THE BLOOD COVENANT - WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND?
This page gives you the traditional steps involved in creating a blood covenant, but in order to get a full understanding of the blood-covenant that Jesus cut for us in the new covenant be sure to read this entire section of material entitled the new covenant. When we begin any discussion or teaching about covenant you have to begin with an understanding of the ceremony involved. We will also begin to realize that the entire understanding of the covenant kingdom begins with understanding the blood covenant.
The term "cutting the covenant" comes from the Hebrew word "BERITH", or the Greek word"DIATHEKE", which means to make a covenant by cutting to make the blood flow. This act is usually referred to as "cutting the covenant" and is performed in a sacred ceremony because of the tremendous significance of the event.
The blood covenant is the most binding covenant any two people or groups of people can enter into. Once committed to the only way out of it is by the death of one or both of the covenant makers. It is something that is never entered into lightly.
TRADITIONAL STEPS IN MAKING A BLOOD COVENANT
These are the steps that are normally involved in cutting the covenant.
- There is an exchange of coats
- The coat signifies the identity and authority of the person, group, or tribe entering this covenant
- The coats are exchanged with each participant in this ceremony
- This exchange is saying "Everything I am, everything I represent, now belongs to you. All my possessions, all that I am, my very self, I give to you. I am no longer my own, I now belong to you.
- The exchange of weapon belts
- On these belts are the bow, knife, sword, or any other weapons. This exchange signifies that all my strength now belongs to you. Your enemies are now my enemies and your enemies are now my enemies. Your friends are now my friends and my friends are now your friends. I will serve you if you ever need me and you will serve me if I ever need you.
- The exchange of vows in the walk of blood
- An animal is now sacrificed by splitting it down the backbone. It is usually a bull, a goat, or a lamb. The halves are laid open with a pool of blood between them.
- We walk in a figure 8 between the halves and meet in the middle in the pool of blood. The figure 8 is significant because it represents "infinity" or a never-ending relationship. We meet face to face and there pronounce the the blessings and the curses of the covenant. The curses are usually pronounced against anyone who would break this covenant. It was usually said like this, "the one who breaks this covenant will die just like this animal has died". A pledge was also given that went like this, "Just as this animal gave its life so I will give my life if necessary."
- The accounting of all belongings for exchange if and when needed
- While standing in the blood, we give an accounting of all of our possessions and declare that they become available to our covenant partner if they ever have need of them.
- The exchange of names
- Each participant takes the others name to himself. The persons name represents his individuality. This exchange of names demonstrates a death to being an "individual". Remember that covenant is the union of two individuals or of two groups. In covenant you are no longer concerned only with yourself, your concern now includes your blood covenant brother. You care for your blood brother the same as you care for yourself because the two of you are now one. When the names are exchanged the primary sound of each participant'sname is incorporated within the other participant's primary name sound. Say for instance somebody named Ken Jones was making covenant with Bill Brown. The new names would be Ken Brown Jones and Bill Jones Brown.
- The exchange of blood in the cutting of the covenant
- While still standing in the blood face-to-face a knife is used to make an incision in either the palms or the wrists of each participant. This was done to allow the blood to flow freely. The Bible teaches us that life is in the blood. The two participants now either shake hands or put their bleeding wrists together so that the blood intermingles. This act symbolizes the two bloods, or two lives, have been joined into one blood or one life. In some cultures, the blood from both participants is drizzled into a cup of wine and stirred together and then the two participants drink from the common cup so that each one's blood enters into the other. This mingling of blood creating this new union of "oneness" is why this called a "blood covenant". It is the strong bond of relationship known to humanity. It is the way that God has chosen to interact with all humanity.
- The "mark" of the covenant
- While still in this position and blood is dripping from the wounds some dark substance such as charcoal would be rubbed into the wound on each arm so that when the wound was healed a dark scar would be clearly visible to everyone who saw it. By doing this everywhere these blood covenant partners went they would clearly be identified as being in covenant with someone else.
- The exchange signified by the covenant meal which usually consisted of bread and wine is that the covenant partners have become one.
- We break one loaf of bread and we each place a piece of that bread into our covenant partners mouth. When we do that we are demonstrating that a part of each of us has gone into the other. We then drink wine from a common cup indicating that our blood has gone into each other. Since life is in the blood, we are demonstrating that we have taken each others life into ourselves.
At the end of the blood covenant ceremony the two covenant heads, or primary participants, are now called "friends". And there has now been a new relationship formed that is a union called covenant. This relationship, with this union, is now governed by an attitude towards each other called "loving-kindness". From the Hebrew the word used to express this relationship is "hesed" and the Greek word for this is "agape". This is simply a love relationship that says "I will never leave you or forsake you", "I will always do what is best for you even if it is to my own hurt." We are now in union with one another and we are called "blood-brothers".
The word "friend" has been greatly watered down. In the time of Jesus and the early church the word "friend" referred to a blood covenant partner, not just someone you palled around with. It had real significance.
When you see the actual steps involved in making a blood covenant your eyes become opened to what Jesus did and said to make the new covenant in His blood so we could enter into an everlasting relationship with God in union through a blood covenant.
TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT JESUS DID FOR US IN ESTABLISHING THE NEW COVENANT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ROLE OF A "REPRESENTATIVE" IS. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
This indeed is a revolution in life as we know it on earth. You see that it is an exchanged life between you and Jesus. Therefore, "as He is, so are we in this world."
Let's continue and learn what THE REPRESENTATIVE is.
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"Declaring the New Covenant and that the kingdom of God is at hand"
Rob Board Ministries
Christiansburg, Virginia 24073