied, so instead of bringing the penalty of the Law, He now brought the blessing of the blood.
For He had said – remember we have just read it – “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” There is only one escape, and that was to have this blood on the Mercy Seat. Take away the blood and death followed.
God emphasizes this principle of not seeing the Law inside the Ark, seeing only the blood on the Mercy Seat with an incredible story in the Bible. I don’t want you to look it up now, but it is in 1 Samuel chapter 5 and chapter 6. What I am going to do, I am going to give
you the setting of this story and I will summarize it for you.
In this story, Israel has gone forth to battle the Philistines. They decided to take the Ark, and its contents, with the blood covered Mercy Seat on the top of it, into battle – they were hoping it would bring them victory, in a superstitious sort of way. Now God had not
said that that would be the case, because this was not what the Ark with the Mercy Seat was for.
Instead of victory, Israel was defeated, and then what happened? The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat were actually captured by the Philistines; the Ark was then set up in the pagan horror of the House of Dagon, Dagon who was their `fish god’. Do you know the MITRE hat that the Catholic Pope wears? It looks like a fish’s open mouth – that comes from Dagon, the fish god. Pope Benedict XVI with his “fish head” on!
So here was this temple of the “fish god,” and the Philistines took in the Israelite’s Ark and set it up in there! and probably thought: “Ah, ha, we now have got one over the Jews.” But what happened? The next morning they go out to the temple and there is poor old Dagon, he has fallen over, he is on the floor.
So they pick him up, dust him off, stand him up, and they go to bed that night and the next morning they come to the temple and the statue of Dagon is on the floor again, but this time he was smashed in pieces. Not only that, but I have to laugh at this – God has got the most incredible sense of humor – not only did the fish god Dagon get broken, but two things happened, these people suffered an epidemic of piles – piles!
The Bible calls them “emerods” and hemorrhoids comes from this word. Now you can laugh about piles until you have got them. They can be very painful things because in this passage, it even talks about “in their secret parts.”
So these people have got an epidemic of piles, and if they get infected, they are in real trouble. But that is only half of the matter. God also sends a shocking plague of mice. So they have a plague of mice which just about drives them crazy, and they are running around chasing them with their painful piles.
What happens? The priests blame it all on the Ark of the Covenant. Now there is a climax coming to this story, they suggest that they get rid of the Ark and send it back to Israel, which they do.
And so the Ark arrives back in Israel to a city known as Beth shemesh, it is installed on a brand new cart drawn by two oxen to the delight of all the Israeli’s, who gloriously rejoice. Just imagine the scene: Dagon, the Philistine god has been broken to bits, the Philistines are running around chasing the mice while in great physical distress through their piles, and the Jews are in high spirits.
But this is the sad part – some conscientious Jews who were probably very devout men were deeply concerned about the safety of the Ark and its contents. They were concerned about what these Philistines might have done to the things that were within the Ark.
So what did they do? They lifted the golden Mercy Seat from off the Ark in which lay the Law of God, and for just an instant, the blood was removed from over the Law and God looked down upon the Law without the protecting cover of the blood.
Let’s see what happens – turn to 1 Samuel 6:19: “And He (that’s God) smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and three score and ten men: and the people lamented because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. (20) And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us?”
Fifty thousand and seventy men wiped out! Now let us ask a question. Why was this story, this true story (or this record) given? I believe it is simply given to emphasize Hebrews 9:22 which says: “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” Over fifty thousand men were slain by the wrath of God. Why? Because they looked in on the Ark and so did God, and for a moment the Law was without the covering of blood.
I would like to close this message with something which is a slight digression, when did the high priest put the blood on the Mercy Seat? When did he do it? He applied the blood with very special instructions from God every year on a special day called, “The Day of Atonement.” The high priest would take the fresh blood of bulls, goats and lambs and so on, and of course, he had to repeat this year after year after year.
Why? Because the blood of these sacrificed animals was corruptible blood and it gradually decayed and was soon gone. By the end of the year there would not have been much blood left there. But the Blood which was shed on Calvary was imperishable blood.
Now it is incorruptible, we learned that earlier from 1Peter 1:19. Here is a staggering thought, and I believe this is a Bible “bombshell” if ever there was one! It is incorruptible – that means that every drop of Blood that ever flowed in the body of the Lord Jesus Christ is still in existence today.
