The blood covenant of Jesus (Yahshua) is mentioned many times in "Christian" theology--but what does it really mean? Why should I come under this covenant and is it really relevant for us today?
Let's begin with a simple dictionary definition of
covenant: n. (Ofr. covenant, an agreement, from covenir; L covenire, to agree, be of one mind, come together; from com-, together; and venire, to come.)
1. a binding and solemn agreement between two or more persons, parties etc. to do or keep from doing some specified thing; a contract; compact.
2. In theology, the promises of God to man, usually carrying with them conditions to be fulfilled by man, as recorded in the bible.
Now let's turn our eyes back in time to see the historical significance of a particular type of blood covenant. There is a type of blood covenant that was very common in the ancient east that I want to bring to the reader's attention. This was a covenant dealing with hospitality. As a host when you became aware that a guest was coming to visit you and you wanted to honor and receive your guest, you would kill an animal and pour out the blood at the entrance of your home. When the guest arrived at the entrance of your home he knew that this was an invitation to cross over the blood at the threshold and step into your home. This act of the guest was an acceptance of your offer to enter into a blood covenant with you as the host. The blood at the entrance of your home represented your life as the host. The guest recognizing the symbolism of the blood would take care not to step in the blood, as it would be symbolic of trampling on your life. This would be the greatest of insults.
Let's read Heb 10:26-29 as it explains this same principal in relation to the sacrifice of Yahshua (Jesus).
v.26-"For if we sin willfully after we received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27-But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28-He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; 29-Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
The blood of the animal once again was representative of the life of the host.
Lev 17:11 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.
The value of the animal that was sacrificed indicated the degree of honor that was to be bestowed upon the guest. The blood of a dove or pigeon was the least but the blood of a goat or ox was for a highly honored guest. A King on the other hand was honored by a very special animal called the "fatted" calf.
So now let's look at the terms of the blood covenant between host and guest. The guest after crossing over the blood at the entrance was agreeing to come in peace and support, bless and honor the host while in his home. The host by receiving the guest was obligated with his life to defend, protect and provide for his guest while he was in his home. This obligation (blood covenant) was held the same as if it was his own family member. This was how serious this covenant was taken. Let's look at the story of Lot in Gen. 19:1-8
Gen 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
(2) And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
(3) And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
(4) But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
(5) And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are
the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
(6) And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
(7) And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
(8) Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof
For many years growing up and into adulthood I just couldn't understand why Lot would do this thing to his daughters. Give his own daughters to a mob of people who had such a wicked intention. It just didn't seem to make sense to me. The reason why it did not make sense is because I did not understand the culture of that day and time. The nature of this covenant in that day was extremely serious. Lot took this blood covenant so seriously that he was willing to give up his own daughters so that his guest would be protected. Thus the statement: "only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof"
Our heavenly Father is also serious about the blood covenant He makes with us. He keeps His children safe under the shadow of His roof
Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
David is stating here that: to the same degree Lot was willing to do anything (give up the life of his own daughters) to protect those who passed over the blood at the threshold of his home; Yahweh our Heavenly Father is willing to do the same for all who have accepted the blood covenant or crossed over the blood of Messiah poured out at His threshold. He gave up His only son to DIE so that we can be saved. (More about this later)
Let's now go a step further to understand another phase of the blood covenant tradition of ancient times. As a common practice a king would travel throughout the territory of his kingdom to assess who was loyal to him and who were his enemies. Usually the king would travel with a large entourage of diplomatic emissaries and his army. In each village, either he personally, or one of his diplomats would cross over the threshold of the homes of each loyal family, enter in that home in peace, and declare Peace and Protection for those loyal to his kingdom. However, wherever the king found a disloyal family who refused his sovereignty over them, he would not pass over the threshold of that house but rather would send the army in and rid that home of his enemies. How would the king tell which families were loyal to him and which were not? You guessed it: the primary indicator was the blood poured out at the threshold of the house, inviting him in.
This brings us to the Feast of Passover. Understanding this custom of hospitality and how it applies to a king helps us understand the events surrounding Passover recorded in Exodus 12:1-42.
To Be Continued...
contributing author: Ahveekhy Ben BinahYah
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