Covenant is an interesting word. It can be another word for a promise. In our current culture, promises are often taken lightly, but the Hebrew word for covenant literally means to cut or to shed blood. A covenant in the biblical sense means blood has been shed by one or both parties in a pledge to the other. When we fully understand the power of the covenant or promise we have in Christ, it is nothing short of life-changing. It was not a promise made in haste, but a new and final blood covenant that would cover all of humanity. This week, Pastor Jentezen Franklin unlocks the secrets of the covenant for those who are willing to enter in.
When you hear the word covenant, what does it bring to mind?
I think of marriage—that’s a covenant we’re all pretty familiar with. I imagine little kids spitting in their hands and "shaking on it" to call a truce or make a promise. But mostly, I think of the cross. Covenants existed in stories throughout the Bible. We know of God’s covenant with Abraham, His promise to Noah … but the most powerful type of covenant is a blood covenant. The Hebrew word for covenant actually means to cut. The Old and New Testaments can be thought of as the Old and New Covenants. In the old covenant, people had to keep rules and laws to say under the covenant and when they broke them, the blood of a sacrificial animal was shed for redemption or forgiveness. So what about the new covenant?
Jesus said at the Last Supper, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28).” Jesus was the final sacrifice, the blood covenant that would wash away the need for rules and laws to earn a place with God and introduce grace to humanity. In this new covenant, Jesus would be the sacrifice. His blood would be shed so that no other blood would be needed for redemption. It’s the final blood covenant that covers all of your sins. I am so grateful for the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternity that we have through His covenant. But He offers promises for today through His covenant as well. Promises I think you’ll see through the story of Jonathan and David.
Jonathan and David made a covenant. We read about it in 1 Samuel 18:3:
And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow, and his belt.
Jonathan’s Covenant with David is symbolic of the blood covenant we have in Christ. Jonathan was the rightful heir and son of King Saul. But he saw in David something even Saul did not see. He loved him as himself and entered into a covenant with him. Not only did they enter the covenant, but Jonathan then gave David his robe, his tunic, and his armor.
The Robe identified Jonathan as the King’s son. It spoke of his position and authority. When he handed that robe over to David, he passed down his position. Everywhere David went, the robe would signify royalty. The robe would speak of David’s authority under the King and identify him as an heir. Jonathan was the rightful heir, but he handed over his “Robe” to David.
The tunic represents possessions. Whatever Jonathan had because of his father, he would freely give to David. He would be provided for and taken care of because Jonathan shared what was his to give. The sword, the bow, and the belt were Jonathan’s power. He handed over to David his battle gear to say, ‘Who fights you, fights me. Who attacks you, attacks me. When you battle, you are not alone. You battle in my power!’
This is what the Lord offers you and me through His blood covenant on the Cross. When His blood was shed, He traded positions with us. As the son and rightful heir of God, Jesus handed over His robe saying YOU take My place as an heir to the Kingdom of God. Wherever you go, in My name, people will know you belong to the Most High.
Not only did He give us position, but Jesus gave us provision of all that we would need. Through the Cross we have mercy and grace, we have healing and deliverance, and we have peace and joy. Jesus possessed direct access to the Father and all that was His, and through His blood covenant, He gave us access to the throne and God shall provide all of our needs!
Finally, through our covenant with Christ, He gave us power. Our earthly battles are not our own! He is by our side, and through His strength our victory is possible. He gave us authority over darkness and power over our enemies.
The Son of the King of Kings loves you. He sees in you what no one else does. Your enemies may be planning your demise, just like Saul was trying to send David to his death. But God was with David. And he triumphed through the very thing his enemy thought would kill him.
How much more meaningful is your covenant with Christ than the earthly covenant between Jonathan and David? What greater position Christ has given you to become a child of God (John 1:2)! What greater possessions He has for you from His Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). What unfathomable power is yours through Jesus, because “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)!