This is the blood of the testament - (covenant.) Our Lord refers to the conduct of Moses here, and partly quotes his words in the institution of the eucharist: This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins, Matthew 26:28. And by thus using the words and applying them, he shows that his sacrificial blood was intended by the blood shed and sprinkled on this occasion, and that by it alone the remission of sins is obtained.
Saying, This is the blood of the testament - Of the covenant; see notes on Hebrews 9:16-17. That is, this is the blood by which the covenant is ratified. It was the means used to confirm it; the sacred and solemn form by which it was made sure. When this was done, the covenant between God and the people was confirmed - as a covenant between man and man is when it is sealed.
Which God hath enjoined unto you - In Exodus 24:8, “which God hath made with you.” The language used by Paul, “which God hath enjoined” - ἐνετείλατο eneteilato- “commanded” - shows that he did not regard this as strictly of the nature of a “covenant,” or “compact.” When a compact is made between parties, one does not “enjoin” or “command” the other, but it is a mutual “agreement.” In the transactions between God and man, though called בּרית beriytor διαθήκη diathēkēthe idea of a “covenant” or “compact” is so far excluded that God never loses his right to “command” or “enjoin.” It is not a transaction between equals, or an “agreement;” it is a solemn “arrangement” on the part of God which he proposes to mankind, and which he enjoins them to embrace; which they are not indeed at liberty to disregard, but which when embraced is appropriately ratified by some solemn act on their part; compare notes on Hebrews 8:6.
Thus by a most solemn service the children of Israel were once more set apart as a peculiar people. The sprinkling of the blood represented the shedding of the blood of Jesus, by which human beings are cleansed from sin. FE 507.1
Once more the Lord has special words to speak to His people. In the thirty-first chapter of Exodus we read: FE 507.2
“The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.... Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed. And He gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” FE 507.3Read in context »
Then followed the ratification of the covenant. An altar was built at the foot of the mountain, and beside it twelve pillars were set up, “according to the twelve tribes of Israel,” as a testimony to their acceptance of the covenant. Sacrifices were then presented by young men chosen for the service. PP 312.1
Having sprinkled the altar with the blood of the offerings, Moses “took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people.” Thus the conditions of the covenant were solemnly repeated, and all were at liberty to choose whether or not they would comply with them. They had at the first promised to obey the voice of God; but they had since heard His law proclaimed; and its principles had been particularized, that they might know how much this covenant involved. Again the people answered with one accord, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” “When Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood, ... and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” Hebrews 9:19, 20. PP 312.2
Arrangements were now to be made for the full establishment of the chosen nation under Jehovah as their king. Moses had received the command, “Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord.” While the people worshiped at its foot, these chosen men were called up into the mount. The seventy elders were to assist Moses in the government of Israel, and God put upon them His Spirit, and honored them with a view of His power and greatness. “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” They did not behold the Deity, but they saw the glory of His presence. Before this they could not have endured such a scene; but the exhibition of God's power had awed them to repentance; they had been contemplating His glory, purity, and mercy, until they could approach nearer to Him who was the subject of their meditations. PP 312.3Read in context »
16 (John 7). Christ's Sacrifice Provides Bounties—The rivers of blood that flowed at the harvest thanksgiving, when the sacrifices were offered in such large numbers, were meant to teach a great truth. For even the productions of the earth, the bounties provided for man's sustenance, we are indebted to the offering of Christ upon the cross of Calvary. God teaches us that all we receive from Him is the gift of redeeming love (The Review and Herald, November 10, 1896). 1BC 1107.1Read in context »
Again, consider the judgment that fell upon Uzzah. As in David's reign, the ark was being carried to Jerusalem, Uzzah put forth his hand to keep it steady. For presuming to touch the symbol of God's presence, he was smitten with instant death. 8T 284.1
At the burning bush, when Moses, not recognizing God's presence, turned aside to behold the wonderful sight, the command was given: 8T 284.2
“Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.... And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:5, 6. 8T 284.3
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my Lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15. 8T 284.4
In the sanctuary and the temple, that were the earthly symbols of God's dwelling place, one apartment was sacred to His presence. The veil inwrought with cherubim at its entrance was not to be lifted by any hand save one. To lift that veil and intrude unbidden into the sacred mystery of the most holy place was death. For above the mercy seat and the bowed, worshiping angels dwelt the glory of the Holiest, glory upon which no man might look and live. On the one day of the year appointed for ministry in the most holy place, the high priest with trembling entered God's presence, while clouds of incense veiled the glory from his sight. Throughout the courts of the temple every sound was hushed. No priests ministered at the altars. The hosts of worshipers, bowed in silent awe, sent up their petitions for God's mercy. 8T 284.5Read in context »