The Blood Of Jesus or The Blood Covenant
By Rodney W. Francis
In order for us to fully appreciate the significance and blessing of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we shall need to look into the Old Testament application of the blood by the Israelites.
The earliest mention in the Bible of the use of lambs for sacrifice is in Genesis 4:4 . Here Abel brought forth a sacrifice – one lamb – very pleasing to the Lord. From here, the lamb is the prophetical symbol for the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (The Blood of Jesus is far superior to the blood of Abel – compare Genesis 4:4-10 with Hebrews 12:24 ).
THE PASSOVER (Exodus 12:11-14 ):
It was to be eaten “. . . with your loins girded (equipped and ready), your shoes on your feet, and your staff (rod) in your hand; And ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover”(Verse 11).
Why eat in haste? Egypt was pursuing them. It was not time for feasting and taking things easy.
Thought: The Lord “prepares a table before us IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR ENEMIES”(Psalm 23:5 ).
It was a time of judgment and death for the Egyptians and all who were not protected by the Blood. (See Exodus 12:31-33 ). The only safe place was in the houses that had the blood applied! The blood protected from judgment, plagues, death and destruction (Exodus 12:12-13 , 22-23). The Passover feast was not for strangers, but for the circumcised (Exodus 12:43-51 ; Romans 2:29 ).
The Blood was applied by Faith (Hebrews 11:28 ).
The Passover was to be kept as a memorial throughout the generations . . . forever (Exodus 12:14 , 24-27). (We will come back to this later in the study. See the part on Holy Communion).
The Blood Covenant is kept by our obedience to God:
EXODUS 24:1-11 . . .
“Then He said to Moses, Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near; And the people may not come up with him” (Verse 1).
When Moses went and told the people all of the Lord's words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do” (Verse 3). Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said (Verse 4).
He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey” (Verse 7). 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” (Verse 8).
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise His hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank (Verse 10, NIV). The NIV gives a comment on Exodus 24:8 . . . “This section (along with many others in the laws of sacrifices) indicates how frequently blood was used in the Old Testament to purify the people and the tabernacle. The author of the Book of Hebrews interprets this Old Testament ceremony of the sprinkling of blood to be prophetic of the blood of Jesus Christ, which purifies us from sin and brings us salvation” (Hebrews 9:11-28 ; see also 1 John 1:7 ).
A BLOOD COVENANT WITH ISRAEL,
AFTER VOWING TO BE OBEDIENT TO GOD’S WORD
Moses sprinkled half of the Blood on the altar (Verse 6). He read the words of the Book of the Covenant; the people promised to obey, after which Moses sprinkled the other half of the Blood on the people. Verse 10 says: “They saw the God of Israel.” The Amplified Bible says: “They saw the God of Israel [that is, a convincing manifestation of His presence] . . .”
The Old Testament priests were consecrated by blood (Exodus 29:15-21 ).
THE OLD TESTAMENT – ATONEMENT
In the Old Covenant the blood of the sin offering of atonement was made once a year (Exodus 30:10 ; Leviticus 4 ). Hebrews 10 tells us the old yearly sacrifice and offering up the blood of bulls and goats could never make the people perfect (complete). In fact God did not delight in the blood of bullocks, lambs or goats. (See also Hebrews 9:11-12 ).
In order to give us a clearer understanding of the difference of the Old and New Covenant let us look more closely at the different words that are used:–
In the Old Testament the word “atonement” is used to describe the power of the animal blood sacrifices.
“It is the blood that makes an atonement (means “covering”) for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11 , 14). “Atonement” is mentioned 80 times in the Old Testament and means “covering”. It is mentioned only once in the New Testament in Romans 5:11 where is means “reconciliation” (a thorough change).
THE NEW COVENANT SHEDDING OF JESUS’ BLOOD:
Jesus gave His life – not to COVER our sins – but to take them away! (John 1:29 ; Hebrews Chapters 9 and 10).
There had to be a Blood Sacrifice that was powerful enough to Remove Sin – or take away sin – and only Jesus was worthy to be this sacrifice: He shed His precious, spotless Blood – not to “atone” or cover our sins (the word “atone” is not used), but to remove them! Notice the New Testament words that are used instead of “atonement”:
REMISSION and REDEMPTION and FORGIVENESS.
Remission means “a sending away” (Matthew 26:26-28 ).
