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I spend my days as a construction project manager. This means that I coordinate construction trades, make and track schedules and do paperwork. Oh the paperwork! It’s endless—a constant supply of forms, contracts, bills and invoicing, etc. There seems to be no end to it. Why do we have so much paperwork? Because paperwork is our modern form of recording agreements. I agree to pay such-and-such amount of money to you; in exchange you’ll do such-and-such work for me. To make it “official”, we write out our terms on paper and we both sign it. In simple terms, that’s a covenant.
But the ancients formed their covenants a little differently. Most cultures around the world have some form of agreement-making, and many of them use a common denominator—blood. Why blood? Blood speaks to us of death. It’s a grave matter (pardon the pun) when blood is poured out. It’s sobering. So when the ancients wanted to make a serious and sobering agreement, they did so through the means of a blood covenant.
The basic idea of a blood covenant is this: two parties get together and make an agreement, stating very clearing the stipulations and expectations of the covenant. Then they take an animal (representing the covenant-makers) and split the animal in half, laying the pieces out on the ground. The covenant makers (which could be a representative of each party) would then walk through the middle of the pieces, signifying a new walk together. [Sometimes a sprinkling of blood on each party replaced this step of walking through the pieces.] After this was done, a covenant meal was usually eaten as a memorial. There are many varieties and differences in individual cases, but most of time these steps remain pretty consistent.
Let’s walk through a covenant together…
John serves as a congregational leader of a Messianic Jewish congregation in Tucson, AZ. He has a deep love for his Jewish brothers and sisters, and for the Hebraic context of our faith. John considers discipleship as one of his chief concerns and he works to make disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) through example, counseling and teaching the Hebraic understanding of our faith. John and his wife, Yvonne, live in Tucson, AZ, along with their two wonderful children.
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