“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers 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. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Most Christian churches take communion on a regular basis. If you have been part of a church for many years, you can probably recite Paul’s words from memory
“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread…”
How many times have you eaten the bread…or gluten-free cracker, and sipped the wine…or juice? What does it all mean?
The first communion took place during the Passover, a reminder of the Old Covenant. The Passover celebrated the night that God supernaturally broke the power of the Egyptians over the Hebrews. He established a covenant with them, promising that he would be Israel’s God, and they would be his people.
For the most part, people in today’s world deal with each other through contracts. A contract is a business relationship between partners. Each side has obligations to and expectations of the other. If these obligations and expectations are not met, the contract is broken, and the terms become invalid. The people who were wronged by the violation of the contract can seek justice through an impartial third party, the court.
A covenant is more like family. When my children were little I gave them rules to follow, but those rules were for their benefit as much as, or more than, for mine. When they violated those rules I disciplined them, but they did not cease to be my children. My covenant with my children to love and support them as their father remained, even if, from time to time, they didn’t live up to their end of the bargain.
Which they didn’t.
Jesus brought his disciples, and all of us, a new covenant. This covenant was not based in rules, but in relationship—in the person of Jesus himself.
Think about the relationships in your life. Do they feel more like covenants, or contracts? What about your relationship with God? Do you feel like you are under the grace of his covenant, or like you are bound to a contract which you cannot possibly fulfill?
You are a child of the covenant, Beloved. He makes the promise. He paid the price. All you need do is accept the grace that he offers.
Walk in that grace today, Beloved.