What is a covenant? A covenant (διαθήκη diathēkē) is an agreement or contract between two parties.
In the scriptures, it is between God and His people or certain specific individuals, like myself. The fulfilment of God’s purposes of salvation expressed in the covenants (διαθήκη diathēkē) of the scriptures, mediated by Jesus the Messiah and sealed in his blood. Now that is some good news. That deserves a shout out.
It is a covenant of grace, the benefits of which include forgiveness, a renewed relationship with God and, through the Holy Spirit, an inward transformation that enables obedience to its demands and so ensures that it will not again be broken.
Jesus the Messiah, the new covenant sealed in Jesus blood — Blood was an important element in sealing the Sinaitic covenant.
Luke 22:20 (NASB) — And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
The New Covenant (or New Agreement) is the promise that God makes with me that He will forgive my missing God’s goal (aka sin) and restore fellowship with me even though my heart is turned against Him. Jesus the Messiah is the mediator of the New Agreement, and His death on the cross is the basis of the promise (Luke 22:20).
The New Agreement was predicted while the Old Agreement was still in effect — the prophets Moses, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all allude to the New Agreement.
- Exodus 24:8 — So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
- John 6:54 — “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:16 — Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
- 1 Corinthians 11:25 — In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
I am no longer under the Law but under grace (Romans 6:14–15). The Old Agreement has served its purpose, and it has been replaced by “a better agreement” (Hebrews 7:22). “In fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the agreement of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new agreement is established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).
- Hebrews 10:29 — How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the agreement by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
- Hebrews 9:14 — How much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?