Thursday, August 25, 2011
A New Covenant
"This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.
One of the Biblical definitions for "covenant" at www.dictionary.com is: the conditional promise made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture. The adjective "conditional" lends itself to an "If/Then" situation, i.e., if God's people agree to obey His laws, then they will have His protection. God is always the initiator of these covenants and, repeatedly, throughout the Old Testament, Israel fails to keep up its side of the bargain. In today's scripture, Jesus presents a new covenant to His disciples, the very one that would cement the foundation of the Christian faith: I will shed my blood for you for the forgiveness of your sins; If you believe in Me, Then you will have salvation through Me. We have the freedom to enter into this agreement or, in our wanton use of free will, choose to ignore it.
Whether or not the disciples knew, once and for all, by Jesus' use of the term "covenant" that He was none other than the Son of the Living God is not clear. What is clear, however, is the critical impact the Last Supper had on them. Jesus' commandment to them to break bread and share the cup in remembrance of His sacrificial body and blood is one we can rest assured they faithfully adhered to as we, some 2,000 years later, still celebrate Holy Communion in thanksgiving for and recollection of the Lord's dying on the cross for our sins. Through communion, we enter into Jesus' presence and, with repentant hearts, renew our covenant with Him. In turn, He offers to us His saving grace.
Thanks be to God!
"This is the body, this is the blood,
broken and poured out for all of us.
In this communion, we share in his love.
This is the body, this is the blood." ~ Casting Crowns
Psalms 18:1-20 or 18:21-50
1 Kings 3:16-28