“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my Covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” Jeremiah 31:31-34
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Covenant (Testament), which is shed for many for the forgiveness (remission) of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he returns” Matt 26:27,28, 1 Cor 11:25, 26
Many people don’t know where the words New Testament are taken from. Jeremiah was the Prophet who spoke these words (circa 600 B.C). The Old agreement between God and Israel was in ruins, people went awhoring after other gods and idols. They got totally mixed up, they just did what other prosperous nations did. About 120 years prior to this, idolatrous Israel (Northern Kingdom) had been totally destroyed by Assyria (722 B.C). Now, the Davidic Kingdom (Judah) was on its last leg, just about to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. That is when the Holy Spirit told Jeremiah, Jesus is coming, and He will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and Judah. And this Jesus will restore Israel and the Church and the nations.
We all know agreements between two parties, Land sale agreement, Rental agreement, Employment Contract etc. An agreement can be either by way of a written document, or an oral affirmation. Marriage is a type where people say out things in front of congregation etc. Between God and man, the agreement is very solemn, it’s called A Covenant. In the Old covenant, at Sinai, God laid down Instructions (way of life) and Blessings, in the Book of the Law. And Moses read out the Law to all the people, and took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the Blood of the Covenant which God commanded you. Heb 9:19,20. In the New Covenant, Jesus shed his actual Blood on the Cross, and confirms the agreement that we are forgiven, and now belong to Him.
In the olden days, blood used in agreements is a human way of saying, unto death I will abide by it, or even if I have to give my Blood to uphold it, I will. Such fidelity and loyalty are totally gone these days. Jesus, just a day before his death was instituting the New Agreement between God and believer. And in truth he said, with my blood I am signing this. This in essence, is the meaning of Communion. We are forgiven, reconciled to God, and become part of His family forever. Thank you Jesus.
Next time you partake of the Lord’s table, examine the import of what you are telling the Lord – Confessing our sins and failures and inabilities and renewing that agreement with Jesus Christ, and asking him for help to keep our end of the agreement. Mind you, we literally enter into that same agreement at the Last supper instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Anglican order of Communion is very meaningful. Please partake meaningfully in your homes, taking the time. Some folks these days, cheapen this ritual into taking the elements, for the benefits of physical healing. That is just a minor benefit.
Of course the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is this – the risen Christ gives us the ability to keep the law by the Holy Spirit. He will be in us and abide with us and help us to live righteously. That’s why he is called the Helper or Comforter.
Finally, signing the Covenant is of no use, if you don’t read the Agreement. Hence read your Bibles properly. If you don’t know what you have signed up for, your duties and your rights, not much can be done. It’s like passing a Driving License test, without reading the road manual. No wonder there are so many accidents and mishaps in our families.
Lastly, at Communion we proclaim the Lord’s death till He returns.
He is coming back, Beloved.
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