paid in covenant-blood
"This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you." —Exodus 24:8
God made a graphic covenant with Abram. He had Abram split several animals in half and place each half on the ground with a walkway between them. In the form of a blazing fire, God passed between the split animals (Gn 15:17) to seal the covenant. By this act, God solemnly verified His covenant promises to Abraham, in effect saying: "If I am not faithful to this covenant agreement we have made, then let Me be split in half like these animals and let My blood likewise be poured out." God pledges His covenant with His blood.
Jesus has made a new covenant, also pledged with His blood. Instead of animals being split open, Jesus Himself was sacrificed (Is 53:7) and His blood poured out to solemnly verify the covenant (Jn 19:34). Jesus made this painful pledge to pour out His "blood of the covenant" (Mk 14:24) before we ever agreed to even have a part in it (see Rm 5:8). Through our sins, we poured out His blood (Catechism, 598). He was faithful to the covenant, we were not; yet His blood was spilled instead of ours. Jesus offered "His own blood" (Heb 9:12) to obtain eternal redemption for us. We get all the benefits; He gets all the pain and suffering.
How shall we ever repay Jesus? The return He greatly desires (Lk 22:15) is for us to take up the cup of salvation, the cup of his Blood, the Eucharist (Ps 116:12-13). He doesn't ask us to walk between bloody animals; instead He asks us to walk between the pews — up to the altar to receive His precious Body and Blood.
Prayer: Father, may Jesus' blood cover us always (Mt 27:25).
Promise: "How much more will the blood of Christ...cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God!" —Heb 9:14
Praise: "O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine."
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012
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