Yesterday we saw that Jesus’ declaration, “It is finished” included Him fulfilling the entire Old Covenant Law. Today, we will see that this declaration also means everything has been completed to usher in and fulfill the New Covenant, as well.
“Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them.” ~ Hebrews 9:14-15
“Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.” ~ Hebrews 7:22
“But now Jesus, our High Priest, …is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.
When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete.” ~ Hebrews 8:6-7, 13
A couple of things to notice here. First, the New Covenant is not based on our performance or ability to live up to it. Jesus is the one who mediates and guarantees the New Covenant. He is the One who fulfills it.
Second, the Old Covenant has become “obsolete.” It fulfilled its purpose of pointing us to our need for Jesus. Now Jesus ushers in a new way of relating to the Father – not based on conditional statements that we must live up to, but based on Christ’s completed work. The old has gone, the new has come.
Someone recently pointed out a detail of Jesus’ first miracle (John 2) that I had not noticed before. When Jesus turned the water into wine the host of the wedding celebration points out that most people serve their good wine first and wait for people to get drunk, then serve cheaper wine. At this wedding, thanks to Jesus, the best wine was saved for last!
Isn’t this a perfect picture of the Good News of Jesus?
We’ve had the first wine (the Old Covenant Law), but the best wine (the New Covenant of God’s grace) has been saved for last! And notice the two wines are not mixed. The old wine has run out, now the new wine has arrived. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said you cannot put new wine into old wine skins (Luke 5).
Today’s Good News is the new wine is here! Drink it in, enjoy it, live in it. And beware of those who say you still must have the old wine. Jesus warned about this in Luke 5, as well. After declaring the new wine cannot be kept in old wine skins He said, “But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.” No, it’s not!
Don’t be pulled back into trying to perform your way into a relationship with God. Paul writes it this way, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians 5:1) Thanks to Jesus, the New Covenant is ours to freely live in – and that’s really Good News!
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