“And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court.” — Ezekiel 45:19
In the very early stages of fetal development, human blood begins flowing. Just twenty-two days after conception, a baby’s heart begins to beat with its own blood. Indelible in my mind is the day when my wife and I went for the first ultrasound of our oldest son. The image on screen was grainy and we could not discern much, but we could see a distinct heartbeat. Our baby’s tiny heart was already pumping blood! I will never forget the excitement I felt watching that.
A bit of research about human blood reveals some interesting facts. A heart beats 35 million times a year, pumping one million barrels of blood during an average lifetime. Our blood travels twelve thousand miles a day as it circulates through our bodies. There are four major blood groups: type A, B, O, and AB. Type O-negative blood is called the “universal donor” because it is compatible with any blood type.
Many Biblical references to blood are symbolic: for example, in the sacrifices ordained for Israel, where blood was an atoning and cleansing agent. As part of the worship ceremonies established for the Children of Israel, animal sacrifices were offered to atone for the sin of individuals. The blood of these sacrifices foreshadowed the time when Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice, would offer His Blood for the sins of all mankind at Calvary. In ancient Israel, blood was also used for purification of the sanctuary, altars, and various implements used in worship ceremonies. Our key verse alludes to that aspect.
In today’s text, Ezekiel was describing the renewal of worship in the Temple that will one day take place in restored Israel. On the first day of the first month, a young bull will be sacrificed for purification of the Temple. Some of the blood from that offering will be put on the doorposts of the Temple, on the altar of burnt offering, and on the posts of the gate of the inner court to signify that it has been cleansed.
While we look ahead with anticipation to events that will occur in the end time in restored Israel, the Blood of Jesus avails for us today in a precious and unique way. Every sin can be washed away by His Blood! Christ’s Blood is universally effective to atone for sin — it does a perfect work in lives because Jesus was the Perfect Sacrifice. And not only can we be forgiven through Jesus’ Blood, His Blood can also cleanse us of the carnal nature — the inward tendency toward sin that we inherited from Adam is eradicated by the experience of sanctification, a second work of grace.
Today, do you know what it means to have the Blood of Jesus applied to your heart? Deliverance and cleansing through the Blood is available. There truly is wonder-working power in the Blood of Jesus!
This portion of text concerns the timing of certain religious ceremonies and festivals that were to be observed in restored Israel (Ezekiel 45:18-25), and regulations for worship on holy days (Ezekiel 46:1-7). Many Bible scholars believe that the offerings described in chapter 45 are commemorations of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself for the sins of mankind, rather than the removal of sin. They view them as picture-lessons and reminders to the people of their Messiah’s marvelous saving work.
Verse 18 begins this section with a phrase that appears over one hundred times in Ezekiel, “Thus saith the Lord GOD.” The Book of Leviticus opens with a similar phrase, “And the LORD called.” Both phrases indicate that it is God who is dictating the words being recorded. Ezekiel’s understanding of a sinful nation’s path of reconciliation to a holy God continually echoes the foreshadowing that occurs in the Book of Leviticus. The feasts and offerings that Ezekiel saw in the future Temple were familiar to him because of his priestly training.
The purpose for the offering described in verses 18-20 is stated: to “cleanse the sanctuary” (verse 18) and to “reconcile the house” (verse 20). Seemingly, the Temple would need to be cleansed annually because those who ministered there would be human; even though they refrained from deliberate sin, they could become contaminated by association with people or objects that were unclean. The sin offering mentioned in verses 19-20 would be for sins of error or ignorance for which the worshiper was not responsible but that still required cleansing, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a purification offering. In verse 22, the offering prepared by the prince “for himself and for all the people” illustrates the universal need for cleansing.
Under the Law, the burnt offering alluded to in verses 23-25 usually included a “meat” offering (from the old English word for food). However, this offering was actually grain. Like the sin offering, it was not offered for committed sins, but signified a forsaking of all sin and the complete destruction of the old life. It indicated that the person (or nation) bringing the offering was seeking reconciliation with God at any price.
Among the feasts celebrated in Ezekiel’s future Temple would be Passover, referred to in verse 21. Its significance for Israel cannot be overstated, as it commemorates the nation’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. It predates the establishment of geographical boundaries for the Jewish nation, and this would have been of particular importance to Ezekiel and his people since they were in exile at the time of his vision. God’s deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt and His greater redemption through the work of Jesus on the Cross will always be remembered.
The Feast of Tabernacles, which commemorates the time when Israel dwelled in temporary “tabernacles” (or booths) after the Lord delivered them from Egypt, is alluded to briefly in verse 25. The feasts of First Fruits, Weeks (Pentecost), Trumpets, and the Day of Atonement are not mentioned, leaving open the possibility that Ezekiel’s vision looked forward to a time when these patterns will have been fulfilled and therefore no longer needed to be observed.
The opening verses of chapter 46 deal with regulations for worship on holy days, and offerings made by the prince on behalf of individual tribes and the nation. It is notable that although the prince was given authority and the responsibility to gather and present offerings, he was not authorized to enter the inner court with the priests. (For a discussion of the identity of this prince, see the background information given in the Ezekiel 44 Daybreak.)
IV. The consolation of Israel
B. Prophecies of the millennial kingdom
1. The restoration of the Temple
d. The renewal of worship in the Temple
(4) The regulations for offerings and feasts
(a) The offerings at various feasts (45:18-25)
 Semiannual cleansing (45:18-20)
 Passover (45:21-24)
 Tabernacles (45:25)
(b) The offering for the Sabbaths (46:1-5)
(c) The offering for the New Moon (46:6-7)
The precious Blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the Cross for the salvation of mankind will be cherished and commemorated in the future Temple of restored Israel.