Prelude to Light
Take and drink all of you.
God's Covenant in the
Andrew Murray, (1828-1917) In a book on the Blood, wrote of God's acceptance of Abel's blood sacrifice of his best lamb. "He had this witness borne to him "that he pleased God." His faith, and God's good pleasure in him, are closely connected with the sacrificial blood. In the light of later revelation, this testimony, given at the very beginning of human history, is of deep significance. It shows that there can be no approach to God; no fellowship with Him by faith; no enjoyment of His favor, apart from THE BLOOD."
10 years later Murray communed with us in his book, The Lord's Table: And He took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My Blood.” The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a Communion of the Blood of Christ?” (Matthew 26:27-28; 1 Corinthians 10:16.)
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life” (Leviticus 27:11). For the blood is the life, the living spirit; and therefore atonement is linked with the shedding of blood. It was the surrender of the life of an innocent animal in the place of guilty man. And thus with the shedding of Jesus’ blood, His life is surrendered for our sins. The worth and the power of that blood are the worth and the power of the life of Jesus. Every drop of that blood has in it the power of an endless life.
The life of all flesh is in the blood.
In man's covenanting with Holy God, without the shedding of innocent blood for the guilty, there is no pardon for sin. In true covenant relationship with man-kind, God remains the discerner of the heart and the intentions of the supplicant, who in accordance with the covenant, would sincerely be requesting pardon and desiring to enter into, or to remain in God's grace and favor. The old inferior covenant was in the shed blood of animals, and now God's new Covenant is in the poured out Life Blood of Jesus Christ with God's Son's Perfect Love and obedience toward His Father. Therefore, with one exception, the Levitical Word of God, in respect to God's New Covenant through the Blood of Jesus Christ, continues in power, and affects the believer in spite of our ignorance or callousness towards the Word. Seeing of its vital importance in Life and death, let us further investigate the strength of our themed scriptural text.
And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you that eats any manner of blood; I will even set My face against that eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 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 makes an atonement for the 'soul'. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, and neither shall any stranger that sojourns among you eat blood. And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunts and catches any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: Therefore, I said unto the children of Israel, you shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: Whosoever eats of it shall be cut off. (Leviticus 17 verse 10 thru 14.)
Now we remember that the old covenant forbade the eating or drinking of the blood of the sacrifice, for within the blood was the life force of the soul, which identified the flesh of the animal with its reference to the animal's nature or life. Although blood equates to life, God has never equated the lower life of an animal, with what was the elevated life of Man, for Adam, that is Man, in the garden before the fall, was created to be in the image and likeness of God. Leaving aside vain arguments of the evolution of mankind, it is for sure that the reasoning man does not equate his life with the animal’s soul or life force, nor condescend to its base level. After all it is the life of a beast. But, is this not what unregenerate man has become, for historically, all men judge from within themselves what they think is good or evil, for the preservation of their own selves. Confusion reigns in the flesh of the corrupted mind of man, even for so many who say they are of Christ, but do not live Christ with a crucified life that honors God? (See Psalm 49 verse 12 and 20.)
Through out the centuries to the present, we are able to see the results of man's beastial nature. That nature is bent towards a violent life of action and reactions, similar to the naturally occurring lives of the wild beast of the field. This life is self-centered as the result of the confusion of sin, with man's reactions entangled in superior and inferior base natures of the flesh, and may well be summed up by the naturalist equations of, 'the survival of the fittest', or 'might makes right'. However, we know through the Word of God that for man to survive, there has to be the death of this bestial nature, and without God's timely intervention man cannot survive, and would ultimately destroy himself, his offspring, and the life of the world about him.
From the mystery of iniquity, beginning in the Garden of Eden, we can now know that mankind's nature of flesh is infected with self idolatrous sin, derived from the affected nephesh or the life within the genetic blood of Adam, which is passed on to all of his descendants. Now, because of sin's controlling influence within the nephesh (the life and soul of man), man's judgment remains bent towards violence and self preservation. In God's original covenant with the nation of Israel, we understand that in the temporary atoning animal sacrifices, the lifeblood of passive animals was poured out on the earth, as a transitory solution for man's defiled earthly nature. With God’s merciful intervention at this time, the lamb, dove or bullock was sacrificed and the blood which equates to the life (the nephesh) of the animal was poured out upon the ground at the base of the altar and then the flesh of the beast was burned on the altar as a substitutionary offering for the sins of the people of God rather than God’s ultimate consuming justice of requiring the destruction of the guilty.
