by Neil Colombé
The New Covenant is about the exaltation of mankind.
But you say ‘I thought it was all about exalting Jesus Christ’.
After all didn’t the Father exalt Him in Philippians 2:9 thus: ‘Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.’?
Yes – but notice the ‘wherefore’. Why did He exalt Him? The answer is to be found in the previous verses:
Because ‘’[Christ Jesus] being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ [Phil 2:6-8]
In order to fulfil the terms of the New Covenant, He humbled himself. He became our servant. ‘He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ [Mat 20:28]
And in so doing He exalted man, saying:
‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ [John 12:32]
and this is what He said he would do for man: ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you‘ [Ezek 36:26.27]
Compare this with the radically different terms of the Old Covenant.
For one thing the Old Covenant was not unilateral. It was not a gift. It was not unconditional: and more relevant to our specific current dialogue is that It required a response from man to which although the Israelites hurriedly acquiesced, proved to be impossible for them to keep.
Here the Almighty God was speaking in thunderous tones from a volcanic-like desert scenario to a whipped and down-trodden motley group of itinerant tribesmen. What more of a marked contrast could one envisage between that and the bringing of the New Covenant?
Every day the miserable Israelites were reminded of their myriad ‘sins’ for which they had to make recompense by various sacrifices and ceremonial washings. Pretty humiliating you might think? These they were required to arrange for themselves.
Whereas again in the New Covenant. God arranged one perfect final sacrifice from which (apart from a handful of Roman soldiers and a few observers) we were mercifully distanced. And He forgot our sins completely!
‘He has taken away our sin by becoming a curse for us and by dying with us, and He has raised us up with Him to life eternal and made us sit together in heavenly places.’ [Gal 3;13; Rom 6:8; Eph 2:6] Without obligation!
Everything else is the Father’s response to the Son; and our response to the Triune God!
Yes, we may thank Him and praise Him for this and I hope we do – but the New Covenant itself is all about God saving and exalting us!
© Neil Colombé 2018
1] Neil has been a Bible student for 60 years and has conducted church choirs in 5 countries.
He has been an active contributor to ‘New Covenant Grace’ since 2014 and is the author of ‘What’s in a name?: A Tale of two Covenants’ ISBN: 978-1495312885
He spent 30 years in a church which believed itself to be under the Old Covenant and upon being appraised of the error became a passionate proponent of the New! In the 1990s he gave several hour long sermons on the New Covenant.
He and his wife Joy have six children and four grandchildren between them and live in North Wales, UK.