The Body and Blood of the New Covenant

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

Jeremiah 31:31-34/Mark 14

Introduction: This is a meditation for a communion service. There are three issues the Old Covenant could not address which are answered in the New and better Covenant: The Problem of Performance; The Problem of Payment; The Problem of Perseverance.

1. The Inability of the Old Covenant

  • It was written on stones (Deut.27:1-8)

  • It promised cursing for disobedience (Deut. 27:26)

  • It promised blessing for obedience (Deut. 28:2)

  • It had a pre-nuptial agreement (Deut. 28:1; 45-48; 58-61)

  • It operated on the heart but did not change the heart

2. The Superiority of the New Covenant

  • A better covenant with better promises (Heb. 8:6)

  • A covenant with no pre-nuptial agreement (Heb. 8:7-8)

  • God's laws were not simply given to them but written in them (Heb. 8:10-11)

3. The Surety of the New Covenant

  • Answers the problem of performance (Heb. 10:5-10)

    The body of Jesus did for us what we can never do of ourselves with respect to sanctification. Our Lord lived the life in His body which we could never do in our own power.

  • Answers the problem of payment (Heb 10:11-14; 19-22)

    The blood of Jesus did for us what we could not do in justification. Our Lord made the ultimate sacrifice to pay the debt we could never pay.

  • Answers the problem of perseverance (Heb. 10:22-25; 38-39)

    Ultimately the perseverance of the saint is dependent upon the perseverance of the Savior.

Conclusion: There are two approaches to salvation. The first hinges on man performing and paying something to God that satisfies His just demands. The Old Covenant required payment in full.

The great benefit of the Old Covenant today is to demonstrate to sinful man that he has neither a holy life to answer the performance issue nor deep enough pockets to answer the payment issue and so he stands guilty before God.

The New Covenant is far greater since the Judge becomes the Justifier and cardinal issues of performance, payment and perseverance are performed for the believing sinner by His Substitute.

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