PARTAKING IN THE NEW COVENANT
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Matthew 26 : 17-30
“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
Today’s reading from Matthew 26 gives a beautiful account of the transition from the period of the Old Covenant into the New Covenant. As Jesus gathered with His disciples for the Festival of Unleavened Bread – the Passover season, He prophesied of the perfect and supreme sacrifice for sin that He was to become and instituted the Lord’s Supper. We need to understand the significance of this New Covenant for us.
With Adam’s trespass in the Garden of Eden, sin and death entered the perfect world that God had created. …through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12) The penalty for sin is death and eternal separation from God. Fallen man cannot in his own ability be made right with God and so God, in His infinite love for us revealed His plan for our salvation (Genesis 3:15).
The Old Covenant – ‘the Law and the Prophets’ are a pointer to the ultimate sacrifice that would set us free from the bondage of sin and death. When God established His Covenant (agreement) with man, an animal was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled (Exodus 24:8). Also, an animal was sacrificed as a sin offering as the substitute of a man who committed sin! But the blood of goats and lambs was only a covering of sins, a sacrifice that had to be repeated year after year.
Hence, according to the eternal plan of God, just as the Passover lamb was sacrificed, Jesus Christ, the blameless and unblemished Lamb of God, came to be the ultimate sacrifice once and for all – “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). Jesus instituted the New Covenant under which the Holy Son of God became our substitute - suffering and dying in our place that our sins be forgiven and we be made right with God. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him…” (Romans 5:8-10) It is the precious blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross of Calvary that made our atonement with God.
For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant,… (Hebrews 9:15). While the old covenant exposed sin, the new covenant through Christ defeated sin! How can you partake of the new covenant? – By faith in Jesus Christ. Now for all who put their faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, a new and better way is given through the covenant of God’s grace for the remission of sins, the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life with Him. Have you responded to God’s call and trusted Jesus for your salvation?
In the upper room, when Jesus instituted the new covenant (Matthew 26:26-29), He sealed it with His own blood sacrificed. In the Lord’s Supper, the bread that is broken represents Jesus’ body that was beaten and shattered for us and the wine represents Jesus’ blood that was shed for us. The Lord’s Supper reminds us that true life is found only in Jesus Christ, with us abiding in Him (John 6:53-56). As disciples of Christ, every time we partake in the Lord’s Supper, may we remember the sacrifice He became for the forgiveness of our sins, may we abide in Him, living a life of obedience to His Word and look forward to the promise of eternal life with Him.
“…our adequacy is from God, who also made us
adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit;
for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
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