The Covenant of Grace

Outrageous Grace

Have you ever become blood brothers with someone?

I did it at about the age of seven. This “best friend of mine” and I actually cut our wrists and mixed our blood. Our parents would have had a by-pass if they had known!

I can’t even remember his name….

Without realizing it we were actually cutting a blood-covenant with each other, but we didn’t know that.

We are all familiar, I should imagine, with the words of Jesus at the Last Supper …

This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.      (Luke 22:20b NASB)

Many of us have heard these words Sunday after Sunday at the Eucharist (also known as The Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of Bread, Holy Communion or Mass). But perhaps familiarity has dulled our ears and the words “new covenant” have gone unnoticed.

One lady said to me, “I’ve heard those words every Sunday morning for forty years and they’ve gone straight over my head.”

We might have a vague notion as to what a covenant is, but when I have asked congregations of all denominations as to what the terms of the New Covenant are, they have been very uncertain.

And of course “New” implies “Old”. So what is the Old Covenant and what are its terms?

And why does one need a covenant in the first place?

If we had to define “covenant” in the context of the ancient world, the best definition might well be “an unbreakable blood oath”.

Does it matter?

Indeed it does, for the whole Bible and all God’s dealings with man are based on covenant.

Blood Covenant has been practised from the dawn of time till the present day. Whether God put this into the mind of man so He could use it, or whether He simply took what man devised, I am not certain.

But what is certain is that understanding covenant is a key that will unlock the whole Bible.

Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968,1 971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.