Do you know that the ‘New Covenant’ is a sacred contract between God and Humanity signed in the precious blood of Jesus? Do you know the blessings people forgo when they break the terms of this sacred agreement with God? In this post, let’s reflect on the eternal promises of His New Covenant and seek to understand what it means to live in a ‘covenant relationship’ with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before we can reflect on the New Covenant it is necessary to understand that God made a prior covenant with His people called the ‘Old Covenant’.
God established two sacred contracts with His people: the Old Covenant (through Moses) and the New Covenant (through Jesus Christ). The covenants of God are sacred contracts, with a set of promises and responsibilities, between God and His people.
The Old Covenant was established through Moses. To Moses God gave the Law (The Ten Commandments). God wrote the Law on tablets of stone and told Moses to proclaim His divine promise to bless or punish His people based on their obedience to Him: “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse–the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 11: 26-28
The Old Covenant between God and His people failed because people were disobedient to God, so God in His infinite mercy chose to establish a New Covenant. The New Covenant would allow for two important things to occur:
1. God would wash away the sins of His people through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
2. God would give His people a new heart and a new Spirit so that they could love as He loves and be obedient to Him.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36: 25-27
Here the Prophet Ezekiel is speaking of the promises of the New Covenant. There would be a Baptism in Christ with the Holy Spirit that would cleanse people of sin and change the HEART, filling it with the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, transforming the LIFE of God’s people. With souls cleansed of sin and a new heart full of the Holy Spirit, God’s people would be capable of living a new life of obedience to God.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
It was foretold long before Jesus came down from Heaven that a New Covenant between God and His people would be established.
“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, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Jeremiah 31: 31-33
Jesus (True God, True Man) came into the world not to abolish the Law (the Ten Commandments) but to enable us to fulfill the Law through our obedience to God. The promises of the New Covenant are not just God’s promise of forgiveness and eternal life, but also the promise of a NEW life of holiness and of intimacy with God in this present life.
The negotiator of the New Covenant is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus that steps in as our mediator to bring us back into a relationship of obedience with God. The price of the New Covenant was infinite; Jesus gave His life to redeem us.
Let’s remember the night before Jesus died. Jesus called His apostles to have a final meal with Him and as He celebrated this Last Supper, Jesus spoke of this everlasting new covenant.
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:19-20
The New Covenant is a sacred contract signed in the Holy Blood of Jesus. It was through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus that we are given the promise of being redeemed and restored to new life. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28
Unlike man, God is true to His promises. God promises us in the New Covenant forgiveness and restoration to a new life. The New Covenant not only opens the gates to eternal life to us, it opens the possibility for a NEW LIFE IN CHRIST TODAY!
However recall that the New Covenant is a sacred contract with mutual obligations. We need to supply a few important ingredients for success: FAITH and TRUST in Jesus Christ are essential!
We have to trust in Jesus and believe that He will change our lives as He changes our hearts.
And do you know how Jesus changes our hearts?
The answer is: JESUS COMES TO LIVE IN OUR HEARTS!
The promise of the New Covenant is the promise of living perpetually in a deep, intimate communion with God. We allow God through the power of His Holy Spirit and through the reception of His Sacraments (Baptism, Eucharist, Confession) to purify us and sanctify us. All we have to do is CONSENT TO GOD’S HOLY WILL!
A conditional consent from us will not make for success. We must give God our unconditional consent to do with us as He WILLS. His Holy Will must always be upon our mind. We must have a ‘listening heart’, a heart that is always considering ‘what would Jesus want me to do right now’. This type of communion with God is a life of grace that is imparted to us by God through His Holy Spirit and through His Sacraments.
When we sin we break our relationship with God and the promises of the New Covenant cannot be fulfilled, but when we come back to God and confess our sins our relationship with God is restored and He once more takes our hand and helps us to live in accordance with His holy will.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
The promises of the New Covenant are so amazing, it warrants us thinking about this Sacred Contract signed in the Holy Blood of Jesus. The New Covenant promises us forgiveness from sin, a new righteous heart, a new Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, and a new life in Christ Jesus.
God supplies all the ingredients for success, all we have to do is repent of our sins, be Baptized in Christ and invite Our Lord into our hearts with trust and faith and pray that He helps to become the people He wants us to be.
Jesus said to His apostles, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5
At the beginning of my spiritual journey, God continued to speak two words to my heart and those two words were: “TRUST ME”. It wasn’t an order, just a quiet, gentle summons to give Him what He desired the most: TRUST. I remember thinking one day, “it’s not You Lord I don’t trust, it’s me I don’t trust.” I realize now that in saying “I don’t trust me” I had made some progress. Human beings are inherently fallible, but God is infallible and when He urges us to trust Him, He is urging us to come into His tender embrace and believe that He can accomplish through us the things we would never know how to do on our own!
I am one of those people who had some ‘trust issues’; but with God I realized there is no risk in giving Him complete trust because God loves us so totally and unconditionally and God will never fail us. So I decided I would give Jesus my full and complete trust. I gave Him my life and I decided to make some big changes relative to how I would spend the rest of my life.
I feel as though I am living my life now in the tender embrace of Our Lord Jesus. I was always one of those people who had something to worry about, but I have stopped worrying. My heart is full of peace. I know I am continuously with God. I feel His holy presence and I take great comfort in reading and studying God’s Word. I have confessed my sins and I told God I trust in Him to restore my life and fulfill the plans He has for me.
For most of my life, I lived in ignorance. I was unaware of God’s great presence, of His great promises and infinite love and now with the veil of ignorance lifted I realize I have a great treasure in God and I have a real responsibility as God’s disciple—the responsibility that is bestowed upon souls when God grants the gift of true faith.
