“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” — Matthew 26:28
Professional sports franchises are large and unwieldy. Even though stadiums and corporate offices are considered the headquarters of a team, the organization is more about personal relationships between coaches, staff and athletes. If pettiness and grudges take over the thinking of the people involved, team members can become a major drain on the organization. It’s important to build strong, lasting relationships.
In a similar way, the Lord wants to be at peace with us. He is ready, willing and able to repair the relationship with us when we wander away from Him through our sin. God doesn’t want to get rid of us — He’s dedicated to keep His covenant with us even when we don’t keep our part of the agreement.
The Lord is patient and understanding about our weaknesses, and always looks for ways to bring us back where we belong. We face consequences when we sin, but the Lord doesn’t continue to browbeat us for a particular episode of wrongdoing. “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
The Israelites broke God’s covenant many times, but the Lord did not ever completely forsake them. God promised to be their faithful guide, protector and provider if the people sought to live in a way that pleased Him, worshiping and honoring the Lord. As we read God’s reaction to the betrayal of the Israelites, we sense God’s anger and disappointment: “They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors” (Jeremiah 11:10).
Jesus sealed the New Covenant with His own blood as He died on the cross. Christ offered Himself like an innocent lamb for the ugliness of sin. God hates our sin, and therefore, sin must be punished, but Jesus carried the penalty of our sins upon His shoulders. The cross calls for us to commit our lives to Christ and to honor our part of the New Covenant by living for Jesus daily.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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