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New vs. Old Covenant
What exactly is a covenant, anyway? A covenant is a binding agreement between two parties, where both are committed to protecting and providing for the other. If either has need of what the other has, it is theirs.
The Hebrew and Greek definitions are: eat, cut, league, confederate, alliance, pledge, treaty, constitution, ordinance (monarch to subjects), agreement, testament, a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will, a compact.
A covenant is entered into by a covenant meal, drawing of blood (both symbolized by Passover and circumcision, or communion and baptism) and exchanging gifts (tithing) and names. Remember this next time the offering plate is passed or the communion elements are shared. We are renewing or at least remembering our covenant with Almighty God.
As I was preparing to teach this study again after 15 years or more, I asked myself why this was so important. I first shared it in Spain. At that time, the importance was clear to me. The majority of those we ministered to not only were raised in the Catholic church, their culture was steeped in Catholic traditions. Salvation and one's standing with God was earned. Forgiveness came only with acts of penance. These ideas were ingrained in the people and it seemed that the Lord gave me study after study to refute this way of thinking.
As I pondered it, I realize that, although our traditions are different, these same ideas permeate religious thinking none the less. We still have to overcome thinking we have to earn our salvation, standing with God and forgiveness, even though those concepts are Old Covenant ones. We still have a long way to go in comprehending all Jesus accomplished on the cross on our behalf.
Following are the differences between the Old and New Covenants as outlined in the scriptures…
Old Covenant Characteristics — New Covenant Characteristics
Demands Right — Gives Righteousness Lk. 10.27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” Rom. 3.25 ...because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Makes Nothing Perfect — Makes Perfect Heb. 7.19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 10.10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Powerless to Save — Saves to the Uttermost Heb. 9.9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience Heb. 7.25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Remembers Sin — Forgets Sin Heb. 10.3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. Heb. 8.12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Cannot Satisfy God — Satisfies God Is. 1.13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies — I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. 14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. Heb. 10. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Shows No Mercy — Shows Complete Mercy Heb. 10.28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Heb. 8.12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Cannot Justify — Does Justify Gal. 2.16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Acts 13.39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Exposes Sin — Covers Sin Gal. 3.19 What is the use of the Law? It was given later to show that we sin. But it was only supposed to last until the coming of that descendant who was given the promise. In fact, angels gave the Law to Moses, and he gave it to the people. Rom. 4.6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”
Not of Faith — Through Faith Gal. 3.12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Rom. 3.22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.
Of Works — By Faith Gal. 3.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Gal. 3.11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Brings Death — Brings Life 2 Cor.3.7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away. Rom. 8.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Fulfilled by Jesus — Started by Jesus Mt. 5.17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Rom. 10.4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Heb. 8.6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Passing Away — Remains 2 Cor.3.7 But if the ministry of death…which glory was passing away… 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 2 Cor.3.8 how will the ministry of the Spirit… not be more glorious? 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
Taken Away — Not Taken Away Heb. 10.9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
Yoke of Bondage — Liberty Gal. 5.1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Jm. 1.25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Brings Wrath — Saves From Wrath Rom. 4.15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. Rom. 5.9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Weak & Unprofitable — Saves From Wrath Heb. 7.18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness. Heb. 7.25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Failure — Success Heb. 10.11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. Heb. 10.12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Condemnation — Righteousness 2 Cor.3.9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.
Under the Curse — Redeems from the Curse Gal. 3.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Gal. 3.13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
Law of Sin — Law of Righteousness Rom. 7.25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. 8.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 9.31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
Law of Flesh — Law of the Spirit of Life Rom. 7.5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. Rom. 8.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
No Access to God — Personal Access to God Heb. 9.7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance. Heb. 4.14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Dead Works — Living Service Heb. 9.14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Blood of Animals — Blood of Jesus Heb. 9.12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Copy, Shadow, Made With Hands — Perfect, True & Heavenly Heb. 8.5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens...24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 10.1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. Heb. 9.11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 10.1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
The Scarlet Thread
Some would call the Jewish and Christian religions 'bloody religions'. Reading through the verses below, it would be hard to disagree. But our sovereign Lord has created this pathway so that we sinful humans can have a relationship with Him. Someone had to pay the price, since we are unable to pay our own and live. So God provided the way.
Join with me in this journey from Genesis through Revelation in viewing the scarlet thread. What's more, as we travel together, let's begin to learn how to take more and more advantage of what God has provided us. Such a high price has already been paid, let's not waste a drop!
Some of the verses below won't specifically mention the word 'blood'. Wine, sacrifice, the color scarlet, atonement, lamb, offering, Passover, redemption, cross, covenant, mercy seat, communion, pierced, hyssop, scourging, altar and circumcision either imply blood being shed or are pictures of it.
So let's begin…
Gen. 3.21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. God had to kill animals to provide covering for Adam and Eve. This is the first mention of the shedding of blood in the Bible, even though the word is not specifically mentioned. It also is the primary use of blood: to cover us.
