Day 47: An Unforgettable Covenant

By dictionary definition, “covenant” means an agreement. It might be similar to a treaty or will in modern terms. But these simple explanations sell short how meaningful a covenant with God was.

In Biblical terms, a covenant was a conditional promise made to humanity by God. God made covenants with Noah (Genesis 9:12-16), the people of Israel (Exodus 19:3-6); David (2 Samuel 7:1-16) that promised land, descendants, blessings, and thrones.

But when Jesus lifted the cup of wine during the Last Supper, He made a covenant with the disciples and all of mankind that dwarfed those awesome oaths in comparison:

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,” He told His disciples in Luke 20:22, “which is poured out for you.”

Imagine how confused the disciples must’ve been as they sipped from the chalice! They knew a covenant was serious business, but what exactly was Jesus promising to them? What covenant were they entering into?

A new relationship with God.

God promised this eternity-altering bond Way back in Jeremiah 31:31-33, and now it was coming to fruition:

“The days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them. This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time. I will put my law in their minds and I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

What original covenant is God talking about here? He made one with the Israelites back in Exodus 19: 5-6: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’”

Notice the difference here? God’s covenant with the Israelites contained a performance clause: “if you obey me fully and keep my covenant.” After the Israelites disobeyed God, He forced them to wander in the wilderness and delayed their entrance to the Promised Land for 40 years.

What Jesus promised at the Last Supper was far different. Not only did He offer eternal life in Heaven, which puts even the amazing Promised Land to shame, but He told the disciples this covenant was not earned. It was a gift.

This covenant is all about belief. If we confess our sins and acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice, we get to enjoy eternal victory with Him.

Jesus essentially told the disciples that, because of His death, a new relationship was now available between God and man. When the temple curtain was torn after Jesus died (Luke 23:45), more than just a tapestry was ripped. The divide that existed between God and His creation was forever altered for our good.

Just like yesterday, I’m going to challenge you to consider the consequences when you take the cup of wine during communion. As you drink, you’re entering into a covenant with God. He promised eternal life at no cost to you.

There’s no greater covenant than that.