Hebrews 9:19 refers to the ceremony in Exodus 24:3-8. It includes some extra details that do not appear in Exodus.
That ceremony happened immediately after God gave his commandments (laws) to Israel. God made his covenant with the whole nation, and also with each person in it. The covenant was the agreement that established Godís relationship with Israel. And it was for all of Godís people.
The purpose of the ceremony was so that each person joined in the covenant. They all agreed to love God, and to obey his commandments. And they all received the benefit of Godís promises.
So Moses told Godís commandments to the people. Together, they all spoke aloud to agree that they would obey Godís law. Then Moses wrote down all that God had told him.
On the next day, Moses carried out the ceremony with the blood. He read his book and again, all the people agreed to obey. So he took the blood, and he splashed them with it.
This action had a meaning. It meant that the covenant was something definite. And it was permanent. The people really did receive a relationship with God. The blood proved it.
And it is the blood of Christ that makes a Christianís relationship with God definite. It is not just the fact that Christ died. Each person must accept Christ into his or her own life. Then, it is as if the blood of Christ is upon that person. That person receives a real relationship with God. The blood proves it.
The Book of Exodus does not tell us that Moses splashed the blood onto the book, too. But that fact is interesting. It shows us a connection between Godís word and his people. The book contained Godís holy word; and they had become his holy people. ĎHolyí means Ďseparate for Godí. God had separated the people in Israel by his covenant, so that they belonged to him.
Also, the account of the ceremony in Exodus does not mention the scarlet (red) wool and the plant called hyssop. The priests used these things on other occasions in order to declare a person Ďcleaní (Leviticus 14:6; Numbers 19:6). This meant that God accepted that person. But Psalm 51:7 shows the real meaning. That real meaning is that God can forgive a personís evil deeds.
We do not know how the author of Hebrews knew about these other details in the ceremony. But Christians believe that the whole Bible is Godís word. And God knows about all things (Psalm 139:1-6).
Next part: The purpose of the communion (Hebrews 9:20)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.