I’m sure many of you have made resolutions you want to try
and keep this year.
With the start of a new year comes the opportunity for a
fresh start — a chance to do things differently.
As you are considering the kind of changes you want to make
in your life, I’d like to encourage you to make 2011 a year of living with a
My prayer for us this New Year is that as we look to shed
old habits and adopt new ones, we would be mindful of what Scripture teaches
about the old and new covenants and what both mean for our lives today as
believers in Jesus Christ.
My hope is that we will remember the old covenant but live
in light of the new covenant promises.
The old covenant required God’s people to offer a sacrifice
as atonement for their sins. They did this through animal sacrifices.
Every day the priests ministered and offered sacrifices.
Leviticus 16 describes how Aaron, before he could enter the
most holy place on the Day of Atonement, was to purify the most holy place, the
tent of meeting and the altar by sprinkling the blood of animal sacrifices.
The old covenant required sacrifice, and it required a blood
The new covenant requires the same thing, for Hebrews 9:22
tells us that “without shedding of blood is no remission” for sin.
Yet, the new covenant does not require God’s people to bring
Him sacrifices for sin because Jesus Christ died once and for all as the
sacrifice for sin.
Unlike the priests who only entered the “holy places made
with hands,” Jesus entered into heaven in God’s presence. He did so because He
sacrificed Himself. The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin — only
the blood of Christ can do that.
How marvelous it is to know that for those trusting in Jesus
Christ as Savior we belong to a new covenant and are no longer slaves to sin.
I love how Romans says that for those who are in Christ
Jesus there is no condemnation.
In this New Year I encourage you to live in light of the new
covenant. Jesus is better than any other sacrifice. He is better than any other
high priest. Knowing Him is better than anything this world has to offer you.
You can’t do anything to earn His love or earn salvation. He
paid the ultimate price for your salvation. You must have faith and believe in
Resolutions are good — but remember that good works can’t
save you. If that were the case, Jesus didn’t need to come and die. Resolve
this year to live for the One who is better than anything else in the world.
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament,
that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were
under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of
eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15
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