Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 24
And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw 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.”
And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”Exodus 24:6-8 ESV
I imagine myself as one of those people, standing there in shock as Moses sacrifices those animals, throwing half of their blood onto the altar but saving half of it in a basin.
I imagine myself wondering, “What’s he going to do with all that blood he’s saving in that basin?”
Then, I imagine myself listening to Moses reading a long list of rules of what I should and shouldn’t do – that I must not ever curse or hit my parents, that I must be careful to make restitution to my neighbor if I ever lose or damage something that I borrow from him, that I must be kind to the stranger dwelling in my midst, and so on and so on. So many more rules given by a holy, holy God.
I would hear Moses read all those warnings about the consequences of these sins – many times that consequence being death – and I’d really, really want to obey.
I’m sure that I would’ve shouted with the crowd, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” I would want to obey God. I would.
And then I imagine my shock as Moses puts his hand into that basin full of blood and proceeds to throw it, handful by handful, cup by cup, upon me and the people standing on either side of me, behind me and in front of me.
I imagine the stench. The stickiness. The blood red stain on my garments.
Again, the wages of sin is death. Blood is such a physical sign and reminder of death.
These animals had given their lifeblood that I might enter into a covenant of blood with the holy Almighty God of the universe. And I’d want to obey.
But ultimately just being afraid of punishment, even punishment of death, is never enough to truly stop a person from sinning. It didn’t work on me as a kid and it didn’t work on any of my kids, either. (Well, I guess I never did threaten them with death…)
Punishment is definitely a deterrent and without it, an entire society can quickly get out of control. The rampant crime and immorality so prevalent in our culture today certainly bears witness to that, but it’s not failsafe. No threat of punishment, no matter how severe, can ever fully stop a person from sinning.
We think we can hide it. We think no one will find out. We act irrationally and impulsively in a moment, overcome by emotion. And we fall.
Thanks be to the Lord for the Messiah, the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, the sinless Lamb who was promised before the foundation of the world. The One who was slain in our place, whose blood fully covers the sin of His children.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the blood. Thank You for the Lamb who was slain to take away the sin of the world, my own sin. Thank You for Your holiness that causes me to fear You, that I would not want to sin. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
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