Blood and Covenant

Read Mark 14:22-25

The Old Testament is messy. When you think about the sacrificial order that God gave to His people to be atoned of their sins, i.e. actions in thought and deed that were not aligned to God’s ways, it really was very messy.

As a priest, your garments, which were set aside for your priestly duties and regarded as holy, would have been stained with blood. Times of sacrifices would have been full of animal noises, the smell of fire, and the sight of animals being sacrificed. “Killed,” “slaughtered” are words that do not describe it. That is not what was going on.

Even the covenant that God made with His chosen people through Moses was messy. In Exodus 24, God’s covenant with His people involves sacrifices. The blood from the sacrifices is then thrown against the altar. After reading the words of the covenant, “Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words”” (Exodus 24:8). Messy…and serious.

Fast forward to Jesus sitting down with His disciples. He institutes what we call the Lord’s Supper. He takes components of the Passover meal and infuses new meaning to it. The unleavened, pure bread, broken. With the cup of wine, Jesus says, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” Just as the Passover meal is a reminder of God’s covenant with Israel, so The Lord’s Supper, given at the same time is a reminder of the New Covenant that God has made with mankind through Jesus.

In Judaism, the Passover meal has four times that wine glasses are filled and consumed. They represent the four promises of God to His people when he rescued them from slavery in Exodus 6:6-7: God will free, deliver, redeem and take them the be His people.

The same promises are here in the Lord’s Supper in establishing the New Covenant. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God has purchased our freedom (Gal 5:1), delivered us from slavery from sin (Rom 6:14), redeemed us from the curse (Gal 3:13), and has taken us to be His people (1Peter 2:9-10). Thanks be to God and His Son Jesus Christ!

5-Minute Suggested Order of Prayer

(1 min) Pray: “Holy Spirit, I present my heart before You. Fill my heart anew with wonder of the bread and the cup.”

(3 min) Ponder the promises of freedom, deliverance, redeemed and taken as God’s own.

(1 min) Pray: “Holy Spirit, I offer You the rest of my day and set it apart as sacred. Show me the ways of freedom, of deliverance, of redemption that you have prepared for me to walk as one of your treasured possessions.”

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