“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant.”
A New Covenant
God did an amazing thing almost fifteen hundred years before Jesus was born. He freed his people from slavery in Egypt and brought them to their new homeland. Along the way, he had them stop at a mountain called Sinai so that he could make a covenant with them. At that time a covenant was like what a contract is today.
The covenant that God made with his people was two-sided—both he and the people contributed to it. God told them, “If you obey my law, then I will protect you and bless you in your new home.” The people replied, “We will do everything you say.”
Unlike modern contracts—which are sealed with signatures—this ancient covenant was sealed with blood from animal sacrifices. But just like modern contracts, a covenant is only good as the people who agree to it. Over the centuries, God kept his covenant promise perfectly, and the people made breaking the covenant their way of life.
Can you relate to that? Think of the promises that you have made to God and to other people, and then remember all the things you have done to break those promises. You know yourself.
But God knows you too. That is why God promised to make a new covenant. This covenant is not just for God’s Old Testament people but all people of all time—including you.
It tells you to do nothing. Instead, it is all about what God has done to forgive you. Unlike the old covenant, this new covenant is one-sided. It does not depend on your obedience but entirely on God’s saving love.
And this covenant was also sealed in blood. Almost fifteen hundred years after the old covenant was ratified, the Son of God was crucified on a mountain called Calvary. The blood he shed on the cross sealed the new covenant and freed you from slavery to sin.
Lord, thank you for the new covenant of forgiveness sealed in Jesus’ blood. Amen.