Gen. 4.4, 10-11 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering. With no obvious direction, Abel offers a sacrifice that pleases God and creates a president that is followed until the crucifixion of Jesus. All the patriarchs, including Job, offered sacrifices with no law telling them to do so. And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. Blood is never 'wasted', God tracks every drop.
Gen. 8.20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
Gen. 14.18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. This is the first recorded covenant meal in the word.
Gen. 15.8-18 And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two…Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years…Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age…And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying…. God cut covenant with Abram and made him great promises. There is no covenant without shedding of blood….
Gen. 17.10-14 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” Circumcision is a sign of faith and covenant with God. As we shall see later, what God is really after is circumcision of the heart, the 'cutting away' of useless flesh.
Gen. 22.2-14 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him…And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? ”And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” This same mountain is Mount Calvary where Christ was crucified and where the temples were built. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son, the fulfillment of the vision and promise of God, because God asked him to. This is the true significance of sacrifice, worship and offering for us -- giving to God what HE wants us to!
Gen. 31.54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread. And they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain.
Gen. 37.31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. In a sense, that goat took Joseph's place, redeemed his life.
Gen 38.27-28 Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” This is one of the verses that gave this study its name. Here, the scarlet thread secured the rights of the first born. That should speak to us in that Jesus' blood secures the privileges He has provided us!
Gen. 43.11 Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. This verse shows the tie between wine and grape juice to blood, as a picture of it.
Ex. 4.24-26 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision. Circumcision, the shedding of blood and useless flesh, is the sign and symbol of the covenant.
Ex.12.21-27, 43-44,, 48 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.
What a striking picture of what God through Jesus has done for us! We need to plead the blood over every area of our lives for protection from the enemy. From the beginning we can see how God made provision for outsiders to enter into covenant with Him. He never intended to have a relationship exclusively with the Jews alone!
Ex. 21.6 Then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. This is how a slave became a bond-slave. If a slave wanted to continue to serve his master because of his master's goodness, this is how it was done. It was a type of covenant between the two, hence the mark and shedding of blood. By the way -- we are bond-slaves to our Lord!
Ex. 24.4-8 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.” And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”
Ex. 25.21-22 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. The mercy seat was where the blood of atonement was applied once each year. It was on the cover of the ark, where among other things, the tablets of the law were kept. That blood, applied to that seat, covered the law that was broken and allowed God to meet and speak with Israel. Wow.
Ex. 26.1 “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them. 31 “You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim. 36 “You shall make a screen for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. 27.5 “They shall take the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and the fine linen, 6 and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, artistically worked. 33 And upon its (the priests garment) hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around: The curtains, the veil, the screen of the tabernacle and the ephod and garment of the priests spoke of the blood.
Ex. 29.20-21, 39-40 Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him. The ear gate, ministry, walk and righteousness of the priests were to be set apart, sanctified by blood and oil. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. With the one lamb shall be one-tenth of an ephah of flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of pressed oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering.
Ex. 30.10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.” Atonement (at-one-ment), bridging the gap between God and man, is made only by blood.
Lev. 14.3-9 And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field. He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows—all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean. Blood and hyssop were required for healing of the worst disease known at the time.
Lev. 16.2-3, 16-18, 20-22 and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. “Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. This is where we get the term scape-goat from! This is a picture of how Jesus was crucified outsed of the camp.
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 atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
Num. 2.2-3, 10, 18, 25 “Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting. On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, those of the standard of the forces with Judah shall camp according to their armies; and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall be the leader of the children of Judah.” “On the south side shall be the standard of the forces with Reuben according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur.” “On the west side shall be the standard of the forces with Ephraim according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud.” “The standard of the forces with Dan shall be on the north side according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.” Israel camped around the Tabernacle in the shape of the cross, with the Tabernacle in the center. The Tabernacle, with the brazen altar, brazen laver, mercy seat, etc. speaks abundantly of the cross. The whole set-up was to foreshadow the cross and the work of Jesus on the cross.
Num. 4.8 They shall spread over them a scarlet cloth, and cover the same with a covering of badger skins; and they shall insert its poles. The tabernacle was to be covered in scarlet for transport. So we, too, should plead the blood for traveling mercies.
Dt. 10.16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. Even in the Old Testament, circumcision was not just a matter of physically cutting flesh, but of getting rid of any useless thing that can impede the life flow between God and ourselves.
Dt. 30.6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Josh. 2.17-19 So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. This is one of the verses that this study draws its name from. The scarlet thread provided protection for the harlot and her family.
Josh. 5.2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.” So Joshua made flint knives for himself, and circumcised the sons of Israel…And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Egypt. For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness, on the way as they came out of Egypt, had not been circumcised…Then Joshua circumcised their sons whom He raised up in their place; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way…Then the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. It was only after circumcision that Israel was ready to take on Jericho. Without recognizing our covenant with God, we dare not go into battle. It is our covenant with God that rolls away our reproach. Without it, we are so worthy of reproach….
