Advent Day 4: What is the New Covenant?

“And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’ “ (Luke 22:20).  When Jesus arrived on the scene, He announced the arrival of the kingdom of God.  This kingdom found its embodiment in Jesus Himself; Jesus the Christ, Jesus the King.  And this kingdom was governed by a new covenant, a new arrangement between God and man.  This new covenant was put into effect by the shed blood of Jesus.

What exactly is this new covenant?  This new covenant, this new arrangement has two parts.

Part 1)  Christ’s shed blood on the cross set us free from the penalty of sin.  When we agree to God’s new arrangement by acknowledging our guilt, accepting the free gift of Christ’s death in our place, and embracing what Jesus says as true, we are set free from the wages of sin is death; set free to eternal life.

Part 2)  Christ’s shed blood on the cross set us free from the power of sin to live a new life in the freedom and the power of the Spirit and the new nature God has given us.  And we have been set free from shame, guilt, and condemnation of the old covenant.

How do we enter into this covenant?  By believing in the One whom God has sent, by believing in Jesus.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).  “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent’ “ (John 6:29).

To summarize the new covenant – a covenant whose promise and provision come to us the moment we believe – Jesus did something FOR US.  He died in our place and declared us righteous on the basis of our belief in His sacrifice.  Jesus also did something TO US.  He made us a new creation with a new heart, a new nature, a new self, a new freedom, a new Spirit inside, a new power, and so much more for us to discover.