How would you define the word “covenant”? In our culture we talk about promises, agreements, and contracts, but we rarely hear or use the word covenant. A promise is a well intended commitment to do something for someone else or even for yourself. Agreements are promises made between two or more people to accomplish a certain goal together. Contracts make both of those things legal and binding. Sometimes there are consequences included in case one of the parties is unable to fulfill his part of the contract. A covenant, however, is a sacred and solemn commitment. Those who enter into a covenantal relationship must understand that the obligations are permanent and binding. Sometimes a covenant is made between equals and has reciprocal expectations, but not always. In other situations the covenantor, the initiator, makes a one way agreement, with the covenantee.
Because it has always been in the heart of God to be in a relationship with those whom He created and loves, He made several covenants with certain men, which are recorded for us in the Old Testament. Many of the promises made so many centuries ago have been fulfilled, but parts of those covenants are still in the future. When Jeremiah, the prophet, heard from God, the idea of a “New Covenant” was introduced. It is through this new covenant that man would see more clearly the story of God’s eternal mercy and grace. It would be through the coming of Jesus and His death and resurrection that the redemption, which had been promised to all who would believe, would become a reality. Finally, because of this covenant, we can know for sure that someday all of the promises God has made will culminate in Jesus’ return.
Next time you celebrate communion you might want to remember that Jesus said that “this cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with His blood, which was poured out as a sacrifice for you.” It means that your debt was paid on the cross. Your sin has been forgiven. There is not one single thing you could do to earn or deserve it. It is 100% because of His grace and His mercy. He came to do this because of His amazing love for YOU.