Devotions for the Week of February 26, 2017

Meditation for the Week of February 26, 2017

 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.”  Exodus 24:8

 Old Testament religion was pretty gross. There was a lot of blood. Over and over, people went to the temple to offer sacrifices, and the priest would kill the animal. He’d spread the blood out on the horns of the altar. Sometimes he’d sprinkle blood on the people. Sometimes he’s sprinkle it in the temple. There was blood everywhere.

When Moses goes up Mt. Sinai to hear the covenant that God was making with his people, he used blood, too. In fact, he took the blood of a sacrifice and sprinkled it over everyone there. When people made a covenant, they killed an animal to enact it. The killed animal was an example of what would happen to either party if they did not keep that covenant. And then Moses sprinkles the blood on the people to mark them as belonging to this covenant.

The covenant that God made with Moses was conditional. As long as Israel kept the covenant and worshipped only God, he would protect them and they would live in the land forever. But Israel did not do it. They worshipped false Gods. They broke God’s commandments. They even thought that they could buy God off with animal sacrifices. None of it worked, and God cast them out of Israel into exile.

We praise God that our covenant is not conditional like this. If it were, we would face the same fate as ancient Israel did. We would be cut off, not just from the land, but from God himself. We would have nothing but death and Hell, because that is what we deserve.

But God made a new covenant with his people, and it also involved marking us with blood. Jesus sat down with his disciples, and he held up a cup of wine. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” And then, he sealed the covenant with a sacrifice: his own death on the cross. And now, every time we receive Christ’s body and blood in this new covenant, God sprinkles Christ’s own blood on us to show us that we belong to him. This new covenant gives us the promise that, because of Jesus, God will never cut us off. He would never cast us out. He gives us only life and salvation.

Our Weekly Prayer

 Please consider praying this prayer as part of your daily prayers.

Lord Jesus Christ,

By your sacrifice, we are made a part of the new covenant that was sealed in your blood on the cross. Cause us to joyfully celebrate the feast of that covenant as we eat your body and drink your blood so we may enjoy everlasting fellowship and eternal peace with you. Through you we pray.