Friday, February 9, 2024

Jesus, the Author of the New Covenant

No copyright infringement intended
In the pages of the book of Exodus, Moses introduced God’s covenant with Israel through the blood of animals: “So Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words" (Exodus 24:8 ESV)

What does the Old Covenant represent then?

The roots of the Old Covenant actually trace back to Abraham, the forefather of Israel. God initiated a covenant with Abraham in which He promised to make a special nation of his descendants. It is these descendants who later entered into a covenant with God at Mount Sinai.  Exodus 20-23 is called “the book of the covenant” (Exodus 24:4, 7).[1]

What does the Old Covenant mean for us today?

 “As hard as we try, we cannot keep the Law perfectly. The Law shows us how sinful we are, but God's plan of salvation was to send his Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. The Ten Commandments are a guide for right living, but keeping the Law cannot save us.”[2]

The apostle James reiterated this simple fact: “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it (James 2:10 ESV).”

Here's the clincher that God, through the Old Covenant, provided His people an opportunity to experience His presence and to understand His mindset from a distance.

Paul states the law was only meant to be our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24 KJV). The law does not create a sense of frustration and failure to leave us there. What it does is make us aware that we are incapable of meeting the demands of the law so that we are driven to Christ, the only one who fulfills in us what the law demands.”[3]

When the right time came, Jesus introduced the New Covenant with His shed blood on the Cross. During his Passover meal with His disciples, “He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant by demonstrating how to live the demands of the laws of God and maintaining a higher standard of living as Christians through His grace and mercy alone. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 ESV).

What does the New Covenant represent?

When Christ instituted the New Covenant with His shed blood (Luke 22:20), He made it possible for us to be truly cleansed from sin (Hebrews 9:13-14; 1 John 1:7). The result was that animal sacrifices were no longer required as symbols because Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of that symbolism.[4]

What does the New Covenant mean for us today?

Contrary to the belief of many, the New Covenant does not abolish all the terms of the Old Covenant. Both covenants include provisions for a sacrifice for sin, a priesthood serving in a tabernacle, obedience to God’s laws, and promised blessings from God. However, in each case, the changes in the New Covenant amplify the terms of the Old Covenant! Under the Old Covenant, God presented the Israelites with two options and told them to “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). What makes the New Covenant “new” is that it is a far better agreement than the one entered into at Mount Sinai.”[5]

Another revelation is that God, through the New Covenant instituted by Jesus, provided His people an opportunity to experience His presence intimately through Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence daily.

In the end, God’s promise declared in Genesis 3:15 covered the Old Covenant pages towards the fulfillment of the promise through Jesus’ birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, and coming back again for those who believed and trusted Him called the New Covenant. Thus, from Adam to Jesus Christ, God’s plan was fulfilled at the right time and by His plan and purpose (Galatians 4:4) for humanity and His glory alone.

Jack Zavada shared this insight: “Both the Old and New Testaments are the story of the same God, a God of love and mercy who gave his people the freedom to choose and who gives his people the opportunity to come back to him by choosing Jesus Christ.”[6]

Let’s talk again!