I believe Jesus has “circumcised my heart” as described in the Bible and this circumcision has come about as I entered into the “New Covenant” relationship established by Jesus through His Sacrifice on the Cross.
“The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.” Deuteronomy 30:6
I offer this advice to everyone who wants to live fully the promises of the New Covenant: remember the price of the New Covenant by meditating often on the Passion of Christ!
In order for God to redeem us and wash away our sins and fill us with His Holy Spirit in Baptism, Jesus had to die a horrible, agonizing death on the Cross. Friends of Christ, don’t take the Cross or the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus for granted. For us to say ‘I am saved!’ without considering the price of that salvation is, in my humble opinion, unloving, unwise and even pretentious.
The New Covenant is signed in the Sacred Blood of Jesus. Our Holy Lord was brutally tortured to pay the price for our sins. We nailed Him to the Cross by our infidelity, by our greed, by our impurity, by our selfishness. Jesus died to free us from our lusts and our sinful nature, so He could enable us to love.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
Every day I take a special walk with Jesus. This walk is the Way to Calvary. I walk with Jesus, in a quiet meditation, to the place of His Crucifixion. I do this at the Hour of Mercy, the time Our Lord Jesus died for us, 3pm. By immersing myself in the Passion of Christ, I fall more and more in love with Our God made flesh, Our Lord Jesus. In my daily meditation I see Jesus suffer for all the sins of mankind. I grieve my sins and I grieve how much Our Lord had to suffer to save us.
By meditating on the Passion of Christ and through the power of His Holy Spirit, Jesus has etched His name deeply in my heart and now I am His forever! My heart has been changed and faithfulness for me is no longer about the law. Faithfulness for me is all about love. It is about Christ’s love for me and it is about my love for Him. If Jesus would die for me, then I will live for Him! I will live to please You Almighty God! I will live to make You smile Jesus!
God describes Himself in the Old Testament as a husband who has been betrayed. The husband’s love was not yet understood. The Bride was unfaithful as she foolishly pursued foreign gods that could not satisfy her. But the husband’s love becomes clear to His bride when she witnesses His sacrifice. He is so willing to suffer for her that she becomes His not by a contract defined by rules but by a contract defined by love and by a holy desire to give Him everything.
Dear friends, the moment when Jesus circumcised my heart occurred as I walked with Him the Way to Calvary. By meditating on His Passion, I began to understand how AWESOME is God’s love. I encourage you to try to do this everyday as you ask God to help you and I am confident Jesus will lift you up to be the person He wants you to be. You will fall in love with Jesus and then faithfulness to the Bridegroom of our soul will become simply a matter of holy desire!
The Bride in love seeks no other lovers! The Bride in love sees no one but the one she loves and when the one she loves is the Holy One…can Satan compete with that? No! Only Jesus can fulfill the heart of His Bride!
The Old Covenant was all about the Law and God’s Will for man to obey the Law. God promised to bless His people if they would obey the Law (The Ten Commandments) and to punish them if they failed to obey. The Law was written on tablets of stone. The Old Covenant failed because man failed to obey God.
In the New Covenant God seeks to provide all of the ingredients to restore the relationship between God and mankind. Jesus died to cleanse us of our sins and to give us a new heart that is filled with His Holy Spirit, capable of fulfilling the obedience that God so desires.
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3
When the love of Jesus and His Holy Spirit circumcises our hearts, our hearts change, our priorities change, our mission in life changes, what constitutes success changes, that which we desire changes.
For me all of this occurred as I began to meditate on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The more I walk the Way to Calvary, the more deeply I fall in love with Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am filled with wonder and awe, with reverence and holy desire for Jesus as I remember how much He suffered to save us. I try not to let a single day go by without meditating on the Passion of Christ. I do this at 3pm, the time Jesus died for us every day and daily my heart is circumcised by His infinite love. I once had a selfish perspective, but the Way to Calvary has opened for me a portent of light that has focused my life on the Will of God as I strive to live out the ‘New Covenant Relationship’ with Jesus.
Fidelity and obedience to God’s law can be difficult when the law is something external to us, but fidelity and obedience to God becomes the only path that makes sense when the Blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit of God carves the Name of Jesus upon our hearts. If we want to be faithful and truly belong to God, then we must get to know the Crucified Jesus and when we get to know Our Crucified Lord we will love Him with our whole heart and everything in our lives will testify to that love.
Please join A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ that remembers the Passion of Christ and prays that Jesus brings all people into a new life in Christ! Please stop if but for a few moments at 3pm (in your local time zone, or another time zone if 3pm locally is not convenient) to remember the price of the New Covenant. Let us give thanks to Our Saviour Jesus Christ who loved us so much that He would die to restore our relationship with God.
Pray that Jesus gives you unwavering faith to believe in His infinite love to set you free from the power of sin because that’s the promise of the New Covenant to set you FREE from the bondage of sin. Believe that Jesus who died for you will give you the grace you need to succeed. Consider that Jesus wants to fill you with joy and peace and love, all you need to do is believe and trust in Him! What do you have to lose?
The answer is we stand to lose EVERYTHING when we don’t trust in the Holy One, Jesus Christ, who restores us to new life. We stand to fail at becoming the people of dignity God wants us to be. We stand to fail at being transformed by the infinite love of God.
So don’t lose your eternal birthright!
Believe in the unfailing love of Our Saviour Jesus Christ to crucify our worldly passions and fill us with the light of God because that’s the power and that’s the promise of the New Covenant signed in the Blood of Jesus.
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3: 3-7