Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“…for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26.28, ESV)
In instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus told His disciples to divide amongst themselves the fruit of the vine which represented His blood which He shed on the cross for our sins. At this point, He had not yet voluntarily poured out His blood, but He explained to them that His blood would be “of the covenant” and “for the forgiveness of sins.”
By “of the covenant,” Jesus meant that His blood would enact the New Testament, or New Covenant, as the Old Covenant was to be done away with at the cross (Col. 2.14; Eph. 2.14-16, etc.). Therefore, we are to live in obedience to the covenant of Christ (His law) and no longer submit to the Law of Moses.
By “for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus meant that His blood would be the cleansing power necessary to wash away our sins (cf. Rev. 1.5; 1 Peter 1.2, 18-19, etc.) and to purchase the church (Acts 20.28).
When do we have our sins washed away? Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2.38). Notice how baptism accomplishes exactly what Jesus’ blood would accomplish – forgiveness of sins. Consequently, when we are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6.3-4; Gal. 2.26-27; Eph. 5.26-27), we are washed in His cleansing blood. Ananias told Saul, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22.16)
While all men are accountable to the new covenant, not all men will experience forgiveness of sins. That is because the promise of forgiveness of sins is only found in obedience to the new covenant.
“And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today.” (Deuteronomy 5.1-3).¹
¹The Law of Moses, also known as the Law of God (Ezra 7.6; 2 Chron. 34.14), was given to the nation of Israel. This was part of God’s eternal plan to bring us to Christ and the cross (Gal. 3.16, 19, 23-25). Once Christ came and died for our sins, He nailed the Law of Moses to the cross (Col. 2.13-14; Eph. 2.13-16). Shortly thereafter His will and testament came into practice (see Heb. 8.6; 9.15-17).
The New Testament was in accordance to the prophecy found within the pages of the Old Covenant (Jer. 31.31-34; Heb. 8.6-9, 13, etc.). Therefore, since Christ has come and died, we are no longer under the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ (Gal. 6.2; Heb. 9.15ff). Since we will be judged by His gospel (Rom. 2.16), we must not appeal to Moses for salvation, justification, or authority for what we practice religiously (Matt. 17.1-5; Col. 3.17; Heb. 1.1-2, etc.).
The question might arise, “if we are under the Law of Christ, why the need for the Old Testament?” First, among many things, the Law taught us about sin, holiness, and about obedience to God (Rom 3.20; 7.7-11; Deut. 10.12-13, etc.), and second, the Old Testament was written for our learning (Rom. 15.4) and examples were given that we might not sin against God as those of the past did (1 Cor. 10.6).
Finally, we need Christ, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10.4). The blood of Christ was and is sufficient to wash away our sins (Heb. 9.11-14). Yet, it is only when we comply with the conditions found within the New Testament that we can have our sins forgiven. In His New Covenant, Jesus taught, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16.16).
If you’re interested in learning more about the Old Testament, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.