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Posts Tagged ‘blood covenants’

blood of JesusLife patterns change in the face of death. It is rare that a death would have no impact, but it’s possible in the case of a lonely soul, a homeless person. And yet, even they, once discovered, impact the finders. So, now I can’t think of an example of a death not causing some ripples in the fabric of life.

Practically everything in a will hinges on a death. That’s why blood, the evidence of death, is used so much in our tradition, especially regarding forgiveness of sins. [Hebrews 9:22 +/-, The Message]

In Judaeo-Christian traditions, death, symbolized by the shedding of blood, marked covenants and promises, as well as standing in as a symbolic gesture for the forgiveness of transgressions. Blood is a powerful conceptualization and its significance is lost on no one. We all know that without blood, the body cannot survive. Breath is good but blood is life-giving and sustaining.

And most of us understand that the death of Jesus was intended as the ultimate sacrifice, that of God’s son (or God in human form) for the sake of humanity. The death of Jesus changed his followers; the resurrection of Jesus changed the world. Jesus accepted his mission and willingly gave all that he had to give, from power to heal to direct access to God to forgiveness of sins and mistakes for eternity.

SONY DSCThe death of Jesus is a macro event. In my own life, our family has experienced what may seem like a micro event in the face of a dying deity, and yet Mike’s death has changed us all, significantly. We are all seeing more clearly what is important and what matters. When people say “don’t sweat the small stuff,” I never realized before how much small stuff is really out there. I have been majoring in non-essentials. Even my young adult children have shed much of the clutter in their lives and squeezed several years of maturing into a few months. We will never the be the same.

But really, is anyone the same after someone has sacrificed on our behalf? All are affected, the one who gives and the one who receives. Sacrifice is not easy.

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Although Abram could believe that God would provide him with descendants as numerous as the stars, he questioned God’s ability to give him the land. Perhaps there were enough loopholes in the promise to make a baby, but land was solid; land was imperishable; land was enduring. And in this case, the land was occupied.

Genesis 15:7-8; 18a
He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” . . . On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land . . .

Whereas the baby was a promise, the land became the end result of a contract, a covenant. It was formal and branded with the blood of animals. When blood is spilled over a promise, then it is unbreakable.

In some ways, this sign is still with us today; we hear of it in other cultures like blood oaths and blood rituals. These are done with the same intent, a promise, a loyalty, a trust, are exchanged.

There are a number of blood covenants in scripture and of course, the most important one to believers and Jesus followers, is the blood of the Christ, the Messiah, spilled once for all.

The Israelites gained and lost the land through poor judgment and sin. All through the history, kings fought over the land and by the time of Solomon, it had been taken back and restored to the people of the promise, the people of the covenant. And yet, in not so many generations later, the land was lost again. Today’s Israel is still fighting, for good or not, I do not know, but it is in their DNA to pursue the land that was lost.

The Christ, the very Son of a Holy God, spilled blood as a substitute for our own blood in place of those conscripted animals who annually paid the price in times long past for the sins and bad choices of Human. But just as the Israelites lost their land, despite the promise, Human is loosing everlasting life through distraction, unbelief, division, and tunnel vision.

Too many times, we, Human, we act as though the covenant is failing or no longer powerful. But I know that is not so. I know this deep in my soul.

And so, forgive me Father, when I look elsewhere for the “solutions” to my problems, when I look elsewhere for direction, when I don’t look at all. Forgive me Covenant maker.

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