What this is all about: What does the new agreement (covenant) do for us. One very important blessing is a release from the law’s condemnation. We are free. That is huge! This is stunning. We are free from the huge curse of the law. The Messiah Jesus redeemed us. He did it by being a curse for us. The blessings of Israel came right to everyone else. We have received the promise of the Holy Spirit. It has come to us in faith.
- 2 Corinthians 3:9 (NASB) — 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
- Galatians 3:13–14 — 13 the Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in the Messiah Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The big picture: And so, we are now able to be obedient to God. We are free to serve the living God. The Old Covenant rituals could not change a person’s heart. This is not to say that a worshiper did not have a spiritual experience if his heart trusted God, but it does mean that the emphasis was on the external ceremonial cleansing. So long as the worshiper obeyed the prescribed regulations, he was declared clean. It was “the purifying of the flesh” but not the cleansing of the conscience
The bottom line: The ministry of the New Covenant is internal. “I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts” (Heb. 8:10). This work is done by the Holy Spirit of God. But the Spirit could not dwell within us if Jesus the Messiah had not paid for our sins. Cleansing our consciences cannot be done by some external ceremony; it demands an internal power. Because Jesus is “without spot [blemish]” He was able to offer the perfect sacrifice.
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?