These blogs are a series on the salvation covenant found in the Tanakh (Old Testament of the Bible) that Jesus came to fulfill. What does it mean, and what exactly did Jesus do for us? What was God’s plan? This is what we aim to address. To read my first blog in this series here.
We closed last time with the idea that a salvation covenant would have to be a blood covenant. God made two with man.
The covenant with Abraham and The Book of the Covenant.
We’ll look at the Abrahamic Covenant first.
It says in Genesis 15:9-10:
“So He said to him, ‘Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, and a three-year-old female goat, and a three-year-old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’
Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds.”
Abraham’s obligation under this covenant was his absolute faith unto obedience. He believed in God, and God considered Abraham righteous. Abraham’s faith led him to obey God, and he fulfilled his part of the covenant. This is important to remember: a covenant means nothing if both parties do not agree to the terms. God fulfilled His side – it is up to us to do our part.
How do we know that Abraham obeyed?
God spoke to Isaac in Genesis 26:3-5 and told him:
“Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father, Abraham.
I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
All those who obey
All who have faith in God, like Abraham, and are willing to obey His word will enter this covenant with God.
But what exactly do we obey?
To understand this, we must look at the second blood ratified covenant, which is really a continuation of the covenant with Abraham made directly with his descendants in Exodus.
The Book of the Covenant.
The second blood ratified covenant called the Book of the Covenant was made with the descendants of Abraham to show faithful people how to be obedient.
A covenant made with Moses and Israel
The story is told in Exodus 24:3-8:
“Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!’
Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
He sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!’
So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’
Death as a penalty
In other words, God made a contract with man where life was the reward for entering and keeping His covenant and death was the penalty for everyone who did not come and keep His covenant.
What about us?
We enter the covenant by absolute faith.
We enter the covenant with God the same way Abraham came to the first covenant: by absolute faith unto obedience.
By accepting this covenant offer, we enter into a relationship with the Creator of the universe where life is our promised reward.
Our faith must affirm that we know God exists, that we trust Him enough to live the life He wants for us.
Entering His covenant means that I will turn away from doing wrong and live according to what HE wants for me. The blood sacrifice of Jesus will cover only those that are in agreement.
All of humankind had a destiny with death, but by the grace of God, He extended to us an agreement for life for those who enter.
The blood of the Lamb
Revelation 13:8 states that everyone will be saved whose name is written in the book of Life.
The Book belongs to the Lamb (Jesus), whose blood sacrifice covers us. The blood of Jesus’ can credit us as righteous.
The covenants that God gave us He gave us so that we could live and not die. We enter them through faith unto obedience.
How it all comes together
True faith (Abrahamic Covenant) is the key that allows us entrance into the “Book of the Covenant.” It is this “Book of the Covenant” that Jesus covers with His blood sacrifice.
The Abrahamic Covenant itself cannot be what Jesus came to fulfill because (absolute faith) or complete trust is still a conditional requirement of salvation.
What we could not keep perfectly was the requirements (of perfection) according to the “Book of the Covenant” therefore Jesus had to fulfill the criteria for us. This was God’s beautiful plan! The blood of Jesus covers only those in the Book of the Covenant. It can also be called our salvation covenant.
The “Book of the Covenant” is, therefore, the extension or completion of the Abrahamic covenant. Together, they are our “Salvation Covenant.”
‘Come back to me.’
I believe that God is calling us back into the covenant with Him. There is actual salvation in understanding and in living the way that God wants us to.
In our next blog, we will continue to explore the other aspects that make the Covenant with Abraham and the Book of the Covenant our salvation covenants.
God so loves us – He sent us Jesus. He does not want any of us to be lost forever. Through Jeremiah 11:1-2, He sends us a warning. It says, “… cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant.”
There is still time to change your ways. Let’s explore this topic further next time. Shalom!