(Mark 14:22-25 ESV): 22And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, 'Take; this is my body.' 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
There is one phrase here which is especially interesting, and I wonder how often we glaze over it. It is written that the blood of Jesus is the blood of the new covenant. It brings to mind so many questions. What is the new covenant? What was the old covenant? What is different between the two?
In the old the shedding of animal blood temporarily bridged the gap between God and man to allow for the forgiving of sins. BUT they had to do it continually. So Jesus came, and the shedding of His blood ushered in the new covenant and offered the permanent forgiveness of sins.
It is written in the book of Hebrews about the old covenant that (Heb. 9:19-22 ): 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.' 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Moses took the blood of animals as blood of the old covenant as God has commanded. It is written that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins.
Also in Hebrews 9:13-14: 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
If in the old, which was a covenant with conditions for the physical alone, there was forgiveness, how much more would the blood of Christ cover in the new, which atones for the body and the soul!
But there’s more! Even as the new covenant is about the forgiveness of sins, the new covenant also entails adoption as children of God, co-heirs with Christ, and the promise of eternal life.
As it is written in Hebrews 9:11: 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation).
So, the next time that you take communion, take a moment to think on what this new covenant is that has been ushered in by the shedding of the blood of Jesus, for though there is a touch of sorrow and repentance, let the next time of communion be a time of remembrance and thanksgiving for all that has been accomplished on the cross.