The story of blood runs like a thread through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. The very first time blood was spilled, in Genesis chapter 2, blood wasn’t even mentioned, but Adam must have lost some blood when God opened his side to bring forth his bride. While the spilling of blood symbolizes death, it also promises new life, as Adam discovered when he awoke from his sleep and saw his bride for the first time.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Genesis 2:21,22
God works in prophetic patterns, also known as types, shadows and symbols, to share His plans with humanity. And so we find there is more to the story that started with the appearance of Adam’s bride on the scene. Eve was hidden in Adam until it was time for her to take her place at his side. Information is sketchy at this point, but more details become clear as we follow the trail of blood until the full picture becomes visible millennia later.
The next time blood flowed was when Adam and Eve sinned, and an innocent animal had to give its skin to cover their shame — and in the process obviously shed its blood. We don’t know what kind of animal it was, as information is still scarce at this point, except that an innocent had to shed it’s blood to cover the shame of the guilty.
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
With this incident, the first piece of a puzzle that will eventually show the complete picture of God’s plan with man, was put in place. It also established a spiritual law, namely that an innocent must die for the sin of the guilty.
As is the nature of sin, it expanded and found a way into the hearts of the first children that were born. For a reason we don’t know, Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of his labour, for he was a tiller of ground — the first sacrifice that was ever made. Abel, his younger brother also made an offering, but since he was a shepherd, he brought a firstling of his flock. We now know that he sacrificed a lamb, and it pleased God, declaring Abel righteous.
It angered Cain that God rejected his offering, and he killed Abel. More innocent blood was shed, this time at the hand of his own brother, adding more information to a strange picture that is beginning to take shape.
And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. Genesis 4:10
Abel’s blood spoke from the ground, and it reached the ears of the Lord. It is not mentioned what it said, but one can assume it was calling for revenge. This is all we know about Abel; not a single word he ever spoke was recorded in Scripture, yet Jesus mentioned him with the prophets:
…that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. Luke 11:50,51
We now also know that blood speaks, and even though Abel died so long ago, he still speaks:
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. Hebrews 11:4
Abel was righteous, his blood spoke, he was killed innocently by his own brother, and he still speaks — quite a résumé for someone whose entire life takes up just a few verses in the Bible. These are all elements that contribute to the picture the Lord is painting.
Much later, the Lord called Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh refused to let them go, but relented after a series of plagues tormented his nation. The curse that finally changed his mind killed all the firstborn of his people, while the Israelites were spared. They were instructed to put the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their homes, and to enter through that blood into safety.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Exodus 12:5-7
The lamb had to be male, less than a year old, and had to be inspected and declared to be without blemish. The Script was now written, everything was in place, and the final prophetic rehearsal done in preparation for what was coming. The greatest spectacle in human history was ready to go public. Behind the scenes, a conversation took place between Jesus and the Father about His role in it:
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ ” Hebrews 10:5-7
John the Baptist announced the arrival of Jesus when He came on the scene:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ John 1:29,30
Three years later Jesus was declared “without blame” by Pontius Pilate:
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” John 19:6
The final scene, played over and over again in types and shadows, happened in public for all to see. Betrayed by a close friend, His brothers — fellow Jews — called for His death. It was a bloody execution that had Jesus nailed to a cross with His blood flowing freely from His many wounds to the ground below. But contrary to Abel’s blood that called for revenge, Jesus died with these words on His lips:
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. Luke 23:34
A Roman soldier opened His side with a spear, and blood came gushing out. Like first Adam, His bride came with the opening of His side. The the ransom for sinners was paid!
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:6-8
What the devil thought to be an easy victory over the Son of God, became his greatest nightmare; he walked right into the trap set for him, blinded by his obsession to gain victory over Christ. He was getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ arrival as his prisoner, but suddenly found himself on the defense. Jesus had come, not as his victim, but to disarm him.
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15
Not only that, his plan to charge us with our trespasses before God, the righteous Judge, fell flat:
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the hand-writing of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14
The script has been flipped; Jesus’ death on the cross gave the victory over the devil to all who put their trust in Him. His case against us has been dropped because our penalty has been fully paid. Instead of celebrating his victory over the Lord — and us — he suffered a humiliating, public defeat. But the trail of blood doesn’t end here, for it continues to run wherever it is embraced. It may be a historical fact, but it is also a living reality in every believer’s life.
The life of flesh is in the blood, God told Noah; (Genesis 9:4) and since the life of Jesus is sinless and eternal, His blood never loses its power. The same power that defeated the devil and sealed his fate, still causes him and his minions to withdraw in fear every time a believer invokes it. They simply have nowhere to hide from its mighty power.
The blood of Jesus is able to destroy the foothold the devil might have gained in your life, for it became a weapon in the hands of those who boldly reach for it. We have what we need to enforce his defeat in our lives. Look how the Bible writes history in advance:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11
Satan is disarmed; the shed blood of Jesus was the blow he didn’t see coming. He has no answer, no counter-offensive, and no case to argue against the blood of Jesus; it was God’s final answer to him. We are free from his oppression!
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.1 John 3:8b
Moreover, before His death Jesus announced a new covenant God would make with man — a contract that binds God and man together in unity. Covenants were made in Bible times to empower the weak, enrich the poor, and protect the vulnerable, because it bound two parties together into one, where everything was shared.
This new covenant was sealed with the blood of Jesus, indicating God’s intention to keep it to the end. Covenants cannot be broken, especially not this one that was made between God Himself, and the perfect Man who never sinned, as our representative.
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19,20
The Lord told us to regularly celebrate His death at the Communion table, for one to be reminded of His blood that was shed for us, and of the irrevocable covenant by which we are locked into a relationship with almighty God. The blood of Jesus still works for you!
Make much of His blood, talk about it, sing about it, read about it in Scripture to keep it alive in your heart, and in the forefront of your mind. You win over the works of the devil because Jesus won over him. You were born again to win!