The Blessing and Wonder of the New CovenantBro. Ron Rupé
7/30/2006 11:00 AM
To appreciate the new covenant, we need to know what it was like before the new covenant. What was it like before Christ came?
Genesis 3:8, 24
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. … So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
In the beginning Adam and Eve walked and communed with God. After they sinned, they couldn’t abide God’s presence or dwell where he dwelt. There was a separation between man and God.
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
God began to draw man back to himself. Moses gathered the people before God to hear his law. Mount Sinai was a sacred place; the people weren’t allowed to touch the mountain. Moses set up bounds (cords or ropes) to keep the people away. There was a separation between God and man. God was holy and his dwellingplace was sacred; man, here, was sinful. Sinful man was afraid and asked for a mediator. God was drawing the people back, but there was still a separation.
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second vail, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat, of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing;
Mount Sinai was cordoned off to prevent it from being touched. The temple wasn’t much different. In this case, God was separated from them by the veil. A mediator was allowed into the Holy of Holies only once per year. As long as the old covenant was in force, the way to God was hidden. Jesus was sent to open the way to God. The way has been opened for all of us.
And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
As Jesus offered up the sacrifice, the veil was rent, and the way was made for us to come before God. The literal veil was torn the moment Christ was crucified. This made a huge impression on the disciples. The hand of God ripped it from the top to the bottom.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water,
In this new covenant, there isn’t a flaming sword, cord of separation, earthly mediator to go between us and God once per year, or exceeding fear. In this new covenant, we can enter in ourselves and we don’t have to be afraid. We can go into the place where God dwells with boldness and confidence because we’ve been made pure through Christ.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” In Exodus they were told NOT to draw near. In this covenant, we’re called to draw near and let him make us fit. “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh…” A way has been made through Christ. Until Christ died, there was no way to get through it to God. Everyone who seeks God must pass through the offering of God. Only the blood of Christ can prepare us to meet God.
Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
This is the only way to get to God, through Christ. The good news is that you CAN come to the Father. Jesus moved the barriers out of the way. He is the way for us to come to God. His power and blood have made the transformation in us that allows us to come to God.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith 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 when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
We are transformed by the sacrifice of Christ. We no longer need the tables of stone; the laws of God are put within us. We no longer need the literal priest to go into the holiest for us. We can know God for ourselves. We can all go into the presence of God. ALL of us can go before God - no matter what our age or position. Christ came to restore what was lost in the garden. There God dwelt with man, and he has made a way to dwell with man again.
Disclaimer: Notes were taken and transcribed by Misti Chancellor, and are not a verbatim transcription of the sermon.