The new covenant (Lk 22:20-22:20)

“Jesus

Did the same

With the cup

After supper.

He said.

‘This cup,

That is poured out

For you,

Is the new covenant

In my blood.’”

καὶ τὸ ποτήριον ὡσαύτως μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, λέγων Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου, τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον.

Luke said that Jesus did the same with the cup (καὶ τὸ ποτήριον ὡσαύτως) after supper (μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι).  He said (λέγων) that this cup (Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον) was poured out for them (τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον), as the new covenant (ἡ) in his blood (ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου).  Luke was the only synoptic to call this a new covenant (καινὴ διαθήκη) rather than just a covenant.  This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:27-28, and Mark, chapter 14:23-24, but Matthew added “the forgiveness of sins” at the end.  Luke was the only one to have a blessing cup before the bread and one after the bread and the supper.  Paul spoke also about a “new covenant” in I Corinthians, chapter 11:25.  In John, chapter 6:53-58, Jesus was preaching about eating and drinking the body and blood of the Son of Man, since there was no institution narrative.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that this was his blood of the covenant (Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης), that was to be poured out for many people (τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶ).  This blood poured out for many may be an allusion to Isaiah, chapter 53:12.  Notice that Mark has this statement about the blood of Jesus after they had already drunk the cup.  The same could be implied from Matthew who also said that after giving thanks (καὶ εὐχαριστήσας), Jesus gave them this drinking cup (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς).  He told all of them to drink from this cup (λέγων Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες).  He said that this was his blood of the covenant (τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης), that was to be poured out for many people (τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον) in order to forgive sins (εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  This blessing of the wine had a more elaborate narrative than the bread.  However, both would become part of the new developing Christian Eucharistic worship service.  Thus, the Greek word “εὐχαριστήσας (giving thanks)” became the name of the Last Supper Eucharist remembrance event that was also known as the breaking of the bread.  Do you think that drinking the cup at a Eucharistic service is important?

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The new covenant (Hos 2:18-2:18)

“On that day,

I will make

For you

A covenant

With the wild animals,

The birds of the air,

The creeping things

Of the ground.

I will abolish

The bow,

The sword,

War from the land.

I will make you

Lie down in safety.”

On that day to come, Yahweh said that he was going to make a new covenant with the wild animals, the birds, and the creeping things. He was going to abolish the bow, the sword, and even fighting in general. War would be no more. This futuristic peace time would mean that they could lie down in safety. Was this the messianic age to come with worldwide peace?

The new covenant (Jer 31:33-31:34)

“‘But this is the covenant

That I will make

With the house of Israel,

After those days.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will put my law

Within them.

I will write it

On their hearts.

I will be their God.

They shall be my people.

No longer shall they teach

One another.

‘Know Yahweh!’

They shall all know me,

From the least of them

To the greatest.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will forgive

Their iniquity.

I will remember their sin

No more.’”

Yahweh says that the new covenant will be written in the hearts of the people of Israel. It will be within them, so that they will not have to teach each other to know Yahweh. Yahweh was going to be their God. They were to be his people, plain and simple. There was no great need for any kind of education. From the least to the greatest, they would all know Yahweh, since he was going to forget their iniquity. He was not going to remember their sins anymore. There would be a clean slate with this new covenant of interior knowledge and love. God, Yahweh, has taken the imitative to create this new spiritual personal covenant of the heart. He was going to take away retribution for past sins but wanted personal responsibility for here on out. The law was no longer imposed from outside but came from within.

The new covenant (Jer 31:31-31:31)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming,

When I will make

A new covenant

With the house of Israel

As well as the house of Judah.’”

Yahweh says, via Jeremiah, that the days are coming when he would make a new covenant with both the house of Israel and the house of Judah. What then happened to the old alliance between Yahweh and his people?

The new covenant (Neh 9:38-9:38)

“Because of all this we make a firm agreement in writing. On that sealed document are inscribed the names of our officials, our Levites, and our priests.”

Apparently Nehemiah came up with the idea of a new written covenant, which is nothing more than a renewal of the old covenant, after this great prayer of Ezra. He wanted all the officials, Levites, and priests to sign it or put their seal on it. Actually King Josiah (640-609 BCE), before the Exile, had a renewal of the covenant but it was only an oral one, not written. We shall see how this written covenant works out.