Today's encouragement comes from Leviticus 17:11, where we read these words:
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atone-ment for the soul."
God will only accept shed blood as atonement for sin. Nothing else will do—not works, not religion, not self-deprecation. The blood of animals sacrificed under the Old Covenant only pointed to the true and only satisfactory blood atonement, which would be offered on the cross by the sinless God-Man, Jesus Christ, who is the "Lamb of God," (Jn. 1:29).
The Lord is *only* pleased with us—and views us as forgiven—as our souls are "covered" by Christ's blood. The only way to appropriate this blessed atonement is by grace through faith (in Jesus).
[Puritan quote of the day: "Never since the beginning of the world have their been such glorious times as we enjoy.” —Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Free-dom"]