Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 19

The Covenant Ceremony

by

Today's Text: Exodus 23:20-33, Exodus 24:1-18, Exodus 25:1-40, Matthew 26:26-29, Hebrews 9:18-22

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 In the Old Testament, we see animal sacrifices, rules, and promises, and we might be tempted to think it’s outdated.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.

SRT-Lent2018-Instagram-Day19

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.

  • Thanks for commenting, Lisa!

  • KC Derond

    This reading and devotion today blew my mind. I feel like I understand Jesus more and am diving deeper into an endless faith. Thank you!

  • Audrey Gonzalez

    I was reminded of how not pretty it was. The throwing of blood etc. But it’s a reminder that sin requires a sacrifice. Thankful that Jesus paid that sacrifice and I have redemption through him.

  • Leah Clark

    Why is it that God only allowed Moses and/or Aaron to ‘come near’?

  • Gina Cano

    The last line in Hebrews struck me, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” I had a miscarriage 2 years ago today and I remember this night just losing so much blood. I was heartbroken for awhile, but God drew me close and blessed me with a healthy baby boy who is now a year old. God keeps his promises, forgives our sins, and is so good! I’m really enjoying this Lenten Exodus journey with you all!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing Gina, we’re so glad that you’re reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • What really stood out to me reading this was the incredible magnitude of the promise God made to them. He would wipe out sickness, barrenness, miscarriages, all of their enemies, and the list goes on. All they had to do was be loyal to him alone. Wow! What they gave up in breaking this covenant. But then I think how much I give up having been offered peace, joy, forgiveness, and eternal life while I often choose instead fear, resentment, and living for the moment instead of for the future. And yet He still offers it.

  • Jessica McCreary

    What a great reminder of the blood!

  • I enjoyed the devotional for this reading. I have never really thought of the blood sacrifice as Jesus making us “blood brothers/sisters.” The visual is so intriguing to me. Moses splattering the blood making them God’s family through blood. Christ shedding His blood to bring us into His family. Wow! Just a beautiful visual for me.

  • Peony Noirr

    Church and communion have become so routine to me that I am grateful for this reminder! Communion is a GIFT and a gesture of the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you Lord for dying for the sins of all mankind. Thank you for saving us! God is good!

  • I always love reading the details of the instructions on building the tabernacle. My first time digging deep into it was with Beth Moore’s Patriarch Bible study. I highly recommend! I also wanted to take the time to praise and thank God for He has been working in my life.

    I have been walking in the valley here. I have been split wide open. I have been on my knees and cried out to Him with all my heart. It has been a tough road but He has been merciful and gracious and has heard me. At times I felt alone and couldn’t see or hear what God wanted for me. But I sit here in awe as I see He definitely is in my life and I am just so grateful for His blessings. For those out there who question what God’s plan is, know He is there. He never leaves us. He will never forsake us. I just have been overcome by His love. He loves us and comes to us in our need. I don’t now else to explain but I had felt under serious attack like spiritual warfare and now I just feel God’s gracious love and I know He is protecting me and guiding me. Psalm 23 reflects how I feel right now.

    The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have what I need.
    He lets me lie down in green pastures;
    he leads me beside quiet waters.
    He renews my life;
    he leads me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
    Even when I go through the darkest valley,
    I fear no danger,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

    Thank you for allowing me to share. Blessings :)

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing Julie and we’re so grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • So many times I think of how through the years how God’s people’s situations changed but yet they weren’t always grateful. When Christ came some believed but the same thing started to happen with the Christians as the years went by they started to become ungrateful. Now days how often do we thank God for what we have. Many times we ask Him to help us with our problems but we often forget to thank Him for what we have including our health and wellness, our family and friends, if we have a roof over our heads, if we have food for our bellies. My sisters in Christ we need to thank Christ everyday for everything we have including our families, our health, food and the roof over our heads. Many years back I was homeless with two young boys (9 and 6) and my now ex-husband, d/t moving to another state and not knowing what to do. My family and I lived in tents in a camp ground in Kentucky.

    Thank you for your prayers for my current situation with my job I ask that they continue.

    • Julie

      Dorothy I started my above comment before lunch only to come back and post. I then started reading the comments again. It was such good timing to see your post. That’s what I was thinking when I decided to write my comment. I come here often and seek prayers and I thought I need to post that God has truly been there for me. I want to share how grateful for my blessings. Hmmm coincidence…I think not. Seriously I did not see your post before I made mine. Agreed we have so much to be thankful for!

