by Jack Cottrell (Notes) on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 2:35pm

THE SPRINKLED BLOOD: A Communion Meditation

In the days of the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses required many kinds of animal sacrifices. In such a sacrifice, when the animal’s throat was cut, a priest collected its blood in a basin, then sprinkled the blood on various things—sometimes on the worshipers themselves! For example, regarding the special covenant-making ceremony recorded in Exodus 24, verse 8 describes part of it thus: “So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you.”

The New Testament refers to this event thus: “For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you’” (Hebrews 9:19-20).

We are here now to remember another blood sacrifice, the one in which Jesus gave his life and shed his blood for us on the cross, as an atonement for our sins.

We do not have Jesus’ literal, physical blood here at the Lord’s Supper. We have grape juice to remind us of it, as Jesus specified: “And He took a cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is to be shed on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins’” (Matthew 26:27-28).

We should note that Jesus did not sprinkle this fruit of the vine (Matt. 26:29) on his Apostles at that Last Supper; nor did he sprinkle his actual blood on anyone at the time of his crucifixion. Today, we will not sprinkle any grape juice on you, nor will we sprinkle you with blood of any kind. During this communion service we will not, in any physical sense, actually touch the blood of Christ. We will simply drink the reminder of it from a small cup.

But here’s the deal. If you are a Christian, you have already been touched by his blood; you have already been sprinkled with his blood! As Hebrews 12:22-24 tells us, “But you have come to Mount Zion . . . , and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood”! As the Apostle Peter says, you have been chosen so that you may “be sprinkled with His blood” (1 Peter 1:1-2).

You see, when you first came to Jesus for salvation, in your baptism you were immersed into his death (Romans 6:3). In that moment you were sprinkled with his blood, not physically but spiritually, i.e., in your heart. The words of Hebrews 10:22 refer to this event and also serve as an invitation to the Lord’s Supper: “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

We assemble now around the Lord’s Table, to remember how our Lord’s blood was shed on the cross, and to remember how we were sprinkled with that blood in our baptismal washing, and to glory in our full assurance of salvation that rests upon that sprinkling.

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