Author: Ron Graham
Mediator of a New Covenant
—The promise of a new law
We've looked at the seed promise and the throne promise, both fulfilled in the coming of Christ, the Son of God and King of kings. Now we consider yet another magnificent promise, the covenant promise.
Note —COVENANT: A covenant in the Bible is a legal will or testament, decreed to man by God directly, or through a mediator. A covenant may include precepts, provisos, punishments, and promises.
1 A Better Covenant Promised
"Behold the days are coming says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah
It won't be like the covenant
that I made with their fathers
when I took them by the hand to lead them
out of the land of Egypt.
They broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,
says the Lord.
But this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel:
After those days, says the Lord,
I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts,
and I will be their God
and they shall be my people...
They shall all know me
from the least to the greatest
says the Lord,
for I will forgive their iniquity
and their sins I will remember no more."
This was a magnificent promise which was fulfilled by Jesus Christ whose "blood of the [new] covenant" was "shed for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28, 1Corinthians 11:25)
2 A New Mediator for the New Covenant
The mediator of the old covenant was Moses. The mediator of the new covenant is Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Note —MEDIATOR: one who presents the decrees of a high authority to his subjects on his behalf. An “intercessor”, on the other hand, presents the pleas of the subjects to the high authority on their behalf.
Jesus is called "the mediator of a better covenant enacted upon better promises" (Hebrews 8:6). for two reasons:
- (1) His was the only blood that could be shed for the forgiveness of sins. He was the perfect sacrifice and nobody else had that necessary perfection “without spot” (Hebrews 9:14).
- (2) Jesus is the person of highest authority whom God could send. No other person among angels or men has the authority of the Son of God. After dying on the cross, being raised from the dead, and exalted to God's right hand, he was given "the name which is above every name" —the authority which is above every authority (Philippians 2:5-11). When this mediator delivers a covenant from God, we had better listen!
3 A New Covenant for a New People
Jeremiah's promise (Jeremiah 31:31-34) speaks of "The house of Israel and the house of Judah" which seems to limit the promise to the descendants of Jacob. However we find, praise the Lord, that all nations and peoples are included.
Note —JACOB: also called Israel. The name “Israel” applies to four entities in the Bible...
1. the patriarch Jacob,
2. the kingdom ruled by David and Solomon,
3. the northern kingdom after the division,
4. the church that Christ established.
Jesus said, "I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they shall hear my voice, and they shall become one flock with one Shepherd" (John 10:16).
Paul explains, "There is neither Jew nor Greek... you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:28-29). God’s kingdom is no longer an earthly Israel or Judah.
A person is the seed of Abraham and shares the inheritance "by belief in accordance with grace, so that the promise may be certain to all the seed, not only to those of the Law, but also to those of the faith of Abraham who is the father of us all" (Romans 4:14-16).
Note —SEED: The Bible sometimes uses the word seed in a special sense. It means offspring or descendant. Jesus Christ was the promised seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16).
The holy nation is now a spiritual and universal kingdom comprised of all believers in Christ whether Jew or Greek. That's why Jesus told his disciples to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" and that anyone could believe and obey that gospel and be saved (Mark 16:15-16).
Paul declared that gospel to be "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Have you believed and obeyed that gospel, God's covenant for you, mediated to you by Jesus Christ?
Note —GREEK The term Greek is used in certain New Testament passages, to mean Gentile or non-Jew. The Greek language and culture was still widespread so represented the world in general.