A BETTER COVENANT
Monday, 22 April 2019
Hebrews 8 : 1-13
“Behold the days are coming says the Lord, when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” -Hebrews 8:8
The word “COVENANT” in our day, describes an agreement entered on equal terms with equal parties, each able to bargain their terms. But God and man do not/cannot meet on the same level. In the Biblical sense of a covenant the approach comes from God which brings a new dimension to God's unconditional love. So man cannot bargain with God or argue on the terms of the covenant; he can only accept or reject the offer God makes.
Our relationship with God is described as a covenant, only one party was responsible to initiate the terms of it – God Himself. The whole initiative for our redemption comes from God alone, coming into effect based on God’s grace, depending not on man’s faithfulness to God, but on God’s faithfulness to man. The new Covenant is ministered by a Superior High Priest, that is JESUS CHRIST.
The new COVENANT is Better because:
It is going to be written in the mind and on the heart. (Heb 8:10)
It will establish a relationship with God: "I will be their God and they will be my people." (Heb 8:10)
It will be personal and intimate. When it is perfected we won't have to exhort each other to know the Lord, "All shall know me from the least to the greatest."(Heb 8:11)
It will make the recipient perfect - The sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more (Heb 8:12)
Six times God says “I will” in these verses. The fact that Israel was unable to keep the old covenant didn’t mean that it was faulty but because of their sinful hearts. Now the new covenant is internal which would result in a change of our external behaviour. In essence we have received the divine nature through the person of God’s Holy Spirit. Not only does this change our lifestyles but even our motivation for obedience. We would obey Him not because the law compelled us to do so, but because the desire to obey Him is now written on our hearts. The new covenant established by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Law of Life, Liberty and Love where we can enjoy the fullness of Christ in our spirit. Warren Wiersbe states, “Some Christians want the new covenant for salvation and the old covenant for sanctification.” Trying to be holy people by endeavoring to keep the old covenant in our own strength simply won’t work. It will only happen only when we yield to the Holy Spirit within.
Charles Colson, in his book, “Loving God”, tells the story of Telemachus, a fourth-century Christian devoted in prayer heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome. He saw the gladiators who were going to fight in Colosseum to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. The young Christian cried out, “In the name of Christ, stop.” First they thought it was part of the show and began laughing later the laughter turned to anger. As he was pleading with the gladiators to stop one of them drove a sword into his body. He fell to the sand and as he lay dying his last words were, “In the name of Christ, stop.”
Then a strange thing happened. In dead silence, everyone left the Colosseum. That year was the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. Never again in that great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd. Why? Because of one tiny voice that could hardly be heard above the noise of a blood thirsty crowd. One voice — one life — that spoke the truth in God's name.
Just as Telemachus’ action brought in a new era, so did another person’s action on a cross at Calvary 2000 years ago. Jesus’ death and resurrection inaugurated a new and better covenant enclosed with all its benefits, able to deliver mankind from the penalty and power of sin- but it can only be accessed by faith!
Father, forever I’m grateful for establishing the
New and Better covenant through Your Son Jesus Christ,
whereby I can have a personal and intimate
relationship with you.
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