• O Lord our God, other masters besides You have ruled us; But through You alone we confess Your name. [Isa 26:13 NASB]. Your face, LORD, do I seek. [Psa 27:8 ESV].

The Eternal Covenant – A Savior For Mankind

We say “Merry Christmas” and images of a baby in a manger come to our minds. We talk about a child who came to be born to save sinners. At Christmas time we celebrate a baby in a manger – and all is well with the world. But are we looking at the right picture? Have we considered Christ came to satisfy the eternal covenant?

The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote:

. . . the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant. [Heb 13:20 ESV].

What is this eternal covenant?

This passage says the God of peace brought our Lord Jesus from the dead by the blood of the covenant. Both the bringing forth from the dead and the blood of the covenant meant Christ was destined to die. The covenant said He came to earth to suffer death but the covenant also said His death would not be final because the Father would raise Him up again.

What else is in this covenant between the Father and the Son? The Bible tells us, the Father has given the Son a dominion and a bride. Regarding this dominion, the Psalmist, David, described the nations mocking God and refusing to submit to Him and he prophesied the Son would rule over these nations with a rod of iron.

I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your heritage, and the ends of the earth Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” [Psa 2:7-9 ESV].

The Prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah to rule the nations from Jerusalem. And why Jerusalem? Because this is the seat of the nation He has chosen for His own. To this nation, God promised the throne of David would be established forever. But the people of Israel and Judah rebelled against their God, so He dispersed them among the nations of the world. He promised the Messiah would raise up the fallen lineage, repair the breach and continue the reign of David.

The Prophet Isaiah wrote:

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse [Jesse is the father of David], and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. . . In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples – of Him shall the nations inquire, and His resting place shall be glorious. [Isa 11:1,10 ESV].

The Prophet Amos wrote:

In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,” declares the Lord who does this. [Amo 9:11-12 ESV].

One of these days, Christ will return to establish His kingdom and rule the nations from Jerusalem.

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. [Isa 2:2-3 ESV].

Regarding the bride, the Bible refers to the believing church as the bride of Christ. And, in fact, the union of the bride and groom on earth are a picture or type of the coming union between Christ and the Church. The Apostle Paul described it this way:

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. [Eph 5:31-32 ESV].

In the Book of the Revelation, the Apostle John described the marriage of the church to Christ as a joyous and festive time.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure” – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” [Rev 19:6-9 ESV].

God prophesied the coming of the Messiah to Adam and Eve, when He restored them after they sinned. In Genesis 3:15, He said Christ will bruise Satan’s head though Satan would bruise Christ’s heel. And, indeed, though Satan intended to put Christ to death forever, Christ rose from the dead for death could not hold Him but Satan fell and would never recover, for he is destined to die forever.

Moses, too, prophesied the Messiah would come. In Deuteronomy 18:15, he said God would raise up a prophet who would declare the words of God – and he warned the people, they must listen to Him. Are we listening to Jesus Christ today? Are we in the Word? Or, like the Israelites of old, do we just carry on with life, too busy for the things of God?

The Old Testament is a compendium of stories and prophesies describing the coming Messiah – the Son of God. The Son of God was fully man and fully God. He came to earth because of the eternal covenant.

The prophesies warned of the coming Christ but the people of Israel and Judah were not ready. When the wise men from a far away nation came to find the king – the baby Jesus – no one was celebrating. It took these men’s inquiry to bring the event and timeliness of Christ’s birth to the attention of the leaders of Judah.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” [Mat 2:1-7 ESV].

So, this great king who would come to rule the nations – who came to earth to die and pay the blood price for His bride – how should He come to earth? The Prophet Isaiah declared He would come as a child and that this child would claim His dominion.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. [Isa 9:6-7 ESV].

The Prophet Isaiah claimed this child would be born of a virgin. And, when He was born, the Apostle Matthew wrote this was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.

The Prophet Isaiah wrote:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. [Isa 7:14 ESV].

The Apostle Matthew wrote:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). [Mat 1:22-23 ESV].

About the birth of Christ, the Apostle Paul wrote:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. [Gal 4:4-5 ESV].

There are five things we need to understand from this verse:

1) “When the fullness of time had come” – at just the right time – God plans everything with perfect precision.

2) “God sent forth His Son” – this Son is fully God and it was the Father’s intention to crush His Son for our sin, according to Isaiah 53:10. As Paul wrote to the Romans, this was to demonstrate His righteousness so that He will be just and the justifier of those who believe (Rom 3:26).

3) “Born of a woman” – Jesus Christ is fully God but He is also fully man. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” [Col 2:9 ESV]. Thus, as man, He can pay for mans’ sin. As God, it is God, Himself, paying the penalty for sin and redeeming man to Himself.

4) “Born under the Law” – no one has lived to perfectly obey the Law of God. Yet the writer of the Hebrews wrote He learned obedience (Hebrews 5:8). This is speaking to the bodily or human side of Christ – that He learned or rather demonstrated obedience to the Law. He lived the perfect life – He was the only man to ever live the perfect life and, thus, He became the perfect sacrifice for mans’ sins.

5) “So that we might receive adoption as sons” – In several Scripture passages, Christ is referred to as the “firstborn” or “begotten.” Not that He was ever created but that the Son, the first in the family, died to bring those who believe into the family of God. In the eighth chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote we have received the adoption as sons if we follow Christ or, “walk in the Spirit,” as he described it (Rom 8:15). And in Romans 8:28 and 29, where Paul wrote “all things work together for good,” he also wrote “[He] predestined [us] to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” God’s intention is to bring us into His family and make us like His Son, Jesus Christ.

So, when you look at the baby in the manger this Christmas, what do you see? Do you see an innocent child born in poverty? or do you see a king who has come to claim His dominion?

We talk about how Christ came to die. We talk about how Christ came to bring peace on earth. But do we understand He shed His blood to claim His bride and to bring those who believe into the family of God? Do we understand the peace He came to bring was peace between man and God – those who believe and follow Jesus Christ have peace with God.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [Rom 8:1-4 ESV].

This is a great and special promise of peace with God, given to us by His Son – if we follow Christ. Today, if you hear His voice, do not be like the Jews when the wise men came looking for the Christ. They knew what to tell the wise men but they were not looking for the Christ child themselves.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. [Rom 8:5-8 ESV].

What about you? Are you following Christ? or are you content with celebrating a baby in a manger?

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” [Heb 3:12-15 ESV].

Christ did not come so we could celebrate a baby in a manger. He came to claim His people. He died for their sins – He died to satisfy the wrath of God. Those who believe and follow Christ will have eternal life.

In John 14:6, Jesus said He is the way the truth and the life. In Acts 4:12, Peter warns there is NO other name given to men whereby we can be saved. In John 3:36, John the Baptist said all who follow Christ will have eternal life but those who do not remain under God’s wrath.

Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Eternity never ends and that is a long time to be without a savior. The eternal covenant has given us a Savior – Christ Jesus the Messiah. In the words of Jesus, “Repent and believe for the kingdom of God is at hand.” [Mar 1:15].

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