In the first article, we looked at the Old Testament passage on what it meant to the Jews to be sprinkled with blood in order to better understand what Peter was writing about in 1 Peter 1:1-2. Now I want to look at the New Testament and to take a look at what the writer of Hebrews has to say about this phrase. If we look at Hebrews 9:13-28 we find the writer of Hebrews refers to the giving of the old covenant in Exodus 24. He starts out with a question “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (v13-14 NASB)
We can see the sprinkling of blood indicates sanctification. To be sanctified means to make holy, or to set apart for God. This blood of the animals cleansed the flesh, but the blood of Christ cleanses our conscience from dead works. Christ sprinkled us with His blood to cleanse our consciences of dead works to serve the living God.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to explain “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.”(V15-18) The question could be asked, “For what reason?” Because the blood of Christ has cleansed your conscience and Christ offered Himself without blemish. For these reasons Christ is The mediator. Not a mediator or one of many mediators, but the only mediator of the new covenant. A death had to take place for the redemption of transgressions under the first covenant. So also a death, the death of Christ, took place for the new covenant to be made. Christ is the mediator of the new covenant, so that, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Even the first covenant was started with blood.
The writer of Hebrews comes to reference the story of Moses and when the first covenant inaugurated. “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." And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. “ (V19-22)
In the first part of this article we looked at the very story of Moses sprinkling the people with the blood of the calves and the goats. Moses went and spoke every single commandment the Lord had given them. Not just the ones he liked or the ones he thought were the best, but every single commandment. He told them “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” Without blood being shed on our behalf there is no way we can be forgiven.
We have an eternal inheritance and we have a covenant with the Father. We can be so thankful that we have a new covenant with God through Jesus Christ, who shed his blood so we can be forgiven, sanctified heirs. What a wonderful thing to know that the covenant was made by the Father for us. What a beautiful picture of our Savior and that we, who have believed and repented of our sins have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood.