Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daily Bible Reading - February 10 - The Blood of the Covenant

When I decided to attend Florida College, several people advised me to take Phil Roberts for my first year Bible classes. That was some of the best advice I have ever received. Phil was an exceptional teacher, and his classes profoundly shaped my view of the Bible. Almost everything I teach is in someway indebted to him, and one of my great joys has been to preach where his parents worship and give back to them a fraction of what he gave to me.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment