For this is my blood of the [new] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
As we saw last time, God relates to His people by way of a covenant. There are two major ones: The Old Covenant and The New Covenant. We also saw that both covenants were inaugurated by a substitutionary death and the sprinkling of blood on God’s people. Lastly, we saw that the New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant: “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13).
In reference to these two covenants, John wrote: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The Old Covenant contains the Law of Moses, while the New Covenant contains the grace of Jesus Christ.
The Old Covenant shows us our sins and condemnation: “Through the law comes knowledge of sin,” and, “the law brings wrath” (Rom. 3:20; 4:15). While the Law was specifically given to Israel, it also shows the condemnation of the whole world. Israel was like a test case: “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law [Israel], so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God” (Rom. 3:19).
The New Covenant, on the other hand, shows us God’s grace and truth through Jesus Christ. It’s interesting to note that truth is related to the New Covenant in contrast to the Old Covenant. It basically means that the truest revelation of God isn’t through the Old Covenant, even though the Old Covenant does reveal God, but that it comes to us through the New Covenant.
Ultimately, it’s not through the Law of Moses, but through Jesus Christ that He reveals Himself. The Old Covenant, so to speak, was a means to an end. It reveals our sins and condemnation in order for God to save us by His grace and truth, accomplished by His Son.
The New Covenant contains our forgiveness. No matter how sinful or guilty, there’s full and free forgiveness through Jesus Christ. That’s the beauty of God’s grace and the rock-solid reality of His truth.
The Devotional Writer
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