In my last post I discussed some of the basics of covenant understanding. The purpose of this writing is to introduce the representatives in the covenant. In the Semitic lands covenant was known by the union of nations, clans or individuals. Covenant was also observed within family units as each member was knitted one to another with covenant responsibility. Jesus, established in His blood, mediates the covenant today. He is our representative.
God invites us to enter the New Covenant with Him. He is the greater party desiring us to enter into this covenant. When two tribes decided to make covenant the superior tribe in power invited the one with lesser power. Can you guess who the lesser party might be in this New Covenant? It is a covenant sealed by the Spirit of God as He writes the law on our hearts enabling us to live out its promises.
When a group prepared to enter into covenant they selected a man to represent them. This person spoke and acted on the authority of another. This person made the covenant for them. He was the guarantor that the terms and promises were kept. For example, Goliath was the representative for the Philistines and David for Israel. It was Goliath who said: "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we might fight together." Goliath was saying he represented the Philistines. He said: "Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight me and kill me, then we will be your servants."
Two men settled the whole issue. David knew he was Israel's representative when he declared: "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine? You come to me with a sword, with a spear and a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel who you have defiled." David knew he was in covenant with the God of Israel and used His name as his authority. David was God's representative and Israel shared their victory as if it were their own.
Consequently, Jesus is our representative in the New Covenant. His shed blood is His bond for life and the giving of His word is to keep the terms and commitments contained in the covenant. If the terms are not kept, life must be forfeited. (More on this will be expanded at a later time). This covenant is a serious decision, which emphasizes that those who are in covenant with each other assume responsibility for each other. In the New Covenant Jesus becomes our protection. This is not a casual relationship.
God knew the seriousness of the covenant relationship. He sacrificed His Son. His death guaranteed peace and an intimacy with the Father that had not been available since the Fall. In the next writing we will explore the benefits, promises, exchanges and responsibilities for us as covenant believers who walk by faith. This covenant relationship is not only exciting, but contains many opportunities for a sacrificial love with God the Father and others. Much more sacrificial than I anticipated!