Redemption means “a loosing away” (Ephesians 1:7 ).
Forgiveness means “sending away, loosing” (Colossians 1:14 ).
Today we are commissioned to preach repentance and REMISSION of sins in JESUS' NAME among all nations (Luke 24:47 ). The New Covenant is by way of REMISSION of sins, which means no more offering for sin - but a new and living way into the holiest by THE BLOOD OF JESUS consecrated through His flesh (Hebrews 10:16-27 ). This shows the promise and reality of the New Covenant. Jesus gave His BLOOD through the laying down of His flesh (life) that we might be cleansed in our bodies (flesh) by His BLOOD.
WARNING: If, after receiving this knowledge of the truth, we sin wilfully, we have judgment to face. (This is speaking to mature believers).
The BLOOD is the protection – walk in its power.
There is forgiveness for sinning ignorantly (Leviticus 4 ; 1 Timothy 1:12-15 ; 1 John 1:7-10 , 2:1-2). The provision which God has made for us through the blood of Christ is NOW in force (Isaiah 53 ; Ephesians 2:13-22 ; Colossians 1:20-21 ; Revelation 1:5-6 ). Last wills, covenants and testaments, only come into force when the one who made it dies. In Bible terms this means the shedding of blood. Jesus has died for us!
THE BLOOD COVENANT
Let the Bible explain it to us:
“[Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it, may receive the fulfilment of the promised everlasting inheritance, since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the [old], first agreement.
For where there is a [last] will and testament involved, the death of the one who made it must be established,
For a will and testament is valid and takes effect only at death, since it has no force or legal power as long as the one who made it is alive.
So even the (old) first covenant [God’s will] was not inaugurated and ratified and put in force without the shedding of blood.
For when every command of the Law had been read out by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of slain calves and goats, together with water and scarlet wool, and with a bunch of hyssop sprinkled both the Book [the roll of the Law and covenant] itself, and all the people, Saying these words: This is the blood that seals and ratifies the agreement (the testament, the covenant) which God commanded [me to deliver to] you. (See Exodus 24:6-8 .1).
And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and all the [sacred] vessels and appliances used in [divine] worship.
[In fact], under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins.
By such means therefore it was necessary for the [earthly] copies of the heavenly things to be purified, but the actual heavenly things themselves [required far better and nobler sacrifices than these.
For Christ, the Messiah, has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, only a copy and pattern and type of the true one, but [He has entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf.
Nor did He [enter into the heavenly sanctuary to] offer Himself regularly again and again, as the high priest enters the [Holy of] Holies every year with blood not his own;
For then would He often have had to suffer, [over and over again] since the foundation of the world. But as it now is, He has once for all at the consummation and close of the ages appeared to put away and abolish sin by His sacrifice [of Himself].
And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die and after that the [certain] judgment, Even so it is that Christ having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not carrying any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are (eagerly, constantly and patiently) waiting for and expecting Him” (Hebrews 9:15-28 , AMP.).
THE HOLY COMMUNION
Having seen what the BLOOD of Jesus has purchased for us, it is our duty to walk in fellowship with Jesus by partaking of His flesh and His blood (John 6:53-57 ). In the Old Covenant the Israelites had to keep the Passover as a memorial (Exodus 12:11-14 ).
In the New Covenant believers are commanded to keep the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice by partaking of the Holy Communion Table. Jesus said: “This do in remembrance (or “memorial”)of ME” (1 Corinthians 11:23-33 ).
The Communion Table is “a cup of blessing” (1 Corinthians 10:16 ).
We have a responsibility to rightly discern the Lord’s body; otherwise we lose the blessing of Holy Communion. If we do not rightly discern the Lord’s body we will become weak, sickly; with some even dying (see my booklet, “Healing & Holy Communion”).
Even those in Moses’ day, those who were not under the protection of the blood over the houses, were dealt with by the judgment of God. Hebrews 10:29 also brings out this strong warning – belittling the BLOOD OF JESUS will bring the judgment of God upon us!
Jesus has a vesture (garment) dipped in blood (Revelation 19:11-13 ).
Because JESUS has shed His blood for me I can now truthfully say, “HE HAS SET ME FREE.” Praise God! “For whom the Son sets free, he is FREE INDEED” (John 8:32-36 ).
Let us each day “overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the Word of our testimony”(Revelation 12:10-11 ).