Jesus Redefined the Covenant Relationship

Sun am 12 April 2009 – Kobus Swart

(Heb. 9); Heb. 8:13; Heb. 10:2, 14; Mark 8:1-8, 14-21, Eph. 4:11; (1 Cor. 12:12);
1 John 4:17b; John 1:12, Mark 9:1; (Matt. 12:6); (Matt. 24:2); (Rev. 11:2)

We are in a very specific kairos season that is on offer to the Church, and blessed are those who have ears to hear what the Lord is saying to the churches.

Two thousand years ago, the outer court fell away. The moment Jesus became the once for all Sacrifice, all further need for sacrificial traditions fell away; the priesthood of the Old Covenant was made redundant.

Hebrews 9 no longer even refers to the outer court. Hebrews is the book which talks about the once for all Sacrifice. When Jesus died on the cross and said, “It is finished” the veil was torn from top to bottom, and access was given. We don’t need rituals to enter in, He paid the price. By one sacrifice He has perfected those who are being sanctified. Look at things from the finished position.

When Jesus came He redefined the covenant relationship. The Jewish mindset found that difficult; they were very exclusive.

When Jesus broke the bread to the five thousand (5 the number of grace), there were 12 full baskets left over. (Now remember that Jesus also said that He was the bread from heaven – Jn 6). He was pointing to a deeper truth: “That which you could not finish of Me while I was here in the package of Jesus of Nazareth, I am depositing into 12 apostles who will feed you”. Every ministry is a grace gift (Eph. 4:11) so when Jesus was taken up, He gave gifted men to the Church. The purpose of the five fold ministry is to equip the saints and bring them to the full stature. This full stature is called the corporate Christ. Is Christ going to walk the earth again? Yes. The corporate Christ will walk the earth again. As the body is one and has many members, so also is Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17b). Christ is walking the earth, but He is not yet in His full stature.

He also fed the four thousand people and seven baskets were left over. Here He was referring to all the nations (ethnic groups). Here He was saying, “I am redefining my covenant relationship to include the Gentiles.” Another picture of this is in Acts 6. They had to choose 7 deacons, and those deacons represented the Gentile nations, and so the widows were taken care of and fed. He baffled the minds of those who knew the Old Testament. Although He initially came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, many did not receive Him. They failed to produce the fruit of the kingdom, and He gave it to a (holy) nation who would produce the fruit, which includes everybody who accepted Jesus, Jew and Gentile alike.

Mark 9:1 “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” When they heard the words, “kingdom” and “power”, they expected a political government, national sovereignty. Instead, He told many parables of the Kingdom, conveying a new concept of kingdom and power. So many of them had to do with the table of the Lord and inviting strangers, going after the marginalized, the poor and disenfranchised. There’s going to be a huge feast around the table, and they will be there from every nation, eating and drinking, enjoying fellowship and friendship. Where’s the power? Where’s the war? Jesus teaches, “Love your enemy” (Matt. 5:44). This is how the Kingdom is going to establish itself – in divine love. The establishing of the Kingdom of God is going to come in inclusive relationships. The table of the Lord should never be exclusive. It is not a sectarian table; it is the table of the Lord.

We’ve seen the Kingdom of God as a reality coming in relationships and in so doing it is like the leavening influence of the Kingdom that must work through this family.