The End of the Old Covenant, part 3

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.

Luke 22:20

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

John 12:32 

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

Romans 2:4 

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?

Romans 8:31-32

            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.

Romans 5:8

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

1Cor. 15:20

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.

Psalm 16:9-11

            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.

Acts 17:30-31

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:25

…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.

Romans 1:4

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.”

Matt. 28:18-20

            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!

 

 

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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5 Responses to The End of the Old Covenant, part 3

  1. dirofpr says:

    Someday, when you’re up to it, would write about how holding a covenant theology view vs. a dispensationalist theology view impacts our Christian walk? I’m just learning the difference between the two and keep wondering why it’s so important to know which view is right. I mean, what is the worst case scenario for holding a dispensationalist view vs. a covenant view? I understand studying the two and trying to come up with the right answer – and I think there IS a right answer, but I don’t understand how holding to the wrong answer (if you’re convinced it IS the right answer) impacts our Christian walk. I know God wants us to learn His right answer, but good people have been debating this for centuries, right? Thanks – if you can, I’d love to know what you think about this 🙂

    • Don Merritt says:

      You raise a very fascinating batch of questions here, far more than I could get into in a quick reply. A full series of posts comparing and contrasting the two would probably result in something that would be written from graduate students; maybe I’ll figure out a way to explain all of that for “regular folks” one of these days! I can toss out a fair thought in a one-liner that might help your thinking: A dispensational view tends to direct our attention to present circumstances and trends with a view to the end, while a covenant view tends to direct our view to the mission before us in all times.

      While admittedly imperfect and simplified, it might give you something to think over. Hope it helps!

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