Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blood Covenant

I really enjoyed my own sermon this morning. It seemed like I was seeing Jesus’ perspective and then His sense of humor as I taught about the Blood Covenant.

We often don’t receive what He bought on the cross for us is because we don’t understand what a Blood Covenant is. We are used to contracts in which we find loopholes,  or just out-and-out break. Covenants and Promises are not as solid for us as they should be.

Blood Covenants were the way of life for many people back in the “old days” and in some places today. Two persons or families or tribes entered into an agreement to help each other, the promises were listed, and they sealed it in blood, their own blood. Often they drank each other’s blood. And the covenant was sealed to their descendents for generations. Anyone who didn’t honor that covenant was subject to be put to death, even though it may have been their great-great-great-great grandfather who made the agreement in the first place.

The difference with God’s Covenant is that He didn’t allow His people to drink blood. They walked in it, sprinkled it on altars, and put it around and over doors but they were forbidden to drink any blood at all. The soul life is in the blood according to the Bible. We at this point in history know that means the DNA, including the physical and mental traits of the being whose blood it is. God didn’t want us becoming like sheep or cattle - or other people. So drinking blood of any kind was forbidden.

When God brought His people out of Egypt, He had them sacrifice a lamb and put the blood over the door, and they ate bread and herbs along with the lamb. The angel of death passed over the houses where the blood was. When God’s people were delivered out of Egypt, we are told there was no one sick or weak, the Egyptians gave them lots of gold and other expensive things, for forty years their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out, and God fed them miraculously. They began celebrating that “Passover” time annually - remembering what God did for them - health, provision, protection deliverance.

When Jesus came along, He preached the good news of God’s love and brought about many healings, deliverances, and miracles of provision. His twelve disciples and many others believed that He was the Messiah, the One sent as the Savior. Then one day He said something astonishing. We read it in the 6th chapter of John.

 Truly I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

WHAT??? Cannibalism? Drinking blood? Who is the Son of man anyway?

 Whoso eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed.  

He's talking about himself? This man could not be from God! Eat his flesh, drink his blood. GROSS! And forbidden by the true God.

He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats me, shall live by me.  (John 6: 53-57)

He did it again!!! No way! We are leaving this crazy man who will probably be struck by lightning any minute now !!! And they did. (John 6:66)

Jesus turned around to the twelve disciples and asked if they wanted to leave too. It’s interesting to find out that not a one of them said “Of course we don’t want to leave you, Sir. We love you.” They stood there and Peter said “Lord where would we go?” They knew He spoke truth but...

Can’t you just imagine later when the celebration of the Passover came and Jesus was with the twelve as they remembered what God did for their forefathers? He picked up the bread. “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Do you think there were audible sighs of relief? If I’d been there, there would have been from me. YAY! We don’t have to be cannibals after all.

And then, He took the cup... “Drink...this is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

WOO HOO!!! We just drink the fruit of the vine, not the blood of a man. What a relief!!!

And Jesus said “When you do this, remember Me.”   (Matt. 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, I Cor. 11)

From now on you don’t have to remember how the angel of death passed over the firstborn of Israel because of the blood. Because of Jesus’ blood, you are now a part of the Firstborn who died in your place so you can have eternal life. Remember.

From now on you don’t have to remember how the Egyptians gave gold and expensive treasures to God’s people, and how they were fed with manna in the wilderness - the Messiah became poor so that you can become rich. Your needs will be met according to His riches in glory. Remember.

You don’t have to remember how no one was sick or weak as they came out of Egypt. He bore your sicknesses and carried your diseases and by His wounds you are healed. The prayer of faith in that promise will heal the sick. Remember.

Deliverance from Egypt was a type or foreshadowing of your deliverance from this world and it’s bondages. The Passover meal of remembrance was a type or foreshadowing of Holy Communion where we are to remember all that Jesus did and bought for us in the New Covenant.

It’s a Blood Covenant sealed with the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ. And God will never break it. Ever. Remember.
And Receive!