Decades have passed since I made some promises to a young lady in two different languages. Those promises announced my marital commitment and intended faithfulness to my young bride. At that time, I slipped a tangible symbol of my vows upon her finger to remind her of what I had promised.
God has also made some promises and provided us with a tangible reminder of them. However, he has offered the greatest promises ever – promises offering hope, identity, peace and holiness. Furthermore, unlike us, God is always faithful to his promises. We can know and rest assured God will deliver.
Whereas our planning and efforts are confined to the limits of one lifetime, God works across the centuries. Hundreds of years before Christ was even born, God announced his intention to claim a people for himself and be their God as well as forgive them of all of their sins (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Perhaps the most audacious aspect of God’s plan involved God offering these priceless treasures to broken and undeserving people mired in sin.
Nevertheless, faithful to his word God sent his Son into the world to die upon a cross to make possible the New Covenant with its promises (Hebrews 8:6-10:18). When the blood of Jesus’ death spilled forth, the relationship God had vowed would exist became a reality. Subsequently, whenever people rely upon Christ who died for them, God fulfills his promises. This impacts our lives. God claims us as his people. As such, we can be certain of our future inheritance and can live with the complete confidence and peace that we are God’s holy people.
The Hebrew author outlines how Jesus’ death should impact our lives if we belong to this New Covenant community. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:22-23).
Each Lord’s day when we partake of the one loaf and drink the fruit of the vine, a very tangible memorial proclaims Christ died in order to make God’s wonderful promises available to a sinful alienated world. Just as significantly, we are reminded that we can be certain of our relationship with God, forgiven of all sin and that God has made us holy through Jesus’ sacrifice.