New Testament In Blood
In With New Covenant
This cup is the New Testament (Covenant) in My Blood…
What wonderful words!
On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus held the Passover with His twelve disciples, including Peter and Judas who would deny and betray Him, respectively. The Bible tells us that Jesus broke bread and gave to His disciples declaring that it represented His body which would be broken for them. He then took a cup with probably wine or grape juice and uttered a statement which signaled the defeat of sin’s power and provision of life-giving power to any person:
“This cup is the New Testament (Covenant) in My Blood…”
Jesus declared the beginning of a new covenant between God and man. Wow! This brings me great joy each time I think of it. But what is this new covenant?
The Bible further explains that as a result of the new covenant, any person may become a child of God – His heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. This is powerful stuff!
Let’s add some more. The fact that Jesus declared a new covenant means that there was an old covenant. Are you following? What was the old covenant? This dates back to an agreement that God made with Abraham’s descendants, the Jews, that if they would keep God’s commandments He would always be their God and they would be His people. Later on, through Moses, God provided a set of rules (Ten Commandments plus) that governed how the Jews (Israelites or Hebrews) lived and He also established a priesthood. Within the priesthood were priests and a high priest, who offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. Whenever the Israelites transgressed God’s laws, they delivered an animal (dove, ram, or calf) of some kind – it depended on the type of sin and the economic status of the sinner – to the priest, who killed it and burnt it as a sacrifice for the person’s sin. The sacrificial offering meant that the transgressor’s sins were absolved or pardoned.
The system of sacrifice worked, but had its flaws. Once per year, the high priest had to enter into the most sacred place of the Temple to offer sacrifices on behalf of everyone. However, before he entered, he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins – the sinner offering sacrifices for other sinners. Additionally, high priests died and had to be replaced.
God decided to change this.
The Lord realized that He needed a sinless high priest and one who would always be available. In addition to that, the old covenant provided that an outward action would atone for an inward problem – sin begins in the heart. Something had to be done to remedy the interior. Here comes Jesus.
Through the prophet Jeremiah (Old Testament), God declared that He: 1. loves us with an everlasting love and has drawn us to Himself; and 2. would create a new covenant. The new covenant would ensure that man no longer had to sacrifice animals which could not adequately wash away sin and, God would indwell man – dealing with the root of sin – and casting out all our sins “never to be remembered against us anymore.” Isn’t this beautiful?
In the book of Hebrews (New Testament), the writer declares that Jesus met all requirements for the New Covenant:
- A sacrifice had to be offered for sin and blood had to be shed – Jesus offered Himself and poured out His own blood on the cross at Calvary;
- The sacrifice had to be spotless – Jesus is the sinless Son of God;
- The high priest had to be sinless – Jesus has become our High Priest by offering Himself for our sins;
- The high priest had to be immortal – Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting; and,
- The New Covenant had to remedy the root cause of sin – Whoever accepts Jesus receives power to be called God’s children, living with power over sin, which is enabled by God indwelling us by the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!
And so, Jesus had every right to declare: “This cup is the New Testament (Covenant) in my blood…” He now says to all who accept this new covenant – I will dwell in you and you in me. I will be your God and you shall me my people. I will forgive your transgressions and your sins and iniquities I will remember no more.” Amen! Amen!
Welcome to the New Covenant!