April 12, 2001
1 Corinthians 11:23-34
A Truly New Covenant
Something truly new and different is happening as Christ our Lord
institutes His supper. We call it the Last Supper because it was the Last
Supper, which Jesus ate before His arrest, trial, and death.
It can also be referred to as the Last Supper because at last, after this
supper something new is taking place. In establishing this Holy Communion Jesus
is presenting to us a new covenant in His body and blood. Holy Communion
certainly is a truly new covenant.
What is this new thing?
The blood of Christ replaces the blood of animals.
Specific animals had to be offered for specific sacrifices.
The list of tasks was endless. Regulations abounded. The requirements
were tremendous. The law required for a strict enforcement of all of the
regulations of the ceremonies. An animal had to be killed in a certain manner;
certain sacrifices required certain animals.
Men had to be therefore taught repeatedly concerning these sacrifices.
Each generation had to pass down to the next one how the sacrifices were to be
carried out. If they failed to teach their children how the sacrifice was to be
performed the entire custom would be lost in one generation. The hope for
forgiveness, restoration and peace would be lost forever.
These sacrifices had to be frequent because people repeatedly sinned.
As there were sacrifices named for specific sins, these sacrifices could
only last but once. There was but one sacrifice for each offense. When a
subsequent offense occurred, another sacrifice had to be offered if a person
were to have their sin atoned and their conscience stilled.
This made an interesting enterprise for some. There would have to be
animals on hand, available to be sacrificed. These had to be kept, housed, fed,
and cared for. Often abuses were found, as just a few days before His arrest
Jesus took a whip and drove out the animals, and the money launders who had
turned God's house into a dean of thieves.
The new covenant speaks of the work that was accomplished in Jesus
The Old covenant ="this do and live"
It was a covenant of regulations disciplines and rules. It was based on strict
obedience. It was motivated by fear; fear of reprisals, fear of failure, fear of
offending a just a holy God.
It could not stand the test of every man for no one is capable of following the
decrees and dictates of a holy God. For this reason our good and gracious Father
sent forth a plan that a just the right time His Son, our Savior would break
into time and space to offer up Himself a good and perfect sacrifice. This was
accomplished with Christ instituted His Supper "which is give and shed for
you for the forgiveness of all of your sins.
The New covenant = "live and do this"
1. The benefits of the new covenant, celebrated by Christians in this
wonderful Sacrament are the fruits of Christ's righteousness. He gives to us the
forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. We are now free to live and the
children of God.
2. Because of this freedom, this new life that is offered by Christ, we are
also strengthen to will and to do the will of our heavenly Father. Obedience no
longer becomes a burden. It becomes a blessing and an opportunity to serve God
in righteousness and purity.