As a Christian and pastor, I love teaching about the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. I was preparing a sermon the other day about this topic, and I noticed that blood is not only referred to in the crucifixion but throughout the Bible. This got me curious, and I asked myself, “How many times is blood mentioned in the bible?”
Blood is mentioned over 350 times in the Bible. However, Biblical scholars disagree on the exact number of times this word is mentioned. While some speculate that it is mentioned 369 times, others suggest that it is mentioned 447 times.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of blood in the Bible. Keep reading to find out where blood is first mentioned in the Bible, what it symbolizes, the significance of blood sacrifice, and much more!
What Does the Bible Say About Blood?
The Bible says that the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). Therefore, it forbids people from consuming meat that has blood in it (Genesis 9:4). The scripture also mentions that sins would not be forgiven if blood was not shed (Hebrews 9:22).
The Bible also tells us that blood was also used at the giving of the law. In Exodus 24:8, Moses sprinkled blood on people and called it the blood of the covenant God made with them. The holy book also says that the church of God was obtained by the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28)
Bible Verses about blood
In Matthew 26:28, Jesus and his disciples were celebrating the last supper. He said that this was his blood of the covenant, which was poured out to forgive sins. This Bible verse shares the same message as Ephesians 1:7, which reminds us that we have redemption through the blood of Jesus. We can also learn about Jesus cleansing us from all sin from 1st John 1:7.
Genesis 9:6 warns against shedding man’s blood since this act is punishable by death. Additionally, Joel 2:31 talks of strange things that will happen before the coming of the Lord. It says that the moon will be turned into blood.
1st Corinthians 11:27 warns us against participating in the holy communion in an unworthy manner. It says that whoever does this will be guilty of the blood and body of Christ. Hebrews 9:14 reminds us of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. It says that it is through the blood of Jesus, who gave himself for us, that we were cleansed. Hebrews 13:12 tells us that Jesus sanctified people through his blood when he suffered outside the city gate. On the other hand, 1st John 5:6 says that Jesus Christ did not come only by water but by blood and water.
Where is blood first mentioned in the Bible?
Blood is first mentioned in Genesis 4:10-11. This passage is about Cain killing his brother Abel out of jealousy. Both Cain and Abel presented offerings to God. God rejected Cain’s offering and accepted Abel’s. God rejected Cain’s offering because it did not meet his standards. Cain became angry and was jealous of his brother so much that he killed him.
So the Lord was angry with Cain and said his brother’s blood was crying out to him from the ground. Due to this murder, Cain was cursed, and he was told that his work would go futile and he would be a restless wanderer on earth. God then put a mark on Cain so people would not kill him for his sin.
When was the first time blood was shed in the Bible?
Though the term blood is first mentioned in the story of Cain and Abel, blood was first shed in the story of Adam and Eve. When these two disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, they realized they were naked. They made aprons from fig leaves to cover their nakedness.
Though the Lord cast them out of the Garden of Eden, he made garments of skin to clothe them (Genesis 3:21). The skin, therefore, replaced the fig leaves. Christians believe this was the first time blood was shed since the animal had to be killed for the skin to be removed. Some theologians suggest that the shedding of blood to make the garments of skin signifies that blood was important to cover their spiritual sins.
What does blood symbolize in the Bible?
Blood is used as a figure of speech, and it symbolizes different things in various verses. For instance, in Hebrews 9:11-23, blood symbolizes God’s Covenant. During Old Testament times, blood was a sacred substance used in rituals for atonement and consecration. The blood of animals in such rituals also symbolized death.
Some Biblical scholars suggest that blood in the Bible symbolizes vengeance. We can learn this from Revelations 6:10 which talks of punishing murderers who had shed human blood.
Blood in connection with Jesus symbolizes agony. Luke 22:44 reminds us of how much agony Jesus faced right before being crucified. This verse tells that as he prayed to his father to take the cup away from him, his sweat was like drops of blood.
In John 6:53-56, blood symbolizes receiving eternal life. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples that they can only have eternal life if they drink his blood. Blood also symbolizes guilt. We can learn this from Leviticus 20:9, which warns people from cursing their parents; It says that if one does this, the parent’s blood is upon him.
Significance of Blood Sacrifice in the Old Testament
God commanded the Jewish people to offer blood sacrifices. This signified life. Every time the blood of an animal is shed, it reminds them of death and life. Additionally, blood sacrifice in the Old Testament signified deliverance.
God delivered the Israelites from Egypt so that they could go and offer sacrifices to him (Exodus 3:18). They were asked to smear the blood of the lamb on their doorsteps to prevent their families from losing their sons. The blood sacrifice, therefore, signified freedom from slavery through God’s hand.
For the Jewish people to offer a blood sacrifice, one had to incur a cost. The price of the animal represented the price that one had to pay to offer the sacrifice. Therefore blood sacrifices in the Old Testament reminded the Jews of the cost of sin.
Blood sacrifice in the story of Abraham signifies divinely provided substitution. Genesis 22 tells us that even though God had told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, he provided a ram to take Isaac’s place after testing his faith.
Why did the sacrificial system require a blood sacrifice?
Christians believe that the sacrificial system in the Old Testament required a blood sacrifice because it pointed towards the sacrifice that Jesus would make on the cross. During the Old Testament times, people offered blood sacrifices to be set free from the consequences of their sins. God connected the shedding of blood with giving an innocent life in exchange for the life of someone who does not deserve it.
All the blood sacrifices in the Old Testament were foreshadowing the great sacrifice that was to come in the New Testament (Jesus shedding his blood to save us from sin). The blood sacrifices in the Old Testament were temporary and were done yearly. When Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross, he completed the sacrificial system of the Old Testament once and for all. That is why he said it is finished (John 19:30).
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.