Friday, May 08, 2009

A New Covenant Blessing

Reading through Job today there was something that caught my attention and it reminded me how great it is to be living under the new covenant. Here is the passage that began to stir my thoughts:

“God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together. The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment. Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength” (Job 9:32-35; NLT).

Job is lamenting the fact that he does not have a mediator to intercede for him before God. Job is living in a time when he didn’t have the hope of Christ Jesus. In fact, if the historical setting is during the time of the patriarchs, then Job is living before the time of the High Priests and the tabernacle. Job had no one to turn to who would plead his case before God.

One of the great benefits that we have living under the new covenant is that we have a mediator who will plead our case to God. That mediator is Christ Jesus and that reality gives us hope no matter what we are experiencing in life.

Consider what the writer of Hebrews says about our High Priest and Mediator.
But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second (Hebrews 8:6-7; ESV).

That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant (Hebrews 9:15; NLT).

You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24; NLT).

Thank God for Jesus! He gives our lives meaning, purpose, and hope. He is the evidence that we do not suffer alone, that God suffers right along with us. Our faith in Christ Jesus helps us develop a whole new perspective on the world, and therefore we understand our lives a little bit better.

Not only does Jesus give us a new perspective on life, but He also brings us into the Kingdom of His Father. It is not based on our righteousness, but based on His righteousness that we are able to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ is our mediator in Heaven making it possible for us to be part of God’s Kingdom.

The bottom line in all of this is that Jesus gives us a different perspective on suffering. Job wished that he had never been born because of the suffering he experienced, because he had no hope beyond this life (Job 10:20-22). For Job the blessings of God were for his time on earth rather than eternal life with God in heaven. That is what made his suffering so difficult, it went against his understanding of who God is.

We know that there is a purpose in our suffering. That doesn’t mean that our suffering is any easier than Job’s suffering, but it does give us hope. The New Testament teachings us that through suffering God is able to mold us into the people He wants us to be, people fit for heaven. It is the presence of hope that makes suffering bearable. The reason we have this hope is because we have a mediator, Christ Jesus, who pleads our case before God. That is a blessing that Job could only wish that he had.

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