The Death and Resurrection of Christ
Jesus saw His death as formal covenant ratification, and that fact can be seen in the following verses:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins
. Matt. 26:28
The words “this is the blood of the covenant” were intended to refer to a formal covenant oath taking (Exod. 24:8). God was promising in the oath remission of sins through Christ, and was signing the New Covenant in blood. As surely as Christ died on the cross, God will save to the “uttermost all that draw near to Him in Christ.“(Heb. 10:19-23) The cross was intended to show God’s goodness and mercy to man, and to draw men to repentance…
But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
God did at the cross what the Old Covenant promises had not done; He broke men’s hearts and gained their allegiance… something that says quite a bit about God’s character and His love for us. The cross assured all men of God’s love toward us:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made [known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
God had indeed kept His commitment to Christ by raising Him from the dead; the first of millions! Paul called the resurrection a “guarantee offering” using the old sacrificial system as a frame of reference to illustrate the fact that the resurrection of Christ confirmed all that Christ had taught and promised.
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
…and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus invoked authority to begin His commission. When someone invokes authority, what he is doing is communicating to his hearers that what follows is very important. If you ever read words that say something like: “I, __________ ____________, president of the United States of America…” you would know right away that the president is making an official statement placing the whole power of his office behind it. When Jesus said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…” He is letting you know that you had better listen to what He is telling you, because it is coming from the highest authority in the entire universe, and that this official statement had better be taken seriously!
In the Great Commission, Jesus was laying out terms of service: go, make disciples, baptizing, teaching to obey. These four actions are not suggestions, or something to be left to the professionals: they are direct covenant commands from God Almighty through Jesus Christ to you! In fact, they look an awful lot like a covenant:
Parties: God, and the disciples of Christ
Terms: Go, make disciples, baptizing, teaching to obey Christ
Promises: “I will be with you always”
This is not a command that will be measured by the attempt, but by the results. It isn’t enough just to go, we must MAKE DISCIPLES. More than any other single passage of scripture, the Great Commission illustrates the end of the Old Covenant!