God took a well-known practice - covenant making - of the ancient Near East to establish a special relationship with Abraham. Later, as a fulfillment of his promise to Abraham, he established the Mosaic covenant with the entire nation of Israel. As Whitney Woollard wrote, "covenants are one of the most important themes in the Bible because they act as the skeletons upon which the entire redemptive story is built."
The last supper (Luke 22:7-23), as they partake of the bread and the wine, Jesus makes an shocking declaration, "this is the new coventant in my blood." Understanding Old Testament covenants will help us understand three new realities of the new covenant:
- Jesus has fulfilled his part of the covenant
- Our part is to love him and be faithful to him until the end
- Those who choose to trust Christ stand to gain all the benefits of the new covenant