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By John W. White
In the book of Genesis there are no occurrences of shed blood with respect to animal sacrifice. The first occurrence of blood with respect to animal sacrifice is the passover in Exodus 12:6-7 "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, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it." Exodus 12:12-13 "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn .. when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you." The blood was placed on the door for the firstborn only. The passover was the slaying and eating of a lamb or a goat by all of Israel and Gentiles that had been circumcised. The sprinkling of blood was only for the firstborn who had the right of the birthright.
The first occurrence of the blood with respect to the passover sacrifice in the New Testament is in Matthew 26:26-28 "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (for all) 27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." John 19:30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." Jesus Christ was the passover "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 19:34 "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." The death of Jesus Christ and the shedding of his blood were separated from the time that He gave up the ghost and when the soldiers pierced his side. Jesus Christ did not bleed to death. If Jesus Christ had bled to death he would not have had the strength or be conscious enough to do what is recorded in Luke 23:46 "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." His blood was shed for many, for those who are the firstborn and entitled to the birthright. This is in agreement with the account of the killing of the passover lamb and the sprinkling of the blood in Exodus.
Hebrews 11:28 "Through faith he kept the passover, and [kai>, a conjunction] the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them." The conjunction, "kai>" connects the passover with the sprinkling of blood, but it does not make them the same event. The passover lamb was for all in the house, but the blood was only for the firstborn. The sad thing is that all that were protected by the blood in Egypt were destroyed in the wilderness and did not enter into the land flowing with milk and honey, except the children of the children of Israel with Joshua and Caleb.
The firstborn was very important as shown in Genesis 38:28 "And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first." The use of a scarlet thread was no accident. Being scarlet seems to speak of the blood and the birthright of the firstborn. The firstborn was spared by the blood of the lamb. Rahab and her family were spared by the scarlet thread, the symbol for the firstborn, in Joshua 2:18 "Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by..." Ref Leviticus 14:1-6
INHERITANCE: Deuteronomy 21:16-17 "Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: 17. But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his." The inheritance of the firstborn was to be double that of his brothers. Joseph received the birthright, therefore his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were given inheritances in the land, which, in essence, was twice that of Joseph's other brothers, yet not in area. The conduct of Simeon and Levi at Schekem also carried consequences. The tribe of Levi had no inheritance in the land Joshua 13:14 "Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; ..." The tribe of Simeon received a Gentile inheritance among the tribe of Judah. Joshua 19:1 "And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah."
It does make a difference how you live. If you despise the birthright you will lose reward and your inheritance. 2 John 1:8 "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."
THE BIRTHRIGHT: Genesis 25:30-31 "And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright." Hebrews 12:16 "Lest there be any fornicator [as Reuben, 1 Chronicles 5:1], or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright." Esau lost his double portion inheritance and the blessing because he did not think the birthright was very important.
Our inheritance is based on our service as shown in Hebrews 9:14 "How much more shall the blood of Christ, ...purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" and in Colossians 3:23-24 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
THE BLESSING: Genesis 27:29 "Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee." This is the blessing given to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." The blessing of the birthright was to rule over those in the family. Jacob was to rule over Esau and Esau was to serve Jacob. Romans 9:12 "It was said unto her, The elder [greater] shall serve the younger [lesser]."
Genesis 25:34 "Esau despised his birthright." Esau's inheritance was in Edom which is outside the land of Canaan. Jacob's inheritance was in the land of Canaan. Genesis 36:8 "Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir... Edom." Malachi 1:3 "And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness." The consequence of the sin of Reuben is revealed in 1 Chronicles 5:1 "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph ..." Numbers 32:23 You can "... be sure your sin will find you out."
Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" (See Redemption Check It Out)
"WE HAVE": This verb is a present active indicative of e]cw. The present tense is a continuous process of "having." The word "We" is a reference to "The saints" and "The faithful" in verse 1 and to the "Chosen" in verse 4. The present tense can be stopped by those who are, in this case, having the redemption; the forgiveness of sins. If we do not appropriate the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ we will continue to be in bondage to sins and lose our inheritance.
"REDEMPTION": The law of redemption as found in Leviticus 25 and the application of that law in the book of Ruth help us to see that redemption is a family matter and it pertained to one's inheritance and who we serve. Leviticus 25:48-49 "After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren... any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself." This is not salvation.
"FORGIVENESS": The word "Forgiveness" comes from the Greek word "a]fesiv" which is also translated "remission" in Hebrews 9:22. The word "a]fesiv" is found twice in Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me ... to preach deliverance to the captives, ... to set at liberty them that are bruised," and is translated "deliverance" and "liberty." When we sell ourselves into bondage to the world, flesh, lawlessness, or the devil, the only way that we can be released is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Yes, there is cleansing from sin through the shed blood as described in 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." along with confession in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."; but we need deliverance from the power of these taskmasters of the world, flesh, lawlessness, and the devil so that we can be free to serve the Lord. We can be thankful that we can be made free from the power of sin. Revelation 1:5 "... Unto him that loved us, and washed us [Other MSS: loves us, and loosed us] from our sins in his own blood," This is consistent with the meaning of the word "remission."
"RICHES OF HIS GRACE": The grace of Jesus Christ is nothing other than His power. 2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: ... therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Hebrews 12:28 "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom... let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:" 1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
1 Peter 1:18-19 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (your profitless affairs) received by tradition from your fathers; 19. But with the precious blood of Christ.." Paul had this problem as shown in Galatians 1:13 "For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion..." Paul had been taught things that Matthew 15:6 "... made the commandment of God of none effect by your (their) tradition." It takes the shed blood of Christ to deliver us from the bondage of a vain life style. Philippians 1:27 "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that ... I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" Colossians 2:20,22 "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ ... why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,... after the commandments and doctrines of men?"
Hebrews 13:20-21 "Now the God of peace, ... through the blood ... 21. Make you perfect [katarti>zw: to fit, to frame, to mend] in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ..." Without the shed blood of Jesus Christ, it would be impossible for God to equip us to do good works, His will, and be found well pleasing in his sight. Philippians 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
Jesus Christ died on the cross so that we might be saved. After his death on the cross, He shed his blood that we might have fellowship with Him and be blessed with the inheritance of the firstborn. We need to obey 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." We are encouraged in 2 Timothy 2:15 to "Study [be diligent] to show [present] thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed." The shame of Esau, Reuben, and others is evident, they lost the blessing and double portion inheritance because they did not value the birthright nor the commandments of God.
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