2 Sam. 6.2, 12-14 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. The ark, where the name of the Lord is, is where He dwelt in the Old Testament, between the cherubim, i.e. the mercy seat. Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.
2 Chron. 7.5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand bulls and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. Imagine the cost of that sacrifice in dedicating the temple! Remember, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who has been bought with a price. The worth of JESUS' sacrifice is incalculable -- much more than thousands of sheep and bulls!
Job. 1.5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
Job 42.7 And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
Ps. 22.16 For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet. This prophecy about Jesus came hundreds of years before crucifixion was 'invented'.
Ps. 51.7, 15-16 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise. Even here in the Old Testament it is clear what God really wants, what He really meant to obtain by all this blood and sacrifice. The Israelites, like ourselves, never did get it (with a few notable exceptions). A broken and contrite heart is one of the sacrifices that God desires from us.
Is. 53.4-5 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. The scourging that Jesus suffered, normally not a part of the crucifixion process, purchased our peace and our healing. It has been said that there are 39 different types of sicknesses and diseases, so Jesus to a lash for each and every one of them.
Jer. 4.4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.”
Zec. 9.11 “As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Deliverance is in the blood.
Zec. 12.10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. Jesus had to be pierced in the side to fulfill this prophecy.
Zec. 13.1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. One man's blood can hardly be called a fountain in the natural -- but Jesus' blood was so precious and effectual that it was more than enough to heal, forgive, deliver, justify and sanctify the whole world!
Mt. 20.19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” Although scourging and crucifixion were not typically done together, Jesus prophesied that He would suffer both, because without the scourging, we could not experience peace and healing (see Is. 53.4-5).
Mt. 26.2, 17-19, 26-28 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ’ ” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Communion is the new Passover celebration and like the original Passover, it is also a sign of the covenant.
Mt. 27.26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. Usually the scourging of Jesus in summed in one verse. The 39 lashes, however, took much longer and were quite significant for our lives, as mentioned earlier.
Jn. 2.6-10 Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” How symbolic that Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine. How often are water and the blood mentioned together in this study….
Jn. 6.53-58 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” Here Jesus is obviously alluding to communion as well as eating the word and drinking in His life. In verse 63 Jesus says, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life".
Jn. 19.1, 29, 34 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
Acts 20.28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. We have been purchased, that is redeemed, from the kingdom of darkness, who owned us, and now are a part of His kingdom. What a price He paid!
Rom. 3.25-26 Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Propitiation is directly translated from mercy seat, signifying that God is satisfied with the sacrifice.
Rom. 4.11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also.
Rom. 5.9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Jesus' blood justifies us, that is, it erases our debts (all the sins we have committed and good things we haven't done) and credits our account with all the good Jesus has done!
Rom. 6.6 Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Jesus was crucified not just to forgive our sins, but that we should be free from our old life to sin no more!
Rom. 12.1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Surrendering our lives is one of the sacrifices that God desires.
1 Cor. 1.18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. There is power in the blood of the cross.
1 Cor. 5.7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. God received sacrifices, while the man Jesus became a sacrifice for us.
1 Cor. 6.19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Cor. 7.23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
1 Cor. 10.16-17 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. We have common union with God and each other via the blood and body of Jesus. We are one through the body and blood of Jesus -- there is unity in the blood.
1 Cor. 11.23-32 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
Gal. 2.20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Gal. 3.13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. There are blessings in the blood of the cross.
Gal. 5.24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal. 6.14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Eph. 1.7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace There is forgiveness in the blood.
Eph. 2.12-18 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. There is access to God and peace in the blood.
Eph. 5.2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Phil. 3.3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, This is what true circumcision is all about.
Col. 1.20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Col. 2.11, 14-15, 20-23 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ. Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (that is, the cross). Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using— according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. I need to die daily to my flesh and the world, but the regulations listed above are not what God wants. It is when my will CROSSES the Lord's that I must die to what I want. Just think, all those regulations are nailed to the cross!
Heb. 2.14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, The work of the devil is destroyed in the blood of the cross.
Heb. 7.27 Who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Jesus was the only sacrifice needed.
Heb. 9.12, 14, 19-22, 26 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The blood cleanses our conscience from dead works. The blood purifies all things, it remits and puts away sin..
Heb. 10.10, 12, 14, 19-23 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Our sanctification, perfection and access to God were provided by the offering of Jesus' body on the cross.
Heb. 11.4, 28 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
Heb. 13.11-13, 15-16, 20-21 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Praise, doing good and sharing are some of the sacrifices God desires.
1 Pet. 1.18-20 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
1 Jn. 1.7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. The blood cleanses from all sin.
1 Jn. 5.6-8 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
Rev. 1.5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev. 5.9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, How powerful is the blood of Jesus! He redeemed people from every tribe and tongue, that's 10,000's of people groups!
Rev. 7.14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev. 12.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. The blood of Jesus overcomes our enemy!
Rev. 13.8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The crucifixion of Jesus wasn't a back up plan or 'Plan B', but rather THE plan from before the beginning of the world!
Rev. 19.13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.