Brothers and sisters, I believe that during this time, restaurants have a lot less business because everyone is concerned about social distancing when they come together. But we’re different. Who would join a feast that is attended by so many people? It’s so precious that the Lord established this eternal love covenant by His blood. He also prepared for us this love feast that lasts for a lifetime. We should surely set this before us, always. It’s like David who always sets the Lord before Him; therefore his heart is glad, and his whole being rejoices; his flesh also dwells secure (Psalms 16:8-9). Psalms 16 was written by David. I believe he was this kind of person. In Psalms 27:4, David said “One thing have I asked of the Lord,” God gave David a lot of experiences, but David still said “that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord…” David gazed attentively upon the beauty of the Lord. It was not merely a passing thought. Paul also said, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). The Spirit works in our hearts to transform us. Every day we have these precious moments where we can be transformed when we are in His glory, love, and presence. David said, “One thing”–there’re so many things in this world, but there was only one very special and important thing that he desired. He knew how precious and essential it was to his life. Also, he loved God. Even lovers on earth want to know each other better.
When we first believed in the Lord, our eyes were not opened enough and our understanding of Him was limited. After we believe, however, we can open our eyes wide to behold and to see His beauty more and more. We will be amazed again and again. You might be impressed by a scene when you see it for the first time. But when you see it the second time, you won’t be as amazed. There’s an interesting saying about lovers on earth: Before you get married, open both of your eyes, wide. After you get married, open only one of your eyes. Our eyes were barely opened when we first believed. We knew very little, and were not yet greatly attracted nor influenced by Him. After we believed, we should open our eyes as wide as we possibly can, so that we can gaze upon Him. Regardless of how long you have fixed your gaze on Him, you continue to see more of His beauty. It has no end. That’s why He is going to use eternity to show His beautiful heart and His love dream with us. In this dream, there’s His eternal love covenant. He established this covenant by His blood. Nothing is more assured than the life of the eternal and almighty One. People might also establish a covenant using their blood. But it’s usually done while they are still alive. It’s already amazing that they establish a covenant using only a drop of blood from their finger. In the past, an animal was killed to demonstrate that the party breached the covenant would die. I treasure that the Lord had already died. Man’s covenant can could be broken. But the Lord died beforehand. He used His blood to establish this covenant. Isn’t this amazing?
In the past I had admiration for God’s personal covenants with Abraham and David. One time I was on the hill, thinking about the eternal love covenant the Lord established with me by His blood. I was very touched. It’s precious that His covenant is so rich and complete. Throughout eternity, we cannot fully comprehend this covenant. Where can you find such a covenant with such an essence? It’ll need the eternal One to explain throughout eternity His unfathomable riches, love, abundance and wisdom. We are so blessed!
Hebrews 8 makes reference to the book of Jeremiah when it talks about the new covenant He was making with the house of Israel. It’s so precious on the night before His crucifixion, the Lord used the cup, His blood, to establish the new covenant. It’s very clear in Jeremiah 31. Hebrews 13 talks about the blood of the eternal covenant. Not only that He established the covenant by His blood, Hebrews 8:6 says “Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”
Now He lives forever for me, to carry out this ministry. He even becomes the mediator. Hebrews 7 calls Him the guarantor. Hebrew 8:7-9, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.”
This happened on Mt. Sinai. The situation was very different when the old covenant was made. The new covenant was established while the Lord was at a feast. He was at the table with His disciples. When we compare these two situations, we can see how drastically different they were, Mt. Sinai versus a guest room. Before the Lord set up the feast, He even washed the disciples’ feet. It’s a great contrasts with Exodus 19. It’s so precious that the situation was very different when the new covenant was established.
“For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.” (Hebrews 8:9)
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts,” (Hebrews 8:10) This is the first point of the new covenant. There are four points, and I think you’’ remember them.
Second: “and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Hebrews 8:10)
Third: “And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Hebrews 8:11) God teaches us Himself. The Holy Spirit abides in us. He shows Himself and speaks to us. His words are in us.
Fourth: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:1) This is where the covenant starts. It’s so important for the Lord to die for this covenant. He needed to take away our sins so that God can dwell in us. The first blessing is putting His laws in us. When He came to live in us, He makes our spirits live again, and we became a new creation.
“In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13) Now you have this new covenant. Do you still need the old one? Which covenant would you want to be under? The one made with the house of Israel has become obsolete and grown old. It’s ready to vanish away. But this new covenant is eternal. Not only that will it not grow old, it’s also forever fresh. We need to enjoy it every day. It’s a daily blessing for you and me. It will not grow old or vanish away. On the contrary, you will know more about the essence of this covenant and its preciousness. Indeed it will take eternity to fully explain it. The Lord is the mediator and guarantor of this better covenant, and He is the High Priest