Blood is life. Blood flows throughout our body, through large arteries and veins and tiny capillaries invisible to the naked eye.
Life takes place within our blood as it flows through various organs in our body that regulate vital life processes. If our blood is contaminated in any way, disease can take hold and lead to serious complications including death if untreated.
When the Bible speaks of blood in relationship to a covenant, blood takes on a spiritual nature. The physical properties and function of blood provide an illustration for an understanding of its spiritual truth.
Because Christ offered himself to God, he is able to bring a new promise from God. Through his death he paid the price to set people free from the sins they committed under the first promise. He did this so that those who are called can be guaranteed an inheritance that will last forever.
In order for a will to take effect, it must be shown that the one who made it has died. A will is used only after a person is dead because it goes into effect only when a person dies. [vss 15-19]
That is why even the first promise was made with blood. As Scripture tells us, Moses told all the people every commandment. Then he took the blood of calves and goats together with some water, red yarn, and hyssop and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “Here is the blood that seals the promise God has made to you.” In the same way, Moses sprinkled blood on the tent and on everything used in worship. [vss 20-21]
As Moses’ Teachings tell us, blood was used to cleanse almost everything, because if no blood is shed, no sins can be forgiven.
The copies of the things in heaven had to be cleansed by these sacrifices. But the heavenly things themselves had to be cleansed by better sacrifices. [vss 22-23]
(Hebrews 9:15-23 GW) [Context– Hebrews 9]
Through his death he paid the price to set people free
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What did Christ do that guarantees believers an eternal inheritance?
What needs to take place for a will to go into effect? How is this related to what Jesus did to bring our eternal inheritance?
Why was the first promise (covenant) made with blood? What do you think this is talking about?
Why is blood used in both the Old and New Covenants? [hint– see Leviticus 17:11]
No more sacrifices are needed. All the sacrifices before (under the Law) were reminders of what was to come—the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. His sacrifice—Himself—was not offered in a human temple but in heaven in the very presence of the Father.
This is called the Atonement of Christ which was prefigured by the sacred Jewish ceremony called the Day of Atonement (Lev 16). The Day of Atonement involved a whole day of fasting and many, many sacrifices. But the Atonement of Christ was done once for all (Heb 9:11-14).
The shed blood of Jesus is greater and more powerful than the blood of animals. Why? Because He was both human and God in nature—physical and spiritual—and He did not have a sinful nature since He wasn't born from the natural seed of a man (Matt 1:20; Luke 1:31-35).
His death on the cross brought a new promise (covenant) into effect. It acted as a ransom that wiped away the resulting debt of sin, which is physical and spiritual death, and provided an eternal forgiveness not possible under the old promise (covenant).
His death and resurrection that followed brought an inheritance for all those who would trust in Christ as both Savior and Lord. This inheritance is eternal, not physical nor temporary. It's not a geographical homeland but an abiding relationship with God and an eternal kingdom.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
How does the blood of Christ provide believers an assurance of their salvation?
Do you understand why it was necessary that Jesus offered up His own blood and self as an atoning sacrifice?
Have you personally experienced the forgiveness of God and assurance of Christ's inheritance?
How has the forgiveness of God brought you assurance, freedom, and peace?
Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews