By: Kenneth Hagin, Jr.
A blood covenant is a covenant or binding agreement made At between two parties in a relationship that is sealed by blood. In early times, two people entering into a blood covenant would cut themselves and rub the two incisions together. They became what was called “blood brothers.” They would seal their covenant agreement by mixing or mingling their blood together.
Sometimes a written covenant was sealed by pricking the person’s finger and making a mark in blood beside his name or signature. That meant he was sealing that covenant with his blood. Even if it cost the blood of his life, he promised to stand by the terms of that covenant. Blood covenants have been around almost as long as man has been around. In fact, just after God created man, God instituted the first blood covenant.
Actually, the first time we see blood shed in Scripture was with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make COATS OF SKINS, and CLOTHED them.
After Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves, but the leaves couldn’t hide them. When God saw that they had sinned, He killed animals and made coats of skin to cover them. That was the first time that blood was shed. It was done to cover man’s sin so he could continue to have fellowship with a holy God.
We see the second reference to blood shed in the Scriptures in the story about Cain and Abel. Abel brought an offering to God from the firstlings of his flock, but Cain offered vegetables unto God.
2 … Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that CAIN BROUGHT OF THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND an offering unto the Lord.
4 And ABEL, he also BROUGHT OF THE FIRSTLINGS OF HIS FLOCK and of the fat thereof. And THE LORD HAD RESPECT UNTO ABEL AND TO HIS OFFERING:
5 But UNTO CAIN AND TO HIS OFFERING HE HAD NOT RESPECT. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
When God did not accept Cain’s bloodless offering, Cain got upset and his countenance fell. In other words, he ran around with his bottom lip stuck out, thinking, God does not like me anymore! Well, God liked Cain all right. He just expected Cain to offer the appropriate sacrifice for sin – a blood sacrifice.
Notice that by faith, Abel brought a blood sacrifice that the Lord accepted (v. 4). The Bible says that by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God A MORE EXCELLENT SACRIFICE than Cain, by which [or by faith] he obtained witness that HE WAS RIGHTEOUS, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
You see, Abel offered unto God a more excellent blood sacrifice, and by faith he was accounted righteous for it. And the same is true for us today. When we enter into a covenant relationship with God, it has to
be by faith through the sacrifice that God requires. For us, that blood sacrifice is Jesus, the Lamb of God who died on Calvary.
After Abel, many of the Old Testament patriarchs also made blood sacrifices or offerings. For example, Noah built an altar after the Flood and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord (Gen. 8:20). And Abraham, or Abram as he was called then, offered a blood sacrifice when God made a covenant with him (Gen. 15:8-18).
But let’s take a look at the institution of the first Passover when Israel was delivered from Egypt. I want you to notice something significant about the blood of the Passover lamb.
6 …the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it [the Passover lamb] in the evening.
7 And they shall TAKE OF THE BLOOD, AND STRIKE IT ON THE TWO SIDE POSTS AND ON THE UPPER DOOR POST of the houses…. 11 … ye shall eat it [the lamb] in haste: it is the Lord’s passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt….
13 And THE BLOOD SHALL BE TO YOU FOR A TOKEN upon the houses where ye are: and WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I WILL PASS OVER YOU, AND THE PLAGUE SHALL NOT BE UPON YOU TO DESTROY YOU….
We need to understand what Egypt stands for. Of course, Egypt was a literal place, and God delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. But Egypt is also symbolic of sin.
You see, the blood of the lamb that the Israelites applied back then is also a picture of the blood of Jesus, the Passover Lamb, as it is applied to our lives today.
Notice that the Israelites escaped death and destruction because of the blood of the Passover Lamb! God said, “… When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy
you… ” (v. 13).
You say, “What does that have to do with us?” Well, in the same way the children of Israel applied the blood of the lamb to the lintels and doors of their homes, we are to apply the blood of the Lord Jesus
Christ to the doorposts of our hearts. It’s through the blood of Jesus that we are delivered from sin. And it’s through the blood of Jesus that we can escape unharmed when judgment, death, or destruction comes.
As you study the blood covenant in Scripture, you’ll find that the Old Testament blood sacrifices and offerings represented the blood covenant of the New Testament. However, the Old Testament blood sacrifices were only temporary. So they had to be made continually to cover the sins of the Israelites.
Those blood offerings under the Old Covenant were just substitutes to temporarily cover the sins of Israel. In other words, in order for a person to maintain fellowship or rightstanding with God, an animal had to be sacrificed in his place.
The blood of innocent animals was shed, which was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ who was “a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19). But the blood of these sacrificial animals only covered the Israelites’ sins; it didn’t cleanse their sins. That’s why the Jews had to repeat these sacrifices at regular intervals; their sins were merely covered, not cleansed.
We can see the work of substitution in the blood covenant when we look at the Old Testament patriarchs. For example, the Bible says that righteousness was imputed to Abraham because he believed God and in obedience made the blood sacrifice God required of him (Rom. 4:1-22; James 2:23).
You see, the Lord told Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice (Gen. 22:2). So Abraham told Isaac, “We’re going over to the mountain to offer a sacrifice unto God.” Isaac knew all about offering sacrifices; he’d probably been trained how to make a blood sacrifice as a child. So Abraham and Isaac gathered the wood and got the fire ready. Then Isaac asked, “Where is the sacrifice?”
In faith Abraham said, “…My son, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB for a burnt offering.. .” (Gen. 22:8). Then as Abraham took the knife to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, God provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.
12 And he [the angel of the Lord] said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from
me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a RAM caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering IN THE STEAD of his son.
Here is a beautiful picture of the Heavenly Father who gave His Son, and an earthly father who was willing to sacrifice his son. It is also an illustration referring to the Son of Man who came to the earth as
the Supreme Sacrifice for us. Because of man’s sinful condition, man had to pay a penalty for sin. But God provided His only begotten Son as our substitute to pay that penalty for us.
You see, every year the priests used the blood of animals to make atonement for the sins of the people (Lev. 16). This had to be done continually, over and over again, because these blood sacrifices were
only temporary. But Jesus Christ was the perfect Sacrifice. His blood only had to be offered once and for all!
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his [Jesus’] own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
According to the New Covenant, Jesus’ blood had to be shed in order to remit or take away sin (Heb. 9:22). You see, God established a New Covenant with man through the blood of His Son Jesus.
28 [Jesus said to His disciples:] For this is my blood of the NEW TESTAMENT, which is shed for many for the REMISSION of sins.
Here Jesus speaks of God’s New Testament or Covenant – a better one established on better promises in which His blood was shed for the remission of sins. Under the New Covenant, Jesus washed and cleansed us from all sin in His own blood!
In the Old Testament, many scriptures refer to the blood covenant. But all of these illustrate the blood covenant that was to come through Jesus Christ.
Under the New Covenant, the blood of Jesus became the final blood sacrifice. His shed blood is the complete atonement for man’s sin. All other blood covenants were symbolic. They were meant to point us to the blood covenant that Jesus came to establish, which would remit, cleanse, or wash away sin.
18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood…. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMISSION.23 It was therefore necessary that THE PATTERNS OF THINGS in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are THE FIGURES OF THE TRUE; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF.
Here we see that Jesus came and was offered as the Supreme Sacrifice for man’s sins. He fulfilled the Old Covenant and established a New Covenant in His own blood through His death, burial, and resurrection.
Jesus Christ was the final sacrificial Lamb without spot or wrinkle. That’s why when John the Baptist saw Him, he said, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). 1 believe John had some insight into the fact that Jesus was the Lamb of God who would pay the supreme sacrifice for man’s sins. Then man would no longer have to offer up the blood of bulls and goats as a sacrifice for sin.
HEBREWS 10:4, 5, 9, 10
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he [Jesus] cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but A BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME….
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God. HE TAKETH AWAY THE FIRST, THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH THE SECOND.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through THE OFFERING OF THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE FOR ALL.
Jesus took away or fulfilled the first covenant so that He could establish the second – a new and better covenant – by offering His own life on the Cross. He offered His own blood once and for all to seal
the New Covenant.
A seal is a guarantee. In modern days, seals are still used. For example, in the business world, to certify that an agreement or contract is binding, a corporate executive often uses the seal of his corporation when he signs legal papers. Or a notary public uses an official seal in order to notarize documents.
Even back in the days of the monarchs, a king wore a signet ring with a seal on it. When he signed a decree, he’d stamp or seal it with his ring. That seal proved that the king had made the decree and that he guaranteed it.
Well, the God of creation made a sovereign decree. He said, “I will redeem man!” He made a covenant with man and sealed it with Jesus’ blood. Now we have an everlasting covenant with God through Jesus
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath ETERNAL LIFE; and I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY….
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, DWELLETH IN ME, and I IN HIM.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
In verse 53, Jesus is not talking about literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood. If that’s what Jesus meant, He would have been going against God’s Law that prohibits eating the blood of flesh (Lev.
No, Jesus was referring to God’s promise of redemption and eternal life in Him by the sacrifice of His own body on the Cross. In order for man to live eternally with God, he would have to accept Jesus’ body that was broken and His blood that was shed at Calvary. So Jesus was peaking symbolically of the everlasting covenant God would establish with the Body of Christ through His shed blood for the remission of sins.
20 … the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the SHEEP, through THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT.
The blood covenant which Jesus established is for each member of the Body of Christ. Through the blood covenant, every individual person who accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior receives eternal life. Jesus had to shed His blood for us to receive eternal life because the Bible says the life is in the blood!
11 FOR THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
We see an example of this in the natural when a person needs a blood transfusion. In order to live, he needs blood. He can receive life from another person who can supply or furnish the blood he needs.
Well, in a sense you could say we receive life from the “eternal blood donor,” Jesus Christ. But Jesus only had to give His blood one time! He went to the Cross and shed His blood one time for all of mankind!
You see, in the natural, blood donors have to periodically keep giving blood so that people can live. I remember the national blood drives held during World War 11 and the Korean War because so much blood was needed for wounded servicemen. Many of those who could not fight donated their blood to help save other men’s lives.
Well, before Jesus came to this earth, man needed a blood sacrifice a donor, so to speak. Because of his sinful condition, the blood of many animals had to be shed so man would not be held responsible for the
guilt and judgment for his sins. But then Jesus Christ shed His blood on the Cross once and for all. Now it is not necessary for any more blood to be shed.
The only blood sacrifice powerful enough to seal an everlasting covenant with God was the blood that flowed from Jesus’ wounds on Calvary’s Cross. Jesus’ blood flowed from the wounds made by a crown
of thorns. His blood flowed from His back where many stripes were laid, from His nail-pierced hands and feet, and from the wound in His side.
The precious blood of Jesus flowed down a rugged cross on Golgotha’s hill for the remission of man’s sins. It flowed freely like a river, and it washed away the sins of the whole world.
One songwriter described it as a fountain that is still flowing: “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.”
Friends, everything we have in Christ is because of the shed blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus redeems us, cleanses us, and sets us free. The blood of Jesus protects us. And thank God, the blood of Jesus
sealed our covenant with God for eternal life
As we begin to appreciate the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice, we’ll learn how to live in and by our blood covenant more fully. We ought to thank God every day for our blood covenant with God. It cost Jesus His life, and it has set us free because Jesus rose from the dead and is alive today! And it’s in that blood covenant that we have life more abundantly!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE WORD OF FAITH, SEPTEMBER 1995, BY KENNETH HAGIN JR., PP. 4-7. THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURP0SES ONLY.