(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).
It’s common, during prayers and benedictions, to hear Christians using the blood of Jesus Christ to ‘cover’ people, as though Christ’s blood is an entity outside of Christ that can be sprinkled upon people at will. Thus, we find parents ‘covering’ their children and loved ones regularly with the blood of Christ, as a way of protecting them from harm and evil. Can someone cover other people who’re not in Christ with the blood of Jesus Christ? What does it actually mean for one to be covered by the blood of Christ? We shall examine the Scriptures to find answers to these questions.
In the old testament, the blood of sacrificial animals was used to atone for/ cover people’s sins temporarily, thereby offering them access into God’s presence and protection. After killing such animals, their blood was collected and sprinkled on people and objects, to sanctify them. When the death angel was to pass through the land of Egypt in judgement, God admonished his people to sprinkle their houses with the blood of the slain Passover lamb, and to remain indoors, under the covering of the blood, to avoid being destroyed with the unbelieving Egyptians. Thus, in the old testament, the atoning blood of sacrificial animals was physically available, and could be sprinkled on people to cover and protect them.
Exodus 24:3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.”
Exodus 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Exodus 24:5 Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord.
Exodus 24:6 And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Exodus 24:7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”
Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”
Exodus 29:15 “You shall also take one ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram;
Exodus 29:16 and you shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it all around on the altar.
Exodus 29:17 Then you shall cut the ram in pieces, wash its entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and with its head.
Exodus 29:18 And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.
Exodus 29:19 “You shall also take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram.
Exodus 29:20 Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.
Exodus 29:21 And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.
Exodus 12:1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exodus 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
Exodus 12:4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.
Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
Exodus 12:6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
Exodus 12:7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
Exodus 12:8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
Exodus 12:9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails.
Exodus 12:10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.
Exodus 12:11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.
Exodus 12:12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
Exodus 12:13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
When Christ was offered up (once and for all) for the sins of the people, his blood was shed at Calvary. He bled from his crushing wounds until he died. His blood was completely poured out as an offering for sin. Christ’s blood disintegrated into their elemental components and became part of the surrounding soil. There was no collection of his blood gathered in any blood bank anywhere that can be physically accessed by people for sprinkling, unlike in the old testament. Thus, for new testament believers, the atonement is not via physical blood of the sacrifice applied on supplicants, simply because there’s no blood of our slain Lamb stored anywhere for that purpose, as Christ’s blood that was shed was swallowed into Calvary’s soil some 2000 years ago. There’s thus no collection of Christ’s blood in any blood bank anywhere!
Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Isaiah 53:2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
Revelation 5:2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”
Revelation 5:3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
Revelation 5:4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
Revelation 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 5:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Revelation 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Revelation 5:14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
How then are we saved and sanctified by the blood of Christ? What does it mean to be covered by the blood of Christ? Christ’s blood simply represents his life, for the life is in the blood. To say he shed his blood for mankind is to simply say he died for mankind. It’s not his blood per se that paid the price for our sins, but his life, for if he had just shed some blood without dying, it wouldn’t have amounted to anything. It was his dying in our stead that ransomed our souls from the curse of sin and death. The moment we accept his sacrificial and substitutionary death (and the resurrection that followed) and place faith in his atoning work, we’re saved. When we accept him as our Lord and Saviour, by appropriating his death for ourselves, we become ‘covered’ by his blood (death). We are said to be in Christ then, having been baptised into his death. That’s how we put on Christ. That’s the only way his blood covers us —when we are in him. His death becomes meaningful for us only when we are in him. Thus, to be covered by the blood of Christ is to be in Christ. It is to put on Christ or to be clothed with Christ. Unlike the sacrificial animals in the old testament that couldn’t resurrect to impart their lives to those they died for, and thus only their blood was used as a symbol of their lives to cover those who offered them for atonement, Christ lives for evermore to impart his life to those who believe in him. His blood was shed to release his Spirit upon his people. That Spirit filling his people covers and protects them. That’s the new seal of God. To have the life of Christ (through the Holy Spirit) means to be covered with the blood of Jesus Christ.
Genesis 9:4 The one thing you must not eat is meat with blood still in it; I forbid this because the life is in the blood (GNT).
Leviticus 17:10 ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
Leviticus 17:12 Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.’
Leviticus 17:13 “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust;
Leviticus 17:14 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.
Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Romans 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Romans 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Galatians 3:26 Sons and Heirs
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
1 John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
If being covered by the blood of Christ is synonymous with being in Christ, it becomes obvious then that no one can cover another with the blood of Jesus, because the blood of Christ represents the life of Christ. To be covered by the blood of Christ, each person must appropriate his death and resurrection for himself, and accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. To be covered by the blood of Christ, each person must be born again. A believer who is in Christ is already covered by the blood of Christ. Such a person does not need anyone to cover him with the blood of Christ, because he is already covered by it. For an unbeliever who is not in Christ, the most we can do for such a person is to pray for God’s mercy on him or her to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. Only by coming to Christ and by remaining in him will the blood of Christ cover such a person. Until they become born again, we can only pray for God’s mercy and protection on our unbelieving friends and loved ones, until they come to a saving knowledge of Christ. It’s only when they’re saved that they become covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Until that blood is sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts of their hearts by personal faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour, unbelievers cannot be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, the blood of Jesus Christ was shed at Calvary some 2000 years ago, as he died to save sinful humanity from the curse of sin and death. That blood was swallowed up by the adjoining soil and is not available in any blood bank anywhere to be used for physical sprinkling on people, in order to cover them, as was the case with the blood of sacrificial animals in the old testament. What happens now is that, people who place faith in the sacrificial and substitutionary death of Christ get filled by his Spirit (life) and become clothed with Christ. That’s how new testament believers get covered by the blood of their Sacrifice—by receiving his life (Spirit), which is what his blood represents. Thus, to be covered by the blood of Christ is to be born again, whereby we become new creatures. Therefore, nobody can cover another with the blood of Christ, simply because only those that are Christ’s automatically receive the covering and salvation occasioned by the shedding of his blood at Calvary. We can only pray for mercy for people who are outside of Christ’s protection (those who are not born again). But, until they are born again, unbelievers are not, and cannot, be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ!
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