The Witness of Christ's Blood

New Covenant  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Understanding the witness that the shed blood speaks to God on our behalf and understanding our place in the New Covenant.

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We finally come to the conclusion of our discussion of the New Covenant this morning.
Today, I want to talk about Christ’s sacrifice for us and the implications it has for each of our lives.
Week 1:
We spoke of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31.
It would be a new covenant of everlasting communion with God.
Not simply a promise to be rescued but a promise to become members in the family of God.
Week 2:
We spoke of the Abrahamic covenant and the torn animals in Genesis 15.
God invoked the covenant upon God’s self.
It required Abraham to do nothing but have faith.
In return, God would use Abraham’s faithfulness to produce a people of God’s own choosing. A people that includes us all today.
Week 3:
We spoke of the woman at the well in John 4.
Tradition often gets in the way of true worship.
It matters not where you worship but who and how you worship.
Aligning our lives to worship God in Sprit and Truth enables us to meet God on God’s terms rather than our own.
Doing this welcomes all of God’s children to find refuge in the freedom and salvation that God alone offers.
Week 4:
We spoke of the Covenant being unveiled in the personhood of Christ in 2 Corinthians 3.
Moses, being filled with the glory of God, due to his being in the presence of God, covered his face in a veil to hide the magnificence of God.
In Christ, you and I have that same glory in us and are called to live our lives with unveiled faces to the world.
Our lives should reflect the beauty and majesty of our encounter with God through our relationship with Christ and one another.
This week, we turn to Hebrews 12.
The author references this same encounter of Moses with God on Mount Sinai receiving the 10 Commandments.
Only this time, the scene is form the perspective of those on the ground.
As Moses meets with God,
The Earth shakes.
Trumpets blast declaring the glory of God.
And the people are warned not to touch the mountain while God dwelled there least they die.
Their interaction with God was one filled with fear because their relationship with God was imperfect.
They have a covenant with God, yes!
But they has yet to give God their hearts.
And so, in the presence of God, they felt fear rather than peace.
So often, that is our experience with God.
Like the Israelites, we hear stories about the goodness of God and want to know more.
But when we find ourselves in the presence of God with hardened hearts, the experience produces fear.
Fear of:
Of being vulnerable
Of being unworthy
Of being truly seen and known.
We feel this way because when we are in God’s presence, our soul recognizes its Creator.
Much of our lives are spent in trying to maintain control.
Control over:
Our jobs
Our social standing and status
Our family situations
But in the presence of our Creator, all of the veils we put over ourselves are removed, and who we truly are evokes fear.
Fear of:
Not being good enough
Not making enough money or having the right things
Of our past
Of being seen as dirty or unworthy
The truth is, apart from Christ, we are these things.
Each of us in this room have things we hope never reach the light of day.
But the presence of God pushes back the darkness and reveals things as they truly are.
And yet, in Christ, our fear is removed.
We are able, like Moses, to stand in the presence of God and hear God’s voice.
We are able to do this because of the witness of Christ’s blood on our behalf. The blood is the key!!!
We all know, as good church folks, that Jesus died for our sins right?
But why did Jesus die the way he did?
Why broken and bloody? Why not a heart attack or an aneurism?
Why was his blood spilled on the ground?
There are a few reasons:
To Fulfill Prophecy.
It was foretold long ago that Jesus would die way he did.
And in doing so, Jesus demonstrated the truth and reliability of Scripture.
But there is more to it than mere prophecy.
The Life is in the Blood
Leviticus 17:11 says,
Leviticus 17:11 ESV
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.
Christ’s blood is required in order to make an atonement for each of us.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites would bring a sacrificial animal to the alter and the blood of that animal would be spilled for the person’s sins.
Atonement was possible because the life of the creature is in the blood.
It is sprinkled on the altar before God as a symbol of the animal’s life standing in the place as a witness to God on behalf of the person offering it.
Likewise, Christ stands in on our behalf as a witness to God.
But, unlike the animal, Christ offered himself. He choose to bear witness and it is his blood that cries out to God.
From Adam until now, death has been a defining characteristic of the human experience.
Paul rightly declared in Romans 8:1-4 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
The sacrifice of Christ removed the sting of death and offered each of us a way to freedom.
The author of Hebrews alludes to this in Hebrews 12:24 “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
That is the key phrase, “the blood of Abel.”
In Genesis 4:10-11 it says, “And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance and justice.
The life of Abel was in his blood.
Cain shedding caused the blood of Abel to cry out to its Creator.
Jesus, being God, chose to have his blood spilt and in doing so, God cried out to God!!
Not for vengeance and justice,
But for mercy and pardon.
Christ’s blood contained his life, and his life pleaded for our freedom and for our release!!!
His spilled blood provided a way for resurrection for our minds, bodies, and sprits, confirming us into his likeness!!
This is the witness of Christ’s blood, that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel!!!
So what does this mean for you and I in light of the New Covenant?
It means our lives are to be lived unveiled to the world.
To reflect the glory and majesty of God. This is the example we see in the life of Christ.
An early church father named Athanasius of Alexandria once said, “Even on the cross, he (Jesus) did not hide himself from sight, rather, he made all creation witness to the presence of its Maker.”
Does your life reflect the image of its Maker?
Does it speak the words of Christ’s blood?
Does it invite those still living in fear and rejection to this sacred space?
The New Covenant is a place meant for all peoples to gather in the love and embrace of God our Maker.
The communities we work, shop, relax, and worship in are filled with people who feel unloved, unwanted, and alone.
From the Fall of mankind in Eden, humanity has functioned in the midst of dysfunction often times by excluding anything that did not look like them.
The first example of this is Cain’s rejection of Abel’s faithfulness to God because it was something he lacked himself.
The most rejected communities in the global Church today are the poor, minorities, and the gay and trans communities.
Never has more vitriol been sprayed towards those who are experiencing poverty, whose skin tone is different than mine, or who love in a way that I do not.
We claim they are welcome, but many of them are not here. Whether it’s the signs we choose to put in our yards, or the conversations at lunch in hushed tones after church, our lips claim fellowship, but our lives speak a different message, and those different than us remain distant and untrusting.
Yet, so often, it is these very rejected peoples who seek the true worship of God in the midst of rejection from the Church.
if we here, at Covenant Church, are to pursue a life with Christ in light of the New Covenant his sacrifice brings,
Standing before God with unveiled faces,
Experiencing the depth of the worship of God in Spirit and Truth,
Assured by the faithfulness of God,
Confident in our place and communion with the family of God and our restored relationship with God our Maker through the witness of Christ’s blood
Then we must reflect the heart and character of God as revealed in God’s Son Jesus Christ!!!
Choose to live a life unveiled before the world.
Choose to see God in the faces of the poor and marginalized.
Choose to see God in those whose skin and culture are different than your own.
Choose to see God in the gay and trans people who are so often told they are dirty, perverse, and an abomination by the Church.
The blood of Christ has called us all worthy of love, and freedom, and salvation!! And praise God for this better word!!
Amen and Amen.
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