“And he said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many’” (Mark 14:24).
One cannot read much of the Bible without encountering the importance of blood. The whole sacrificial system required the shedding of the blood of a spotless animal for purification and atonement. If God in his holiness were to dwell among sinful people, there would need to purification and atonement.
So too one cannot read much of the Bible without encountering the importance of covenant. The covenants between God and man are solemn agreements, that he will be their God and they will be his people (Leviticus 26:12).
However there are only a handful of times in the Bible when the phrase “blood of the covenant” is used—only once in the Old Testament. In Mark 14:24 Jesus is saying that a covenant is about to be inaugurated through the shedding of his blood on the cross. He uses language reminiscent of Exodus 24:8, “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.’”
The blood shed that day in Exodus 24 was the blood of oxen, but Jesus says, “this is my blood.” For God to be our God and for us to be his people it required nothing less than the sacrifice of God himself.
It shows us that the cross was not merely an exchange of sin and righteousness, though it was that. It was more. At the cross God established a new covenant through the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:12).
How does it affect you when you see what it cost for you to become one of God’s people? How do you think your life is different as a result of being in a covenant with the living God? The cost is so high and the difference is so great! May we live our lives in continual gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ that established the covenant we enjoy today.