Exodus 24:3-11 “And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the rules. And they answered with one voice. Concordia.. all the people. Together. In unity. Harmony. They heard the word. They said, “We will be obedient.” Riiiiiight. Keep reading sometime. The people keep the unity. They complain together. They sin together. They rebel together. Concordia. All the people. Together. In unity. It goes poorly each time. Sin breaks stuff.
Concord isn’t just all of us getting along. watch a riot. See everyone answer with one voice. Watch it all burn. We can all get along down some pretty dark roads. Until we can’t anymore.
But still the cry of the church is too often this. Unity means Getting along. looking the same. Dress like us. Behave like us. Be like us. I mean, not what we do secretly. Not what we say about each other when we’re not in the room. But pretend like we pretend. Because disunity is being different than us. Looking different. Having done…different. So conform. Behave. Fit in. And we’ll leave the last part behind varying degrees of implication. Fit in, or get out.
But being the same doesn’t save. Even when all of Israel sins together, they only end up driving themselves farther apart. Sin breaks stuff. It’s why blood has to cover it. The sin that breaks us open spills blood. The Lord would just rather it be His own than ours. He teaches us about it. Gives Moses His word and command about it. Sacrifice this way to teach about me. Point to me. Find shelter in me. Give grace from me. Moses followed the sacrifice. Blood on the alter. Blood on the people. And it’s offensive. Don’t overcomplicate it.
Now the blood goes in your mouth. We behold God. The peace of the Lord be with you always. Not in a generic let’s all get along way. In a “hey look, this thing I’m holding, it’s the body of Jesus this is where the peace comes from” kind of way. Jesus said, Eat the bread of life which is my flesh and live forever. And the Jews quarreled among themselves at His words. Because that’s offensive too. Don’t philosophize it.
Look up at this thing. This dead Jesus on the cross. It’s offensive. God died for the things you’re too ashamed to admit to in mixed company. Too afraid to own without excuses and blame to spread around. This is where sin broke open God that His blood would be spilled for you. Look at it. It’s everything we dress up and hide. It’s everything awful we see in the ones we hate but ignore in the ones we like. It’s brought to the surface and it’s hung on a cross. Sin. That’s what we really look like. Death. Moses covered the people in blood. In death from a sacrifice. And all the pretending stopped. This is who they really are. Death. But now not their death. Jesus’ death. Not their blood. The blood of the lamb, which takes away the sin of the world. Not our cross. Jesus’ cross for you. And it’s offensive. And we love it. Because it’s what we look like. Dead with Jesus. Alive with Jesus. Holy with Jesus, washed in His blood.
Concordia. All together, covered in blood. Because the unity comes from here. Not our works but His blood for you. For us. His cross for you. For us. Jesus bore it not for those who agreed, not for those who obeyed. But for the sinners who can see the blood that covers us and finally realize that we are the same. We are the sinners Jesus died for. We are forgiven. We’re the church. We disappear under the blood of the lamb. We’re us, with all our baggage and differences, but we are the same. Sinners covered in blood. Forgiven. Holy. Worthy of love.
There is unity here. Concordia here. Jesus here. This is what unites us. His blood. Not _your faith_ in Jesus. _Jesus_ for you. For us. Jesus who does the things He promises, who sends the Holy Spirit to call, gather, enlighten, sanctify, and keep the whole Christian church on earth in the one true faith.
The church cannot and will not stand on an insistence we conform, because it’s never been about looking like each other. It’s about looking like Him. The church can be full of different kinds of sinners, all covered in blood. All made holy. All worthy of love right here. Concordia. Together. In Jesus. In eating and drinking His body and blood given for you for the forgiveness of sins. Given for you, that you would be bound together with other sinners and all called holy together because God dwells here for you to make you that way. Given for you, that you would find unity with each other by being made together with God. Given for you, that you would have life that nothing we build in this world can give. It’s the most mysterious powerful thing I know. And it’s offensive. But don’t overcomplicate it. Eat it and drink it. This is Jesus for you. For us. Concordia. All the people. Together. In unity. Forgiven. Holy. Worthy of love by Him who made us to be that way. Concordia.