Originally published April 10, 2006
An agreement. A commitment. An understanding. A contract. A promise. An arrangement. A declaration. An oath. A pledge. A vow.
God has offered a new covenant, an eternal covenant to "whosoever will" and God Himself lives forever to see that its provisions are kept(Heb.7:25). Now this covenant is more than any human definition can fully engulf, but our agreements on earth can serve as shadows to give us a glimpse into the divine covenant which is called the New Covenant and it is the final one. There is no alternative and indeed why should there be? With the benefits being eternal life and all blessings that attend such a gift, not the least of which is living in Jehovah's presence, what need would there be for other plans? The absolute glory of this covenant is that Jesus has desired to spend the rest of eternity with us, sacrificed to make it possible, and has prepared everything for the culmination of all things withholding nothing from us. He has "freely given us all things". And the thread of glory running through it all is not just the wonder and magnitude of His power, but it is also that it has been done without one human work. Not one behavioral requirement. Not one feeding of the poor; not one ounce of a mother's love; not one kind act; not any missionary's sacrifice; not one philanthropic gift; nothing, nothing, nothing...but Him and Him alone. You see, there are no good human works.
Prostitutes, drug addicts, drunks, adulterers, prideful, greedy, selfish, murderers, child molesters, rapists, liars, all changed through no work of their own. And not just forgiven and cleaned up. No, we will be made "like Him", Jesus. The loftiest imagination cannot help but cheapen its grandeur. The absolutely depraved made absolutely glorious. And why? Now we begin to drown while just testing the water as we think on the love of God. Our God. Like throwing a rock at the moon, or hearing a sparrow on Saturn, or traveling to the center of the Sun in a rickshaw, to say it is impossible to fully understand the love of God is beyond an understatement. Deserving? Oh my. Every cell, every molecule, and every atom of our entire being is not only undeserving of God's love, we were fully at war with our creator - with no deserters. And with the Father's entire earthly creation arrayed in battle against Him, recruited by Lucifer and grandfathered in through Adam, the love of God offers the articles of peace. I mean with one word God could have consumed everything and started over, but He offers a covenant which somehow benefits only us, costs Him His earthly life, but from which He receives glory. To use the word love seems so meager and yet God in His love lets us use that word for Him.(Don't think too much about that statement you might overheat!)
A covenant. We've heard about God's side of the covenant, what is ours? Faith. And even that will be a gift from God. No, no, there must be something we can do. Baptism - communion - church membership - a prayer - the poor. Just a little help so we can be involved. No, nothing. Anything we do, in fact, poisons it all. The glory of it all is that it is all Him. Free will, yes, but still all Him. How does that work? In your theological scrabble game this would be the best time to play the word "mystery". We do know one sure thing, Jesus is the mediator of this covenant(Heb.12:24). Jesus is the Sacrifice that paid for the covenant by His blood, and He now mediates it all(did I mention He resurrected?). The Mediator of this covenant distributes accurately the inheritance just as the maker of the covenant desired. His Word is unshakeable and eternal, and all whose names are in the covenant book of life will receive what is coming to them. These truths about God's covenant are holy to Him. They are not to be altered or taken lightly, and to be outside this covenant will one day prove to be unimaginably costly.
One day all will pass away. The Sun, Earth, moon, stars, everything will be gone, but still standing and holding will be God's everlasting covenant. We are being held by the invisible cord's of God's Word, never to be severed. One moment in time we were fully persuaded that Jesus was the Lord, the Savior of the world. And in an instant we placed our faith in Jesus alone, and in that moment we entered into a covenant with the Heavenly Father through Jesus His Son. Forever. Not only did we not deserve it then, we never have deserved it in ourselves. The strength of God's covenant is God's Word, and the strength of God's Word is God's love. It all seems like intangible imagery sometimes, but there will come a time when this present reality has been eclipsed by an eternal reality and we stand before God, ushered into His presence by His love, secured by the blood of Jesus, and changed by the Holy Spirit.
And how strongly do we hold on to the beggarly elements of this passing world? Like devouring cotton candy, no sooner in the mouth than gone. Everything in this world will one day burn. And at our first gaze upon the Lamb Himself, resplendent in glory, worshipped by angels, and the author and guarantor of this Blood Covenant, will we not be astonished that we could have ever desired anything but Him? Our covenant destiny...Him. Selah.