      • Julie

        I meant to add ~Praying for your current job situation and that you would continue to see God’s provisions for you and your family! Blessings :)

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing Dorothy, we’re praying for you. So grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Kathy Brooks

    Such a great message today!!

  • Delani Ford

    I struggled a bit with this reading mostly because I am confused on one part…God instructed the people in this passage to sacrifice the blood of these animals to show their covenant. But the reason this has stopped and we no longer sacrifice animals is because Jesus died on the cross for our sins after this had been taking place? So Jesus dying on the cross endlessly acts as the sacrifice for our covenant to God?

    • Kelly Kv

      Yep! Read all of Chapter 9 of Hebrews and it may make more sense :)

    • Laura Maddux

      Yes! He animals couldn’t take away sin fully cause they didn’t have the power to choose to sin or not. Jesus had the choice, but chose not to sin, so he could be an eternal and perfect sacrifice. There’s no need for another.

    • Delani Ford

      Thank you both so much!

  • Jessica Finney

    I was struck today how God provided for Himself all these lavish items for the tabernacle when He had the Egyptians give all their treasures to Israel, but in His goodness, He allowed the people to steward these treasures and give them to Him out of the desire of their hearts. What a beautiful picture of how God doesn’t need us, but wants to use us to accomplish His purposes- how our possessions and very lives are His, but He purposes and stirs our hearts to give them back to Him freely!

    • Aebuckland

      Yes!!! Love this!!!

    • Ronda Slay

      ❤️

    • Cindy

      Literally, as I was reading this comment and making notes in my Bible, Tenth Avenue North’s Song “Contol” was playing on K-Love…”God You don’t need me, But somehow, You want me, Oh, how You love me, Somehow that frees me, To take my hands off of my life, And the way it should go”.

  • We’re more than halfway through the book of Exodus!! If you haven’t heard of the Bible project – definitely check out the videos they’ve made on exodus. Really helps wrap my head around the big story going on here! Here is the first half of Exodus: https://youtu.be/0uf-PgW7rqE

  • Katrina Huffman

    I always find the specific, detailed instruction bits of creating temples and the ark of the covenant from the Old Testament so intriguing. It sets my imagination going, visualizing craftsman from any time following these requirements for their God. Also, in the ESV further reading of the chapter, I noticed the word “talent” meant 75 pounds of gold. How lovely and interesting.

    • Katrina Huffman

      And, extrapolating further parallels, all of this was so that “He May dwell in their midst.” How amazing that Jesus’s grace essentially allows Him to dwell in the temple of our hearts.

  • Erika Jaeger

    I don’t think I have fully understood that I needed a middle man to talk to God. That since the fall we cannot just speak directly to him. We needed rituals and cleansing. But today, through Jesus we can have a direct line. I never fully grasped that role of Jesus until now.

    • Amy

      I have never thought about that either. What a great message today! How great is that!! Calling on him in every time of need ! Joy!! Saying that just makes me not understand why Catholics go to their preist for confession!! Why not go directly to him? Just pondering in this thought.

      • Cathgirl

        John 20:21-23 Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when he said this, he breathed on them and said Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained. We believe that Jesus gave the Apostles , the first priests and there successor the authority to forgive sins through the Power of The Holy Spirit.

        • Cathgirl

          We also believe we can go directly to God with our sins and ask forgiveness. We do this through The Daily Examen which is a meditation and prayer we use to examine our conscience, acknowledge our sins, ask for forgiveness and vow to improve daily. Going to confession is actually a very freeing, very holy experience.

          • Angela

            Exactly. God does the forgiving, through Jesus. Absolutely. But because we are human, God knows that hearing the words “Your sins are forgiven” is a gift. The priest himself acts as the voice of Jesus, reminding us that our sins are indeed forgiven as soon as we confess them. I’m a convert to Catholicism, and I can tell you that confession is one of the greatest gifts I never knew I needed. Also, we believe our sins are forgiven in receiving the Eucharist. Lots of ways to receive God’s mercy and grace.

  • Kymyetta Turner

    God blows my mind with how detailed He is in His instruction!! So glad to have a God who loves me so much, that He pays attention to every little detail about me…. down to every hair on my head. He knows me so well, that He knows what I need, when I need it and sends the resources for me to get it!! I truly don’t understand how ppl can live their lives without knowing God! I couldn’t make it day to day without Him…and I wouldn’t want to!!!

