Where’s Jesus – The Covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:1-17)

There are so many connections in Genesis 9:1-17 with Jesus and our salvation.  This passage could easily be turned into a small book tracing these allusions and foreshadowings.  Following the flood and Noah’s release from the ark, God gives Noah and his sons a command, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1).  This command has echoes in the New Testament charge to go and make disciples as well as the call to bear the fruit of the spirit.  In the new covenant, Noah’s charge finds a new beginning.  Christians, having been rescued from sin and death, are called to propagate a new way of life on the earth and it is to take over human dealing.  Obviously, this won’t be fully realized until the new heavens and new earth are consummated when the full impact of the Noahic command will be realized, but until then, we, as believers still have a charge to go forth as Christ’s emissaries and evangelize the world.

Genesis 9:4 has a second allusion that is quite striking.  God commands his saved people to take ingest no blood.  Blood is sacred and special; life flows through it.  The Jewish people took this verse and expanded an entire method of killing animals and bleeding them.  It is known as kosher.  But in the Testament, Jesus gives a startling command.  He says, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured our for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28).  What has happened?  Why the reversal from not to ingest blood, to the obvious command to take Christ’s blood into our very persons?

I believe that God was preparing his people for a striking reality.  There is only one life force worth ingesting into your body and it is the life force of God’s one and only Son.  He alone has true life and true power.  He alone has the ability to revive you and transform you.  This is a wonderful truth.  So by commanding the abstinence of blood, God has yet again pointed us toward Christ and his life and death.

The third and final point of connection I wish to draw your attention to is that of the longevity of the covenant.  God promises Noah that the rainbow will be a sign of the Lord’s eternal promise not to judge the world again by water.  Similarly, spiritual baptism acts as a sign of God’s covenant that those God has saved from the destructive forces of sin will forever be saved and stand before him safe and secure.

Yet again we have found Jesus and other pointers that teach us about salvation and discipleship.  Praise God for the Old as well as the New Testaments.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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