Troublesome Topic: The Cutting of the New Covenant

Lesson 12 of 15

A meal was often part of the inauguration of a covenant relationship. God expressed His intentions in Exodus 19, just prior to establishing the covenant at Sinai. Jesus expressed His intentions during His last Passover with His disciples. He immediately followed this by doing what He said He would do.

Jesus began that Passover meal by following the traditional rituals that every father followed with his family on that day. When He got to the third cup, called the cup of redemption, He spoke the traditional blessing over that cup: “Blessed are you, Oh Lord, our God, King of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.” But then He broke from tradition and said something that caught His disciples totally off guard.

Matthew 26:27


After taking the cup and after giving thanks for it, He gave it to them saying, Drink from it, all of you.


After He held up the cup, and after he gave thanks for it using the traditional blessing, He said to them, Drink from it, all of you,

Matthew 26:28


because this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins.


because what is in this cup is a representation of my blood which will be used to cut a new covenant; it is being poured out for the benefit of many people, specifically for the forgiveness of sins.

They had seen His authority and were not shocked to hear Him say He wanted to establish a New Covenant. Neither were they shocked by the need for blood to be shed for the establishment of this covenant, for all covenants involved blood. What was unintelligible to them was that one little word, “my blood.” The blood of animals had always been used. No one had ever used His own blood or divided His own body because then he would not have been present to participate in the covenant relationship he wished to establish. Why Jesus used the word “my blood” was totally incomprehensible to them. It blew their minds. I imagine the disciples’ faces registered a big question mark when He said “my blood.” Their ears heard the words but their minds said, “Will not compute; will not compute.” It just didn’t make sense—that is, until after the resurrection.

What is so incredible about this particular covenant ceremony is that it did not involve a representative death, it was a real death; the blood was not that of some animal, but that of the very ones (Father and Son) establishing the covenant!

If the use of blood in covenant-making was intended to provide assurance that someone would do what he said he would do (and it was), then I must conclude that there was never a more sure thing in the history of the universe than this New Covenant! If the blood of animals could provide strong assurance, how much more the blood of the covenant Lord Himself!

Here is how the book of Hebrews describes that assurance:

Hebrews 9:14


how much more the blood of CHRIST, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to THEOS without blemish, will purify our moral and spiritual consciousness from dead works in order to serve the living THEOS.


Since THE ANOINTED MESSIAH offered himself to THE OWNER AND RULER OF ALL THINGS through the agency of the very Spirit of THAT RULER Himself, and did so in a way that was acceptable to Him, His blood must be capable of fully purifying our inner being and our will from acts that lead to death so we can serve the OWNER AND RULER who is alive.

The fact that Jesus used His own blood to cut the New Covenant is the most powerful demonstration possible of God’s commitment to provide salvation for mankind. If someone does not take hold of what God provides, it is not God’s fault, for He has gone far beyond what we could have hoped for.

When has a violated covenant been followed, not by the death of the offenders, but by a new, better, more gracious covenant? This was unheard of! It is totally undeserved.

Jesus is the New Covenant. About the Messiah, God said: “I, the Lord . . . will give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the gentiles” (Is 42:6). His blood was used to provide assurance, His redemptive work forms the basis for this covenant, and His teachings give the covenant conditions. He is the covenant Lord and He will distribute the blessings and curses of this covenant. Jesus is the New Covenant.

The next lesson in the Full and Midsize series on Covenants is: Why Did Jesus Die on Passover instead of the Day of Atonement?

The next lesson in the Short Series on Covenants is: We Can’t Change the Rules