  • Ashley Flores

    What amazes me is how, in everything single thing, God was preparing them for the ultimate step: Jesus. Another thing that is apparent to me is the set up for the transition from covenants of blood every year to one covenant of blood for a lifetime through Jesus.

    There was never supposed to be a separation between “Judaism” and “Christianity”. It was supposed to flow from one to the next, and man made this distinct line and separated the two. It’s so beautiful how He was preparing not just the Israelites but the whole world.

  • Kelly Chataine

    I would like to introduce myself. I am Kelly, God’s chosen one and daughter of the Most High King. Amen! Thank you, God!

  • Because of the blood of Christ I am no a daughter of the Most High King, who is well-loved by her Heavenly Father. I am washed clean and seen as pure and holy. And, for me today, the truth that is resonating the most in my soul is that I have access at any time with my Father. I don’t have to go through any elaborate cleansing ritual and then sacrifice an animal before I gain access. Because of the shed blood of Christ – which He shed for me – all I have to do is go to Him. When I sin and mess up all He asks of me is that I return to Him with my whole heart – confess, repent and He forgives.
    The past month and a half has made this access so much more precious to me as we went thru my husband’s heart surgery. God was so faithful and He was so tender with us, with me. He was a constant presence in my life providing exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I truly do not believe I could have gotten through all of this with my sanity and health intact if God had not been present and accessible in my life.
    Papa God, I praise You today for Your faithfulness and Your love. I praise You and I am so grateful for access. Thank You for sending Jesus to shed His precious blood for me. Help me to not ever take that for granted.
    Be blessed today sisters and thank you again for your prayers for my sweet husband. I can’t wait to meet all of you and thank you again in person one day. What a party it will be!!!

    • Melinda

      So glad to see your post today. Your words are an encouragement. Continued prayers for healing and comfort.

    • Emily B.

      I love this. We have so much to be thankful for.

    • Mari

      That’s so wonderful Kathy thank you for the update. And I too am looking forward to the day that we all meet face-to-face. Have a blessed day yourself.

    • Deborah Craytor

      I’ve been praying for y’all every day. So glad to hear that things are going well.

    • Julie

      So glad all is going well. Continued blessings for you both!

  • Deb Malloy

    What hit me as I was reading today passages is that God is in the details! He loves on so many levels, more than I can ever imagine! Thank you Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice, for conquering sin and death, for obeying the Father. I pray my life will honor your sacrifice and honor God!!

  • Churchmouse

    There’s no going back once the blood is shed. For Old Testament Israel, once that animal is sacrificed, the deed is done, full commitment is made and that little lamb has fulfilled its purpose. The sins of the people are forgiven – until tomorrow. But repeat. For New Testament believers, once Jesus was sacrificed, the deed was done (“it is finished”), full commitment was made and Jesus the Lamb of God fulfilled His purpose. The sins of believers are forgiven – forever and ever. Lord, let me not take the shedding of blood as some small thing. It is a life shed for me. I’m the guilty party, not that little lamb, not the Holy Lamb of God. Thank you for sacrificing Yourself so that I might be made righteous in Your eyes and that I can live with You in eternity. No small thing indeed. It. Is. Everything. Amen.

  • This reminds me of one of my favorite songs we sing at church, The Blood Will Never Loose Its Power. There is a line that says: The blood, that gives me strength. From day, to day, it will never, loose its power.
    Thank God for the Blood!

  • Sabrina Michelle

    This was a blessing to my soul this morning. From old to the new, the blood still works. There is no sin that I could or have done that Jesus blood did not cover!!! We serve an amazing God!!

  • Kezia Goodman

    Thank you Lord for your Blood, through which by the shedding of we are redeemed unto Christ Jesus! I pray Lord that you will embolden me to be a living testimony to ALL I see and witness to. Amen.

    • Kymyetta Turner

      I just started this plan last week, but I can honestly say that I have learned so much more from this week’s readings! As many times as I’ve reas these chapters and verses, I’ve never gotten so much from them as you ladies have helped me to receive this week… I’ve even shared some of this awesome insight with my friends and family. I’ve felt so much closer to God in such a short amount of time ❤

Further Reading...