Just as fresh as the time that it flowed from His brow when they put those thorn around his head, or from his hands or from his feet when they nailed him, or from his side when they speared him or those great drops of blood which he sweated in the Garden of Gethsemane or which came from his back when they scourged him. It was never destroyed and it never decayed.
Here are a few thoughts about what happened to that incorruptible Blood. Not dogmatic assertions or doctrinal absolutes.
Some Biblical scholars are sure that the Blood was presented in Heaven by the Lord Jesus Christ, after He was resurrected. As High Priest He is seen as offering it in the Heavenly Tabernacle before the Holy Father; The Bible tells us that flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom (1 Cor. 15:50); but only the flesh will put on immortality, flesh and bones, but no blood (Luke 24:39; 1 Cor. 15:39). Therefore, Christ as first-fruit of the resurrection (Romans 8:11) would not have blood within His resurrected body. Could it be that Christ did not take the Blood into Heaven with Him? If so, the Blood still exists there even to this day. If so, how and when it was taken is not revealed.
This quote from the respected Biblical scholar of other days, G.H. Pember. M.A., is worthy of note:
“This He (Christ) came into the world to do by the sacrifice of Himself: and now, having given us instructions as to our conduct during His absence, and many exhortations to be ever watching for His return, He has departed with the blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies, there to appear in the presence of God for us. This done, He will come to earth a second time…” (Earth’s Earliest Ages, Pember, p.55).
Remember when Christ was speared in His side, and water and blood rushed out? If that Blood went into the ground, did it positionally take away the curse that came upon the ground through the slaying of Abel, at Cain’s hand? (Genesis 4:1-13). We know that Jesus Christ has won back the earth from the usurper, Satan, by His death on the Cross. Could it be that the Blood shed at Calvary, falling into the ground, repealed the curse on the ground – positionally? Legally binding until Christ, as rightful owner, comes in His Second Advent to open the title deed – and act as Potentate and Owner/Ruler? The scroll (or book) is that Title Deed! (Revelation 6 & 7).
Turn with me to Hebrews 9:22: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (20) It was therefore necessary that (and here is an interesting thing) the patterns of things in the heavens (i.e., the earthly tabernacle, the pattern of which came from the heavens) should be purified with these; (what? With the blood of beasts) but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (That was the sinless Blood of Christ) (24) For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, (down here on earth, the Tabernacle) which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, (what for?) now to appear in the presence of God for us.
(25) Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others,
(26) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Now you see what is being said here in Hebrews 9:22-26? After Christ had sacrificed himself (on Calvary – and He did it – the soldiers did not take His life) what did He do? He descended to hell. Sin was “put away” – it wasn’t just covered!
Then what did he do? He ascended into Heaven. And here is another thought – think about this – the priest in the earthly tabernacle, if you read about this in Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers, he never said a word. All he did was go in there and present the blood – that was enough.
Now in my thoughts and your thoughts – what do you see as far as Christ is concerned? Maybe in Heaven; The Bible doesn’t tell us but we do know that it talks about the “patterns of things in the heavens.”
So the Tabernacle down on earth is a pattern of something in heaven. Incidentally, this earthly tabernacle had an altar and it had a table and it had a candlestick and it had an ark. There was no chair – why not? Because the work of the earthly priest who sprinkled the blood was never done; He couldn’t sit down. He had to come back each year and he had to sprinkle more blood.
But look what is says about the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour – Hebrews Chapter 10 – wonderful, wonderful words here in Hebrews 10:12 – there is a difference between these two Tabernacles, the earthly and the Heavenly: “But this man, (this is Jesus Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, (just in case you didn’t get it! only ONE sacrifice) sat down on the right hand of God;… (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Christ sat down, because His sacrificial offering was completed! Forever!
That is the greatest anti-Catholic passage in the entire Bible. You get a Catholic and they say that you have to have a mass, and sacrifice the blood and body of Christ every week. They don’t read their Bibles! Verse 12: “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for
sins forever (forever) He sat down at the right hand of God for by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”
In this study, what we have looked at and discovered, I believe, the purpose of the virgin birth to enable the man Jesus to have the sinless, precious, incorruptible Blood in his veins, the Blood which cleanseth us from all sin as it says in 1 John 1:7. All I can say is, “What a Saviour, Hallelujah!”