November 5 – Hebrews 9:19-22. Blood of the Covenant.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5 – Hebrews 9:19-22. Blood of the Covenant.

When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”  In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

When I was in high school, my grandfather and I went out to eat together a lot.  He was an interesting old guy, absolutely brilliant with a crazy sense of humor and more than willing to flirt with a pretty waitress, so time spent with him was never dull.  One night, he ordered steak and I was surprised to hear him tell the waitress, when she asked how he wanted his steak prepared, that he wanted it rare … bloody rare.  Then he simply told her to ask the chef to wave the meat at the flame and bring it to him.  My mother preferred her steak rare and taught me to like it the same way.

Orthodox Jews will not eat bloody meat because of their strong belief that blood and life are so intertwined.

Genesis 9:3–6 (NIV)
“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.  “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.”

Leviticus 17:13–14 (NIV)
 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.”

Deuteronomy 12:23 (NIV)
But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.

Life was meant to be offered back to God.  The blood of the sacrifice was not something to be wasted or cast aside, it was life and all life was sacred.  The sacrifice made on the Day of Atonement (we know this as Yom Kippur today) was for the forgiveness of sins for the people of Israel.

Exodus 24:8 says, “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

But, Jesus says in Matthew 26:28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

The sacrifice made on the day Jesus died on the Christ is and will always be for everyone.