Part 5: Blood on the Walls

Blood On The Walls - Easter Series Part 5 On Matt 26:28
For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matt 26:28

After Jesus had broken the bread, he held up a cup of wine and passed it around too, asking everyone to drink from it. He said,

“This is My blood of the new covenant, which is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

For years, humans across all kinds of religions and traditions thought that to appease God blood needed to be spilled. A sacrifice was required and many, many were given.

In a sense, life itself depends on death. A seed can’t grow unless it falls to the ground and is buried. We can’t eat an animal unless it has been killed. We can’t eat produce unless it has been harvested… for something to be received, something has to be given. And since the dawn of time, people gave sacrifices in order to receive their deities approval.

Think of all that blood over all those years.

The Israelites smeared the blood of sacrificed lambs on their doorposts so that God would pass over them and let them live. Something died so someone could live. It wasn’t just a spot of blood. Imagine the smell, picture buckets of it, hot and sticky, dripping down the rough wooden doorways of these makeshift slave homes.

They were a culture drowned in blood, a reminder of their own guilt, shame and separation from the God who created them. But as he did with the lamb, Jesus drew attention, not to the blood already spilt at the temple, but to the wine and asks everyone to drink. The wine represented his blood. The sacrifice, the atonement of our sins, our guilt and shame debt paid once and for all.

This blood didn’t have to be smeared on homes, it wasn’t poured out on the altar at the temple where they walked away from it and back towards home and their humanity. This blood was something they could drink. An internal change once and for all. It became a part of them

Just to point out the obvious, they were drinking wine not blood. But Jesus was making a point. The lamb that was slaughtered at the temple, whose blood was spilled on the altar and whose body they were eating at the table would now forever just be a lamb. Jesus become the Passover lamb, his body was broken and his blood was poured out.

Death for life.

The Good Gift. Eucharist.

This gift is not something to be observed or remembered or feasted around once a year. It is to become part of us, intrinsically, every moment of every day. Blood not smeared on the outside, but swelling deep in our souls.

As well as there being a separation between God and man, there was deep separation between people. Gentiles and Jews, the clean and unclean. The worthy and unworthy. Divided, segregated… lines of difference were noted and drawn. Eph 2 says,

“You have been brought near to God through the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations… Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.”

Blood no longer needed to be shed. In just a handful of hours after the Passover feast, Christ’s blood would flow from his body and soak the earth, seeping deep into its foundations, calling all to come and partake of His sacrifice. All could come to the table, the Communion, to symbolically eat his body and drink of his blood. Anyone could ingest and digest his love and grace, forgiveness and hope. Jesus made salvation a matter of hunger rather than of culture and performance.

No longer was blood to be poured out on an altar, or smeared on doorways… As a theologian I respect very much says,

“Jesus blood is on the doorposts of the universe…”

…and those doorposts are you and I.

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