In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. – Hebrews 9:16-22
Blood and water….two very important substances. When I think of these two liquids I think of two related proverbs or sayings, “water is life” and “blood is thicker than water”. The first is a recognition that as humans, consisting of 45-75% water, we need water to live. The second is an allusion to the importance of family and relationships. Mixing these concepts of water and blood, as Moses was instructed to do, results in a life-giving “family”. This is not a bad description of a group of faithful followers struggling to make their way home seeking after God.
The author seems to be a linking human dying and earthly inheritance with the sacrifices and blood required for atonement. In the old testament Moses was the “mixer” and deliverer, the first covenant. In the new testament the Messiah is “mixer”. The water and blood are his life and sacrifice on the cross, the second covenant. Let’s explore the first covenant then we will tackle the second.
Blood is essentially water infused with the essence of life, oxygen – without oxygen we die in a matter of minutes. We inhale and our miraculous bodies incorporate the oxygen into our blood and move it to all parts of our body. The oxygen keeps our cells alive and functioning. When Moses mixed the blood and water he was mixing the ceremonial cleansing achieved with water and the atonement achieved through animal sacrifices. Moses sprinkled the people of Israel, as God’s representative on earth, to give life and a sense of family.
On to the second “mixing”. Jesus associated Himself with water on many occasions and I have reflected before about how God is like water. There is both a cleansing and life-sustaining component to Christ’s watery nature. Jesus clearly indicated we should thirst for Him every bit as much as we thirst for life-giving water for our bodies. Jesus demonstrated His mastery of water and Waves and promised to quench our thirsty souls.
Jesus’ death on the cross, and the spilling if His own blood and water achieved a metaphysical mixing fundamentally different than the mixing of Moses. His life and sacrifice was personal and is accessible to each of us individually. We can choose to be sprinkled by Christ to receive forgiveness and atonement in this way or we can stay dirty and thirsty – our call.
Prayer: God thank You for providing life and forgiveness through Jesus. Help us to receive this gift of grace.