Phil developed a list of "Five Key Passages of the Old Testament" -
-Genesis 3 - Sin enters the world - results in the curse
-Genesis 12 - The promise to Abraham - results in a blessing
-Exodus 24 - The covenant with Israel - Israel becomes a nation
-2 Samuel 7 - The promise to David - Israel becomes a kingdom
-Jeremiah 31 - The promise of the new covenant - forgiveness for the people
Today's reading contained the third of these passages, Exodus 24, and frankly, the one I was most liable to forget when I was a student. But Exodus 24 is crucially important. It is the day that Israel accepted God's gracious proposal to become His covenant people. In fact, it is not a stretch at all to compare the events of Exodus to a wedding. Exodus 19 was the proposal, Exodus 20-23 listed the vows, and Exodus 24 was the actual wedding ceremony, when Israel said, "I do."
The ceremony in Exodus 24 involved a blood sacrifice, with half the blood sprinkled on the altar, and half on the people, solemnizing the commitment of both parties (God and Israel) to the covenant. This was followed by a meal, as Moses and the leaders ate before the Lord (v. 11).
This passage also serves as the backdrop for Jesus' explanation of His own death.
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matt. 26:27-28).Jesus' death on the cross provided the blood that seals our covenant relationship with Him. And every week we eat a "covenant meal" in the Lord's Supper, looking forward to the great and final meal, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.