Scripture Reading: Exodus 23:20-33, Exodus 24:1-18, Exodus 25:1-40, Matthew 26:26-29, Hebrews 9:18-22
Playing make believe in the fields, building forts in the woods, dancing in the woods—this is how my best friend and I spent our childhood together. She was the sister I never had. With a bandana, we tied our wrists together and proclaimed ourselves “blood sisters.” We didn’t dare cut ourselves, but in our imaginations her “blood” ran through my veins and mine through hers. Archaic as it seemed, we believed that blood would unite us in an unbreakable way.
What I grasped better as a child than I do as an adult is that blood is more than physical cells. In our Western world, we generally view blood as a way to test and treat disease or a way to dramatize a movie. We are so far removed from a sacrificial culture that we struggle to see the true power of this red liquid.
In the age of Moses, the people understood that blood could sanctify and blood could bind. Don’t miss what truly happened when Moses took the sacrificial blood and threw half of it on the altar and half of it on the leaders of the people. This was not a scene from a horror movie or a superficial gesture. This was the moment the people of Israel had been waiting for. With the sprinkling of blood, the God of grace and the people of slavery were united. “Moses took the blood, splattered it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you’” (Exodus 24:8).
The fallen people have always needed a way to be right with the perfect Lord. Throughout the ages, God has graciously provided different ways and covenants to commune with His people. In the Old Testament, we see animal sacrifices, rules, and promises, and we might be tempted to think it’s outdated. But even today we need a mediator to access our Holy God.
In this Lenten season, we prepare to celebrate a new covenant that God made with His people. Unlike the time of Moses, it is now Jesus who intercedes on our behalf with the Father. Rather than oxen blood thrown on an altar and our leaders, it is the blood of Christ that cleanses our sins and binds us to the Lord. Just as I once wanted blood to transform my friend into a sister, the blood of Christ truly transforms us into God’s children.
As daughters of the King, we are blessed to be able to commune with the Lord at any moment. This access is made possible only through the new covenant of Christ. As we prepare for Easter, may we remember the power and beauty in the blood that Jesus shed for us.
Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.