Wednesday, October 29, 2014

His Precious Blood (Part 1)

Excerpted from In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power, and Saving the Soul by Michael J. Webb

One of the most misunderstood and least taught about doctrines of the Bible is the blood of Jesus. It is also one of the most important fundamental truths of the Bible the devil hates without measure. Because of the power in the shed blood of Jesus, the enemy will stop at nothing to obscure, diminish, and ridicule its significance. Without the essential doctrine of the importance of the shed blood of Jesus, there can be no doctrine of the resurrection, and without resurrection there would be no Christianity.

In order to grasp the full significance of the blood of Jesus, we must start at the Creation, because it is in the Creation that God established all the fundamental precepts of the work of His hands.

God created man on the sixth day of Creation, along with all the animals in both the land and sea. Genesis 1:26 tells us that man was created in the image and likeness of God, and Genesis 2:7 says: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. In order for us to fully grasp what is being said in this particular passage of Scripture it will be helpful to use an expanded, more literal, translation of the Hebrew. And Adonai Elohim fashioned Adam, as a potter working with clay, out of the minute particles of the Creation, and intensely blew into his nostrils the living breath of lives; and Adam became a living soul.

We know from Scripture that Jesus created and formed the universe, and that it was He who did the literal work of creation. (Colossians 1:15-18; Ephesians 3:9; John 1:3) Thus, it was He, Adonai Elohim, the Lord God, who formed Adam.

According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the etymology of the Hebrew word ‘adam cannot be explained with certainty. Typically, scholars relate the word to the supposed original ruddiness of man’s complexion. The word comes from the same root as the word for blood, which in the Hebrew is “dam.” There are at least four other Hebrew words used for man, with varying shades of meaning, but ‘adam is the only one used in the context of God creating man in His likeness and image.

Adam is not primarily a proper name, although it can be used as such. Perhaps the word Adam, in the context of the Creation, is in reality a combination of two ideas. God is often referred to in Hebrew in terms of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the aleph and bet. In the Greek, He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. If we combine the idea of God represented by the aleph with the Hebrew word for blood, “dam,” a more literal translation of Adam might well be “God’s blood.”

There are three Hebrew verbs used in the creation story–created, made, and formed. While they have overlapping similarities, there are distinct differences. The verb “formed” does not occur, relative to the creation of man, until Genesis 2:7 and it is the participial tense. This participial verb tense is clearly expressed in Isaiah 64:8, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and we are all the work of your hand.”

The Hebrew word translated “dust” has varying shades of meaning as well. It can, and does mean dust, particularly in the sense of minute particles. And the Hebrew word for “ground” or “earth” is most often associated with the red arable soil. But it can also mean “the substance of Creation.”

Putting all the imagery together, we have the Master Potter forming, or fashioning, a living being out of the very minute particles of the Creation, and then imparting life with an intense blowing in of His breath.

In Hebrew, the word translated “life” is actually plural, meaning “lives.” The Hebrew suggests that what God was literally doing was imparting His Precious Blood into Adam while at the same time animating him with a spirit and a soul.

Thus, the breath of “lives.”

In Leviticus 17:11 we are told that “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Certainly, when God formed Adam, He gave him blood. At the very least it seems highly probable that the name associated with mankind would represent the very life-force which animated him.

God’s blood.

Let’s look at this concept of a “spiritual body” versus a “natural body” for a moment.

Scripture tells us that God made man in His image and likeness. We know that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John1:5) Light was the very first thing God created. (Genesis.1:3) Jesus is the True Light. (Revelation 21:23) The Glory of God is called the Light “which no man can approach, which no man can see.” (1Timothy 6:16) Finally, in the twinkling of an eye we will all be raised incorruptible and be changed in an instant. We will receive a glorified body. (1Corinthians 15:51-54) The same kind of body that Jesus had after His resurrection. This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. (1Corinthians 15:44) In all likelihood, we will look much like Adam and Eve looked before the Fall. The Glory of God will be our covering, and thus there will be no need for clothing. (Colossians 3:4)

The spirit realm, then, is the realm of Light.

It seems highly likely that when God created Adam (God’s blood) He created him as a being of light in some sense. We know that Adam had an incorruptible body until the Fall. It was not until Adam and Eve ate of the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil that mankind became corruptible flesh in the sense that he is today.

When Adam (God’s blood) ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God’s blood (Adam) became contaminated with sin.

God had previously warned Adam, saying “But of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and Evil you shall not eat of it: for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:7) Yet, Adam and Eve did not instantly drop dead when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A more literal translation of the Hebrew would be, “in the day you eat of it, in dying you will die.”

God was warning Adam and Eve that just as He had given them the breath of “lives,” His blood and His spirit, they would die twice if they ate of the one tree in the garden He had commanded them not to partake of.

First, and immediately, they would die spiritually, because they would no longer have access to His Eternal Life, the Tree of Life. They would lose the covering of His Glory. Eventually, they would die physically, because sin was at work in their bodies, which were no longer immortal bodies cocooned by the Light of His Glory, but mere mortal bodies of flesh and bone.

Next week, we’ll dig deeper and look further at one of the great mysteries of the Bible.

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