From the beginning occasion of sin within the mind's of Adam and Ishshah (later named Eve), self righteous sin would flourish even unto the eventual corruption of the original genome of Man. God has declared all of mankind guilty, and under the power of sin and death. All of Adam's genetic blood line of flesh, even the present day Jew, became defiled with no redeeming eternal life factors in and of itself. Even the geneticist sees that there are limiting time factors in the broken DNA code of mankind, which brings about the cessation of tissue regeneration.
God's first temporary covenant, confirmed in the lifeblood of animals, was inadequate for several vital reasons. Although the Jew understood that the seat of all earthly life was in the blood, the sanctity of the animal's life was not necessarily reverenced in the animals that were slaughtered for the Israelite. The seriousness of the nature of sin, bringing death and separation from the God of the living, apparently became lost in the performance or the rite of the sacrifice. Also at issue, is self-justification within a mind, which was further encumbered with partiality in the keeping of portions of God's laws for appearance sake. Now with the keeping up of the outward appearance of self, then self righteousness is set in motion, with the failure to keep the weightier matters of the heart, with a soul seeking after the heart of God. The perfection of love is not to be found in the fallen nature of the unrighteous flesh of self righteous mankind.
The original blood letting animal sacrifices would never, ever be the rectifying remedy for fallen mankind’s now bent and darkly distorted nature, with his propensity to do violence in the earth. It becomes obvious that the blood=life=the soul nature of the beast does not equate with the higher life form of the original Man/Adam, and is not the final solution for humanity's death spiral. Here in, are the principle reasons of why God's people were forbidden to eat or drink of the blood=life/soul of the beast. The soul of a beast can never be the soul of a child of God, who in the faith of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, would be born again in God's Image and Likeness of Spirit. Significantly, there is not the planted seed of perfect love in the soul of a beast. The soul of a man, must be born of God's Spirit, bearing the seed of His Holiness that only comes from the perfect Love, born of the sacrificing Life Blood of the perfect genetic Son of Man, Jesus Christ. The Blood of Jesus Christ is of Infinite value for it came from the Infinite God to sustain not just one life, but the life of all who will except God's offering of Infinite Value. In Holy Communion, the Spirit of Holiness presents to us, the Cup of our 'Yeshua', meaning Salvation, and to be sure, God's Love is in the Life Blood of His Son, the WORD of GOD made the flesh of the first Adam. The Soul of this 'Son', Loves Yahweh His Father above all things, and God's Holy Spirit, Who is One in the Infinite Holy Life Blood of Jesus with His Perfect Love, will bring the faithful into fellowship with Father God Almighty. It is impossible for Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty to have fellowship or communion with any form of sin, but the shed New Covenant Blood of His Son Jesus is seen to have put to death the corrupted old man of the flesh of sin, so that the Life of God's Son is made manifest in God's new creation of man, who is reborn in the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah.
How great is the Heart and the Love of God, and how far will God go to save man from our sinful and damnable self serving nature? Whether it be Jew or gentile, the inertia for human life, was created within Adam's generational seed, which originally was designed to bring forth life created in the image and likeness of the God of the living. However, with Adam's rebellion against God, all the generational seed of man-kind were made heirs of sin and death, having forfeited the right to life, and made to serve the master of sin and death. On our own efforts, we cannot save or pardon ourselves from our sinful corrupted nature that brings death. Only God can pardon and grant new life, under His terms of His Blood Covenant with man-kind. If the first blood covenant and its terms failed to be reverenced by the Jew, because of the condition of selfish flesh, then perhaps man will reverence in their heart the Life of God's only Son, Whom God has sacrificially given, as a ransom and pardon for past sins. God's New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus Christ IS efficacious today in Holy Communion with the Holy Spirit of God. For God is faithful and just to pardon and to cleanse our souls and the spirit of our minds from the corrupting influence of the flesh. The first covenant ratified in animal's blood is voided, being supplanted by the final superior Covenant in the Infinitely precious Blood of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life. Within Holy Communion, the God given Holy Blood of the New Covenant, remains salutary for the individual, and as well as for the church's confessed sin's of the past and present.
If the eyes of our heart are open then we can see that the Love of God has an infinitely higher calling into the heart and soul of fallen mankind than the life of a beast. We live in this fallen flesh, and if we say we have no sin then we are in terrible deceptions and the Truth is not in us. But the Spirit of Truth has the absolute solution to our death coming as the result of sinful flesh. (See again Leviticus 17 verse 10 thru 14). The ultimate remedial solution or antidote for sin required the Life/Soul within the Blood of the perfect God centered Man. The whole Life of Jesus (Yeshua) was centered in the Love of His Holy Father, for He came forth from the Holy Father's bosom, to become the unleavened Son of Man, and that Life of the Christ of God is HOLY, and is forever consecrated in Love. "For God so loved the world that He Gave the LifeBlood of His Only Begotten Son" on the altar of the cross, so that we might become new born sons of God, born of faith in God’s Truth after the image and likeness of the Father's Son, Jesus (Yeshua). Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. (1 John 3 verse 1.)
