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Good Friday (2022) 2

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The Paschal Trilogy – Part I/III – Good Friday

Leviticus 17:11, ‘…the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls…’

When YHWH spoke these words to Moses, the primary referent was the animal sacrifices that God provided to deal with His people’s sin. However, once the Scriptures have been unveiled in the crucified and risen Jesus, we cannot read words like this without recognizing that their supreme referent is our Lord and God Himself.

In the mystery of the incarnation YHWH God—in the person of the Son—binds His own unbounded life to five liters of blood in the veins of the Man, Jesus of Nazareth. The flesh of this Man is the flesh of our God, and the blood that is the life of that flesh is the blood—and so the life—of our God. What a miracle of humility! What an almighty display of condescension! The High and Exalted One who inhabits eternity descends to the lowly and the afflicted, weaving His life together with the blood of Adam’s cursed race…

But, of course, that is not all Leviticus 17 anticipates. Not only does our Lord and our God bind His life to our blood, He *gives* that blood—which is His life—on the altar of the cross. Yes, while the blood of the paschal lambs was being spilled on the temple’s altar, the blood of the True Paschal Lamb is given on the True Altar of Calvary…and as the Lord’s hammering heart drives red rivers from His hands and feet and side—humanity learns what blood is for:

Blood exists to give ‘life’ a visible form so that cursed humanity can literally *see* the love of God….so that we can see with our own eyes the Uncreated Life pouring in infinitely precious drops to the ground—each glittering crimson sphere worth 10,000 cosmos, each rivulet a holy mystery, each red pool beneath the cross a wonder to the heavenly hosts—and yet this divine lifeblood is poured out with staggering prodigality over the head of an adulterous people….‘to make atonement for your souls.’

This Good Friday, may we be alive to the wonder that the Word became flesh, that the life of that flesh is in the blood, and that He has given that blood for us on the altar. Hallowed be His Name.