In biblical times covenants were made and sealed or ratified with an animal sacrifice. The two parties come together and make an agreement. The animal sacrifice was a ritual reminder of the consequences to breaking an oath/agreement. God also makes a covenant with man (humankind). The very first of covenants between God and man was at the garden of Eaden(Gen 2:15-17). The disobedience at the tree of good and evil invoked the consequences of breaking the agreement (Gen 3:14-19). But God in His deep love for us protected us from death (Gen 3:22-24) and being forever separated from Him ( protecting us from eating of the tree of life and having to live forever away from His presence). Time and time again we see in the scriptures how God steps in to protect us from being forever lost. Another key instance of the covenant is the covenant between Abram and God. In Genesis 15 God tells Abram that He will make him a nation. Abram asks for confirmation. God tells him to bring animals (three year old, heifer, goat and ram) along with a turtle dove and a pigeon to be slaughtered. Abram laid out the two halves of the animals and God showed Abram a smoking pot and a blazing torch go through the sacrificed animals. God made a covenant with Abram (humankind). Did God intentionally use the smoking pot and blazing torch as the parties in agreement. That in breaking of the covenant God Himself would take up the consequences?
Fast forward to Moses’ story Exodus 24. Moses reads the commandments before the people and they responded saying that they will obey all that the Lord had said. He slaughters the oxen and sprinkles the blood on the people. Exodus 26:6-7.
8 Then Moses took the blood from the basins and splattered it over the people, declaring, “Look, this blood confirms the covenant the Lord has made with you in giving you these instructions.”
The covenant was sealed with the sprinkling of the blood.
So did Christ’s death on the cross typify the sacrifice to ratify the covenant. The covenant that ‘whosoever believes in Jesus Christ should not perish but have everlasting life’. Knowing fully well that we are incapable of keeping the agreement God made the covenant and allowed His own Son to come down as a human to not only show us how to live but also to take up the cause of the disobedience of man. Jesus bore the consequence of disobedience and died (like the animals that were slaughtered in the ‘cutting of the covenant’ between God and man).
The covenant is ratified. The price of disobedience was paid. We simply need to live (thrive) by faith.