Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Cross and the Covenant

The Bible is divided into two testaments, the old and the new, and into two covenants, the old and the new covenant. The central factor that divides the new covenant from the old is - THE CROSS!

The Scriptures tell us that ever since the fall of man into sin in the garden, God already foresaw His plan to redeem mankind from sin culminate completely at the cross long before Jesus came into the world. In I Peter 1:18-20 Peter writes that “knowing you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” John called Jesus, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

The slaughter of Jesus on the cross was already in God’s plan before He created the earth. The first, or old covenant that God made with Israel in the Old Testament was put into effect by the blood of animals and was called “the blood of the covenant.” (Exodus 24:8) Every time an atonement had to be made to cover sin, it would require another animal sacrifice. Thus, the old covenant was confirmed by blood.

The new covenant plan to remit the sins of the people was also confirmed by blood. Hebrews 9:12 says, “Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood...having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Verse 28: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…” This is God’s plan for us today.

When the blood of Christ is applied to our hearts by confessing our sins to Him and repenting of our sinful ways, Hebrews 10:17 says, “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

The blood that Jesus shed upon the cross confirms the new covenant. Praise God that we are new covenant people!

Passover is so rich in meaning to us who are the redeemed of the Lord. We understand now the priceless privilege we have to commemorate the new covenant as we partake at the Lord’s table of communion. Our Lord reminds us of our communion with Him when He said, “When you drink of the cup, remember, this is my blood which confirms the covenant between God and His people!” 

- by Pastor Virgil Amundson