Exodus 24:7-8 Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient." Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, "See the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

The worlds doesn’t think much of promises these days. In fact, it seems that the current wisdom is that promises are made to be broken. 2 people stand before God and promise that they will be faithful to each other, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, until death parts them, and a few years later stand before a judge, and claim that because of irreconcilable differences their union should be dissolved. It seems that they have forgotten both their promise, and the word spoken – what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Promise or contract, break whatever you want – there appears to be little consequence.

Problem is that we may begin to believe that God is like the world, and if God is love, he will let us do what we want, with little consequence. We may promise to be faithful unto death, but we may imagine that any excuse might be good enough, if it looked better at the time. And that is how the Exodus lesson ties to us today – for when we promise to be faithful – we have heard all the Word of God, and we are promising that we will be obedient – we will keep the 10 commandments, all the time. So far, its just our word, and our word might not mean much.

But our relationship with God isn’t just our word, or just God’s Word – it is more than words, for it is sealed in blood. And the blood is a sign and a symbol for us – it says – may our blood be shed in like manner, if we fail to keep our word. Not the blood of sheep or cattle – but our own blood – not just a little bit – not just a pin prick – but our whole life – may that be forfeit if we do not do as we have promised.

That is why we examine ourselves before coming to the Lord’s Supper – not that we will find ourselves worthy for having kept the law perfectly – but to make certain that we are sincerely sorry for our sins, and that we sincerely desire to change our ways and return to following in the paths of God. We examine ourselves, we see our sins, we see we are not worthy, we see our faith is weak – and we come – that we might be forgiven and that our weak faith might be strengthened. We come to receive not the blood of animals – but the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – you see, God gave his only Son into death that our sins might be forgiven.

Jesus blood is the blood of the new covenant – and if our life would have been forfeit under the old covenant – the covenant sealed in the blood of animals – what price would be required of those who are guilty of the body and blood of the Son of God?

But the blood of the new covenant speaks more graciously – for it does not bring wrath, but it brings the forgiveness of sins – so we come – not because we are worthy – but we become that God might work in us to make us worthy – that God might strengthen weak faith – that God might give us victory over temptation – that God might enable us to live as the people he created us in Christ Jesus, the children of God.

This side of heaven, the church will never be filled with perfect people. But that is not saying that it is filled with hypocrites either. It is filled with people, who by the grace of God through the forgiveness of sins – are saints – while – at the same time – by our thoughts, words and deeds are sinners. Sinners and saints, at the same time, in the same person. This is our struggle.

All would be lost, if it were only up to our reason and strength – but that is what is so special about the blood of the new covenant – because the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. And so it is that we come – at our Savior’s gracious invitation – we come, that we might be cleansed. We come – that we might find the peace of God which passes all understanding – the peace that will keep our hearts in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.