Summary: This sermon explains the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament and deals with the question of why the shedding of blood is required for the forgiveness of sins.
Scripture: Exodus 24: 3-11
Message Title: What’s up with all the Blood!
Message Author: Anthony Perry Jr.
Exodus 24: 3-11: When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.
He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank (NIV).
INTRO: When I was younger I loved the story of King Arthur and the search of the Holy Grail. I used to think the Holy Grail was this magical cup that whoever would drink it would live forever. I had no idea that it was based on a biblical legend.
It wasn’t until I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that I decided to do a little research on this legend that kept showing up in motion pictures.
“I found out the ancient legend of the Holy Grail begins with Joseph of Arimathea. He is the man who got permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus down from the cross and bury it. He was said to have caught the blood from Christ’s wounded side in a cup. It is said the cup was the same cup that Christ used at the Last Supper.
The legend says he took the cup with him to England and formed an order of Knights whose work was to protect the precious blood inside of it. The chief of these knights was made their king. At certain times the king unveiled the cup that held the precious blood, and it is said that a glorious and radiant light would fall on the faces of all who stood near, filling them with rapture and imbuing them with strength from on high. People needed to beware however, because only the pure in heart could look upon the cup and behold the wondrous light which streamed from the precious eternal blood within. “
Tan, Paul Lee: Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers. Garland TX : Bible Communications, 1996, c1979
We need to remember this is just a legend. The entire notion of carrying a cup of blood around the world and saving it seems a little odd and unsettling, but when we turn to the Bible we see some gruesome scenes and hear some stomach turning things that we also might not understand when it comes to the use of blood.
For example in our scripture today Moses is throwing the blood of animals on the altar and throwing it on the people. If someone were to do this today we would probably have them committed or think they were a Satan worshipper. We might even think we are watching a horror movie.
Another example would be in the Gospel of John. We hear Jesus in John 6 tell people, “Whoever drinks my blood will have eternal life.” Not a very pleasant picture to say the least.
This issue of blood is very important especially when it comes to the Biblical idea or notion of Covenant. Blood was considered to be the fluid of life. It is very important in the Biblical approach to dealing with sin. For us as Christians, we are taught that it is the shed blood of Christ that bought us and brought us into a right relationship with God. We are forgiven because of the blood, cleansed because the blood, and set apart as holy people because of His blood. Hebrews says. “Jesus’ blood is the blood of the new covenant which God has commanded us to keep.”
This morning I am going to try and answer two questions for us. 1. What’s up with all the blood? 2. What is the New Covenant that God has initiated with all of humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ?