Change can be difficult. People resist it. Change is brought about through so many things: technology, healthcare, politics and education to name a few. Even when the change is for one’s benefit some people remain reluctant to embrace what comes. Zig Ziglar once observed, “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.”
But when God changes something we should welcome it. Warren Wiersbe once said, “Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things. Outlook determines outcome. If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities, in the problems, we can have victory.”
God had made a covenant with Israel. The prophet Jeremiah saw the coming of a different covenant. “‘The time is coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord. ‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.’” (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
The new covenant was given a symbol at the meal we call “The Last Supper.” Jesus told the disciples that the cup symbolized the “new covenant” that was in his blood. (Luke 22:20) The Greek word for “new,” “kainē”, means “different.” It’s not a chronological word referring to time like “neos.” It’s a word to describe something of a different nature. We live in a world where we change things because the new becomes old. But the new covenant is not going to become old or outdated. The cross made a permanent change. In his book, The Cross of Christ, John Stott observes, “It is the divinely appointed sacrifice by which the new covenant with its promise of forgiveness will be ratified. He is going to die in order to bring his people into a new covenant relationship with God.” Our “new” relationship with God will not change.
In this relationship we’re to serve God. “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance….” (Hebrews 9:14-15)
We’re to be servants of this covenant. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (II Cor. 3:6) We may let the world know that this covenant is permanent, just as our life with Christ is eternal. John Stott reminds us that when Jesus said, “It is finished,” (John 29:30) the word for finished “tetelestai” is in the perfect tense, meaning that the sacrifice would be forever.
Not only is the covenant new, Christians are new as well. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (II Cor. 5:17) Like the “new covenant” we’re not going to become old. No matter how many years ago you received Christ as Savior you are still a “new creation.” When you came to faith in Christ, God made you new, forever new!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com