A New Covenant 2019
Cut with the Blood
This is our 25th sermon on Covenants. Finally, we get to the New Covenant. “It’s about time!” It has been a long road getting here. But, I believe it is been worth the 24 previous sermons. I believe we are ready to see the beauty of the New Covenant! I suspect we will be blessed by our research into covenants. The time we have spent will provide us with the understanding we need to be jazzed by the New Covenant! Finally, we are ready to get jazzed!
Here is the heart of what we have learned in those 24 sermons…
Seven Elements of an Effective Biblical Covenant – v4.5
1) Covenants create relationships by giving identity.
2) There is a superior person and an inferior person in a covenant.
3) Valuable blessings are granted from the superior to the inferior.
4) Binding words of commitment are exchanged.
Subpoint… Covenants are often renewed!
5) A sacrifice cuts the Covenant.
Subpoint… Meals are involved in Covenants.
6) There is an associated symbol to remember.
Subpoint… Often for children.
7) New Names and new Places are created.
We are going to explore how each of these elements work in the New Covenant.
--We are going to discover our new relationships; our identities in the New Covenant. Who we are!
--We are going to see the blessings of being in the covenant. How we are blessed.
--We are going to listen to the binding words spoken by God. What we can trust.
--We are going to see how we enter the covenant in baptism. What we do to enter.
--We are to connect the Lord’s Supper as the symbol to remember. How we keep it fresh.
--We are going to learn our new names. Who God names us.
--We are going to visualize the new places that are created. What we look forward to.
We have worked for 7 months to be where we are this morning!
I’m ready to get jazzed… #5; the sacrifice which cuts the New Covenant. This seems to be the place to start. We begin where the New Covenant began.
We discovered many of the Old Testament Covenants involved the sacrifice of an animal.
Remember Abraham’s Covenant…
Genesis 15:8-18But Abraham said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?" He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other... As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain… When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram.
The purpose of the animal sacrifice was for Abraham to know for certain that the LORD would keep his covenant! The smoking fire pot passed between the sacrifices to assure Abraham that the LORD was faithful to His word!
Exodus 24:4-11 Moses rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of Mount Sinai, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people…
Moses reflects on what this meant in Deuteronomy…
Deuteronomy 7:9-13 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations…the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you.”
The Mosaic Covenant was cut with the blood of animals so the people would know the LORD would keep his covenant for a thousand generations!
This is what Jesus tapped into at the Last Supper...
Luke 22:19-20And Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Jesus spoke of his impending death as the blood of a new covenant! Just like the blood that cut a covenant with Abraham. Just like the blood that cut the covenant with Israel. The blood of Jesus cuts a new Covenant.
Here is the amazing point…
If the sacrifice of animals let the people know that God would keep his covenant, how much more will the sacrifice of His son assure us God will keep the New Covenant! Wow! We can rely on the covenant of God!
Let’s approach this same point, again, from a different direction. Let’s hear some more jazz.
The Gospel of John calls Jesus the Lamb of God.
John 1:32-36And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
In the first chapter of the Gospel, Jesus is introduced by John the Baptizer as the Lamb of God. This is an interesting title. Jesus is the Lamb of God. Metaphorically, Jesus is a lamb. I assume an Old Testament lamb. Let’s explore which lamb Jesus is.
Skipping to the end of the Gospel of John…
John 19:14-16Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. Pilate said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." So, he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
Jesus was crucified on the Preparation Day for the Passover. This is no accident. Jesus was intentional as he was crucified on the Passover Feast. As you know, the Passover Feast remembered the last plague of Egypt. The day the firstborn of Egypt were killed. But all who had sacrificed a lamb and put the blood on the doorposts and lintel were passed over. The lamb’s blood was a covering; a protection. Jesus is the Passover Lamb!
Exodus 12:21-27Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your childrensay to you, 'What do you mean by this service?' you shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of the LORD's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.'"
Wow, this sounds a lot like a covenant; binding words, blessings, forever, symbols, children,
Here is the point. Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God who died to cut a covenant. His blood is our covering. His blood is our protection. His blood is our assurance of deliverance. His blood is our knowing God will keep the covenant!
We can rely on the covenant of God because Jesus is the Lamb of God!
Revelation 5:6-12I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain… And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
Because the Lamb was cut for the covenant, he is worthy of our honor; our complete faith!
Let’s approach this same point, again, from yet another direction. Listen to another jazz tune.
It’s like a… father asking his little girl to jump into his arms…
--The little girl knows her father loves her.
--The little girl hears her father’s words, “Jump I’ll catch you.”
--The little girl believes her father is able to catch her.
--The little girl has faith!
--The little girl jumps!
Our God has cut a covenant with us by the blood of His Son.
There is nothing that could possibility bring more assurance than His blood!
August 4, 2019
Los Alamos Church of Christ