The New Covenant
“And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” —Luke 22:20.
The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal—the Feast of the New Covenant. It is of great importance to understand the New Covenant thoroughly.
It is something quite different from the Old Covenant—infinitely better and more glorious. The Old Covenant which God made with Israel was indeed glorious, but yet not adapted for sinful man, because he could not fulfill it. God gave to His people His perfect law, with the glorious promises of His help, His guidance, His blessing, if they should continue in the observance of it. But man in his inner life was still under the power of sin: he was lacking in the strength requisite for abiding in the covenant of His God.
God promised to make a New Covenant. (Read with care Jeremiah 31:31-34, 33:38-42; Hebrews 8:6-14.) In this New Covenant, God promised to bestow the most complete forgiveness of sins and to take man altogether into His favor. He further promised to communicate to him His law, not externally as written on tables, but inwardly and in his heart, so that he should have strength to fulfill its precepts. He was to give him a new heart and a new spirit—in truth, His own Holy Spirit. Man was not called on in the first instance to promise that he would walk in God’s law. God rather took the initiative in promising that He would enable him to do so. “I will put My Spirit within you,” said the Lord by Ezekiel (36:27), “and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.”
Of this New Covenant, Jesus is the Mediator and Surety (Heb. 12:22, 8:6). As Surety, He stands pledged to us to secure that God will fulfill all His promises. As Surety, He is no less pledged to God in our behalf that we shall keep God’s commandments. Glorious covenant of grace, with its wonderful provision for all our needs. In the Lord Jesus, God saw it meet to establish this covenant, without fear that His rights would suffer any violation. God could rely upon His Son to see to it that His honor should be respected. And in Jesus I also may well dare to enter into this covenant, without fear that I shall not be able to fulfill it: I can rely upon Jesus to see to it that He will bring everything to completion for and in me. In the New Covenant, Jesus the Surety has not only wholly discharged the old debt, but also undertaken the responsibility for whatever else may be still required in our case.
In this New Covenant, I this day surrender myself to Thee, O my God. Thou wilt bind me to Thyself with Thy glorious promises. Thou bindest Thyself to forgive my sins, to love me as Thy child, to train, to sanctify, to bless me; to give me light, and desire, and strength for abiding in Thy covenant and doing Thy will. And I am bound to Thee in Thy precious Son. Eternal God, grant that the Holy Spirit, who is one of the promises of this New Covenant, may this day unfold to me what Thy love has destined for me in it. Wilt Thou make me to understand that Thou hast undertaken and promised to secure that I shall walk in Thy ways, and that Thou givest me Thy Son as the Surety of the Covenant to carry out all its details? Then shall I take Thy Son and the Covenant sealed with His blood, with the blessed joy of knowing that He will be in me the fulfilling of the covenant, the fulfilling as well of Thy covenant promises as of my covenant obligations.
Blessed Jesus, reach to me this day the blood of the covenant. Amen.