Summary: the Blood of sacrifice is the constant Testimony of God’s grace. As fallen man was clothed with skins of animals sacrificed by God Himself for such provision (Gen 3:21), so the blood of the Lamb was shed to clothe in the righteousness of God every member
THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT
From the Garden of Eden to the Garden in Heaven’s Paradise, the Blood of sacrifice is the constant Testimony of God’s grace. As fallen man was clothed with skins of animals sacrificed by God Himself for such provision (Gen 3:21), so the blood of the Lamb was shed to clothe in the righteousness of God every member of mankind who will receive His gift. This is the song of those who make this covenant with God "by sacrifice." Thus God will gather to Himself "those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice" (Ps 50:5), and forever they shall sing the song of the redeemed: "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own Blood . . . " (Rev 1:5) the covenant life is a steadfastly committed one.
1. God the Covenant Maker
"Covenant" First appears with Noah
Noah sacrifices to God, and we see the term "Covenant" appear as God covenants never to destroy creation by flood again.
The Events After the Flood, 8:20-9:29
(Gen 8:20 KJV) And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
2. Isaac, the Result of Covenant
God’s covenant gave Abraham a son, and covenant love provided a substitutionary sacrifice.
(Gen 22:13 KJV) And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Gen 22:13: Vs. 22:13 The ram offered as a substitute for Isaac illustrates the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lamb of God (cf. John 1:29).
3. Circumcision’s Significance
Circumcision speaks of cutting away of fleshly dependence and placing hope for future prosperity in God.
(Gen 17:10 KJV) This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
4. The First Blood Sacrifice Covenant
God originates the covenant bond; sacrifice is offered in a prescribed manner, and God takes sovereign administration of the oath.
(Gen 15:10 KJV) And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
Gen 15:10: Vs. 15:10 divided them. I.e., cut them in two. The idea is this: May the same be done to the one who breaks this covenant (see Jer. 34:18-19).
5. No Blood, No Atonement
Life is in the blood. Apart from shedding of blood (giving of life), there was no atonement.
(Lev 17:11 KJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
Lev 17:11: Vs. 17:11 Two reasons are given for the command not to eat blood: the life of the body is derived from it, and it is the means by which atonement for sins is made (see also Gen. 9:4).
6. Developing the Importance of Blood Sacrifice
Sacrifice was a means of deliverance, sin offering, and consecrating act.
(Exo 12:13 KJV) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
7. The Blood, Essential for Right Standing Before God
Right standing before a Covenant-making God is shown to be a matter of life and death, not merely a matter of one’s good efforts.
(Gen 4:1 KJV) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Gen 4:1: Vs. 4:1 knew. A common euphemism for sexual relations. In Hebrew, Cain (qayin) and I have gotten (qaniti) represent a play on words. The meaning of Cain is probably "spear."
(Gen 4:2 KJV) And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Gen 4:2: Vs. 4:2 Abel means "breath" or "vanity," reflecting perhaps Eve’s understanding of the import of the curse (Rom. 8:20).
(Gen 4:3 KJV) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:3: Vs. 4:3-4 of the fruit of the ground. A bloodless offering was not necessarily inappropriate (cf. Lev. 2:1, 4, 14, 15); it was Cain’s attitude of unbelief that displeased God. See note on Heb. 11:4. fat was the richest part of the animal.