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Exodus 24:1-8, The Blood of the Covenant

Wednesday, June 20

Blood Offerings

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Blood Offerings

At the time of Moses, blood offerings, or animal sacrifices, were made to God as a gift. Since blood represents life, a blood offering represented the giving of people's lives to God, and the life God gave to the people that God created. Blood offerings were also made as sacrifices for the atonement of sin and guilt. Moses' blood offerings signified the covenant made between God and God's people.

We no longer offer blood sacrifices to God. We understand Jesus' death as the ultimate blood sacrifice, making our own offering of blood sacrifices unnecessary. Jesus' sacrifice atoned for the sin of all humanity for all time. His death established a new covenant between God and people (think of the Word of Institution: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood"). This new covenant cannot be broken -- we are God's forever.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 24:1-8

Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.” Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”