Covenant

Covenants are binding.
Since ancient times, covenants have been sealed with blood. A covenant is more than a promise. It is a commitment to more than an intention. Covenants are binding. They are not made to be broken but to be kept by both parties who covenant together.

The Sin Problem
The problem comes with inequality; when one party can keep covenant and the other cannot. This is the classic sin problem. God has made a covenant with humankind. But these two partners are vastly unequal:

  1. God is holy.
  2. We are sinful.

In this season of Lent, we fully face both His righteousness and our sinfulness.

The Covenantal Names of God
In His covenant with Israel, God bound Himself to be all they would need. He revealed Himself to them by covenantal names to describe His intentions and abilities:

  • Jehovah Jireh –The Lord Our Provider
  • Jehovah Rapha—The Lord Our Healer
  • Jehovah Shammah—The Lord Who Is There
  • Jehovah Shalom—The Lord Our Peace
  • Jehovah Nissi—The Lord Our Banner
  • Jehovah McKeddesh—The Lord Who Sanctifies
  • Jehovah Roi –The Lord Our Shepherd
  • Jehovah TsidKenu—The Lord Our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Saboath –The Lord of Hosts

As The Great I Am, Jehovah bound Himself to meet their needs.

But the people could not keep covenant.
There was no power within it them to resist the urge to sin—that was their part—to obey the Lord’s Laws. When they broke the laws of God they broke the Covenant. To win back their fellowship with God, an innocent life had to be die in their place. An amazing, elaborate system of redemption was devised by Jehovah to provide this way back to humankind’s covenantal partner. For centuries perfect and innocent animals paid the price for the people’s sins.

The Final Lamb
It was all in anticipation of the Final Lamb, the Son of God Himself, to make the final and complete sacrifice for sins. In the season of Lent we prayerfully attempt to gain some small sense of what our redemption cost the Lord Jesus.

The One named Jesus is our Provider, our Healer, and One Who is “God with Us.” He is our Peace, our Banner of Victory, our Sanctifier, and our Shepherd. Jesus is our Righteousness and He is the Captain of the Hosts of Heaven. He has made covenant with us.

He did our part, too.
He obeyed our side of the Covenant by recording His obedience next to our names in the heavenly register. He did this by trading His innocence for our sin, by shedding His blood to save us from hell.

From ancient times, covenants have been sealed with blood

Scriptures:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers 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,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Luke 22:20 NIV
… after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Hebrews 9:15
Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Prayer:
From the Book of Common Prayer (adapted SRP)
Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; (as represented by this bread and this cup), and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom. And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Song:
The Blood will Never Lose Its Power
Words and Music: Andrea Crouch

1. The blood that Jesus shed for me Way back on Calvary
The blood that gives me strength From day to day
It will never lose its power.

Refrain:
It reaches to the highest mountain
And it flows to the lowest valley
The blood that gives me strength From day to day
It will never lose its power.

2. It soothes my doubts and calms my fears
And it dries all my tears
The blood that gives me strength From day to day
It will never lose its power.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s