For your further consideration, we have set before you, an abbreviated outline of the tradition of the four cups in the Passover Seder, which are also known as the four cups of redemption. The 1st Cup of Sanctification and the 3rd Cup of Redemption both required a special prayer of blessing and thanksgiving to the Creator of the Universe. With each of the four cups, there is the appropriate scripture from Exodus 6 verse 6 that makes reference to God's celebrated acts with Israel. We have interjected comments, as well as the relative Gospel scriptures, which parallels a particular cup and the logical order of events in the Pesach.
The Four Traditional Redemptive Cups of Passover.
The first and third cups of wine with water, required a
thanksgiving blessing by the host.
Each of the 4 cups of wine represented the 4 "I wills" that God promises in Exodus.
(See Exodus 6 verse 6 thru 8.)
Cup of Sanctification. In Hebrew, Kos Kiddush.
“I Am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens"
And the Lord gave thanks: (See Luke 22: verse 14 thru 16.)
"Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine."
The first of the matzah bread, dipped in the morar, was now eaten at this time.
Jesus gives the dipped matzah to Judas, the betrayer, who then removes himself from the supper,
leaving the eleven disciples with their Lord Jesus.
Judas, whose heart is not in right covenant with the Lord, does not participate in the Lord's Communion Table.
Cup of Judgment (or liberation). In Hebrew, Kos G’ulah.
“I will deliver you from bondage”.
During the main portion of the feast, and while the disciples were still
eating of the old covenant Pascal lamb,
the Lord Yeshuah takes the hidden affico'men, the unleavened matzo bread, in His hands, and gives Thanks:
"Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commands us concerning the eating of the unleavened bread."
And then Jesus, the Son of Man, the Bread of Life says: "This is My Body that is given for you, take and eat".
of Redemption or Blessing. In Hebrew, Kos B’raha.
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great judgments”.
See the Edersheim Commentary in this link.
And Jesus gives thanks and institutes God's New Covenant in His Blood:
"Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the Fruit of the Vine.
"Then Jesus, the True Vine, gives of the wine and says: Drink of it all of you;
"This is My Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Paul’s words: "The Cup of Blessing, which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ?" (Corinthians 10 verse 16.)
Cup of Acceptance, ( or The Cup of the Kingdom.) In Hebrew,
”I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob”. Traditionally this cup is not partaken of and left on the table: Perhaps it is even as Jesus had said: I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.
Now when the Lord Jesus Christ, the I AM that I AM, lifts up the third cup, “The cup of Blessing and Redemption”, He is instituting the New Covenant in His Blood. Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: which My Covenant they broke. The Word of God, as the Son of Adam, has totally fulfilled the requirements of the former covenant, and has now at the same Passover Table, inaugurated in His Blood the New Superior Covenant of God's Grace in the Life of His only Begotten Son.
The former blood and drink offerings of the Mosaic Covenant were a portend of that which was to come with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and now the 3rd cup of blessing and redemption is through the Spirit of God to be the effectual Life Blood of Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world. In the old covenant, the sacrificial lamb's blood was first sprinkled on sides of the altar, for sin, trespass and peace offerings, (See Leviticus 7 verse 1 thru 13.) or poured at the sides of the alter for burnt offerings, and then the roasted flesh of the sacrifice may have been eaten, without the life blood of the animal. In the sacrifice of the animal, no one was to partake of the blood of the lamb, for it was the life of the beast. (See Leviticus 17 verse 10 thru 12.) However, God instituted His grain offering, as a token memorial, with the unleavened Bread that was to be a perpetual memorial before the Holy of Holies and God's Presence. (See Leviticus 6 verse 14 thru 22.) The fulfillment of God's token Grain Offering, of a sweet smelling savor of Promise, is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, and the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world. No man could take His Life, but Jesus laid His Life down sacrificially in Perfect Love and Obedience to His Holy Father God, so that He could take it up again in fulfillment of His Life of Love in God. The True Unleavened Bread of Heaven Who came down to become the Son of Man says: Amen, Amen, I say to you; except you eat of the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no Life in you. (John 6 verse 53.) No man comes to the Father except by Me. And God Almighty says: My Covenant will I not break, Nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips. (See Psalm 89 verse 34 thru 37.)
To proceed to the next chapter, please click on The Blood of the Lamb.
Robert Glenn Pratten
Robert Glenn Pratten