Glimmers Day 5 Hope Of A New Covenant: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) What does Jesus mean when He said, ‘Take and eat it; this is my body’?

2) What is the blood of the covenant?

3) Who are the “many” whose sins will be forgiven?

Matthew 26:26-28

As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Original Intent

1) What does Jesus mean when He said, ‘Take and eat it; this is my body’?
The twelve disciples had gathered not for the purpose of doing something new, but for remembering an event occurring centuries before. The Hebrews had been slaves in Egypt for over 400 years when God broke the chains of their bondage. Before they would be free, the Lord commanded them to bake bread without yeast, matzah, because there wouldn’t be time for it to rise. Every year since their freedom, the Passover meal was to include this bread as remembrance of their deliverance from slavery. It was this likely this bread Jesus picked up, blessed, broke, and told each of His disciples to eat. Jesus wanted them to see that the old way of viewing the Passover was about to become new. The old matzah was to take on fuller significance as the bread would now symbolize Christ’s body. Jesus invites His disciples to take in His body, eat of His sacrifice, symbolized with the bread, and become beneficiaries of the new covenant.

2) What is the blood of the covenant?
Blood covenants were common in ancient near eastern treaties and were a visual representation of the seriousness of that binding covenant. Five animals were killed and 3 (larger ones) were split in half. The halves were placed on the ground opposite each other that the blood would flow down in a ravine-like fashion. Then, the two parties entering the covenant would walk the blood path declaring to the other that if they broke the covenant, the other party had permission to do to them what had been done to these animals. In Genesis 15, God told Abraham, “I am your shield; your reward will be very great.” The Lord went on to promise Abraham a son and offspring more numerous than the stars, to which Abraham believed the Lord and God credited him with righteousness, but asked, “Oh Lord, how am I to know I shall possess it?” (Genesis 15:8) God responded by cutting a blood covenant with Abraham. Amazingly, God was the only one to walk the blood path while He put Abraham into a deep sleep. Only God could keep the covenant vows. Later, under the leadership of Moses God instituted many laws, including the Ten Commandments and directive on animal sacrifice to atone for Israel’s sin. (Exodus 24:8) Fast forward to Jesus sitting with the 12 disciples on the eve of His crucifixion the blood of the new covenant was about to be shed. A covenant where all of humanity would have the opportunity to be included in God’s promise to Abraham to be our “shield and very great reward.” A covenant bound not by the blood of animals, but by the blood of Christ Himself. (Hebrews 13:20)

3) Who are the “many” whose sins will be forgiven?
The Old Testament law and covenant were only for the children of Israel. Though non-Jews (Gentiles) could come in and have the benefit of being a Jew if they agreed to follow the covenantal laws, God’s promises were mainly for the Jew. But Jesus came to sacrificially die as an offering “for the sins of the whole world”. (1 John 2:2) Jesus was declaring that, along with a fuller perspective of the Passover, the disciples were to understand that forgiveness was offered through Him for many, for Jew and Gentile and every nationality. All were being provided the offer of forgiveness.

Everyday Application

1) What does Jesus mean when He said, ‘Take and eat it; this is my body’?
The Hebrews were freed from slavery in Egypt and were commanded to eat matzah each year at Passover to remind them of how God set them free. For believers, we are invited to a similar celebration meal when we take Communion or the Lord’s Supper together. We eat the bread and drink the cup as a beautiful reminder that we have been amazingly set free from the task master of Sin and Death. We have been welcomed into the New Covenant, no longer tied down to performance based religion where we could never be good enough for God. By taking Communion as believers, we “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) His death brought us life as He won our victorious freedom!

2) What is the blood of the covenant?
When Israel celebrated the Passover Feast, which is what Jesus and the disciples were doing in this passage, they were remembering how the angel of death had “passed over” them allowing their firstborn sons to live if the blood of an unblemished lamb had been spilt and covered their doorframe. Jesus was about to bring that picture, preserved through thousands of Passover feasts, to life in vibrant new colors as He Himself became the Passover Lamb. He promised to give eternal life to all who accepted Him as Lord, and give them the credit of righteousness through their faith, this was the New Covenant and it was sealed with His perfect, precious blood. It is only through faith that we are made righteous! No one can keep the Law of God perfectly, which is why we need a perfect blood sacrifice on our behalf.

3) Who are the “many” whose sins will be forgiven?

Sometimes Christianity is viewed as narrow-minded or non-inclusive, but Jesus came to set every one of us free from the wages of sin, which is death. We all “earn” eternal death and separation from God because of our complete UN-righteousness. We are far from perfect. There is simply no hope of ever becoming perfect, we are too messed up with sin and no amount of “do-overs” will make up for how we have wronged a Holy God. Jesus came to set all free, to die for the sins of the world, and to love unconditionally regardless of background, baggage, orientation, race, or gender. He came to forgive all, but not all will be forgiven. To benefit from His lavish love, we must accept His gift by faith, just like Abraham did, and allow God to credit us with righteousness and He will become our shield and very great reward!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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