The Bible answers this question directly: “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11, 14). The life and blood are essentially one and the same. The blood carries life-sustaining nutrients to all parts of the body. It represents the essence of life. In contrast, the shedding of blood represents the shedding of life, i.e. death.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God and eating the fruit of the forbidden tree, they experienced spiritual death immediately, and physical death years later. God’s warning, “You shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17) was fulfilled. Their blood—their lives—were now infected by sin.
In His gracious plan, God provided a way of deliverance. He instituted the sacrificial system (Genesis 3:21) that foreshadowed the sacrifice of Christ, whose bloodshed on the cross would pay the penalty of sin forever. Christ’s death made any further bloodshed unnecessary (Hebrews 10:1-10).
Because God is just, sin requires a penalty. God cannot merely forgive in mercy until the demands of justice have been met. The shedding of the blood of animals could only “cover” sin for a time (Hebrews 10:4) but the shedding of the blood of Christ satisfies the requirements of the law forever.
As the believer trusts in Christ’s sacrifice , he is saved from death and is passed into life “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14).
In His service,