An Appreciation of the "Blood of Christ"
Text: Matthew 26 : 1 - 30
Inasmuch as we seek to appreciate the significance of The Bread that represents the Body of Christ, we must also seek to understand at a deeper level the significance of The Cup that represents His blood. Jesus Himself brought up two significant things that the shedding of His blood accomplished. Let us take time to read again what He said to His disciples.
“This is My blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Jesus came to fulfil an ancient prophecy that promised a New Covenant. His blood sealed that Covenant. The shedding of the blood of Jesus also ensured the remission of sins for all who believed in Him.
AN ANCIENT PROPHECY CONCERNING THE NEW COVENANT
Jeremiah the prophet spoke clearly about the New Covenant that God would establish with His people one day. Let us take time to read what he wrote several hundred years before Jesus came into the world.
“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…
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 neighbour, 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 their sin I will remember no more.'”
Jeremiah had more to say about the New Covenant. He took great pains to explain the significance of this New Covenant.
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them,
that I will not turn away from doing them good; but
I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not
depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good,
and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all my heart
and with all my soul.”
Let us summarise the significance of the proposed New Covenant written in the Book of Jeremiah.
1. Abrogation of the Old Covenant
God made a Covenant with the children of Israel after He led them out of the land of Egypt. However, Israel broke and violated the Old Covenant time and time again. The penalty of breaking the Old Covenant was punishable with the death penalty.
2. Promise of the New Covenant
The following are the things that made the New Covenant stand out over and above the Old Covenant.
a) God would write His commandments in their hearts and minds.
b) He will be their God and they would be His people (Restored relationship in mind).
c) All who truly believed in Him would truly know Him.
d) Their sins against God would all be forgiven. God would not rake up their past.
e) There would be full forgiveness of all their sins and iniquities.
3. The Establishment of the New Covenant
When Jesus spoke about the shedding of His blood with reference to the New Covenant and the forgiveness of sins – we must take that literally!
THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT
We are deeply indebted to the Book of Hebrews for further insight into the significance of the New Covenant. This book, by far, offers the most comprehensive treatment concerning the significance of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us ponder over just one of many wonderful texts found in Hebrews.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry,
inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant,
which was established on better promises.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place
would have been sought for a second…”
Even at a glance, this text offers such rich insights as to the significance of Christ’s work. He is The Mediator of the New Covenant, here hailed as the “Better Covenant”.
The New Covenant is considered “better” for many reasons, one of them is that “better promises” are to be found in it. The Old Covenant had served its purpose. It had to yield to the New and Better Covenant which Jesus established through His death.