Let us consider God’s Covenant purpose, as a Glorious example. There are a myriad of voices on the subject of covenant, and I don’t intend to enter the fray. My only purpose is to suggest some “scriptural light” on the subject in the hope that it may unite our hearts in praise to our Glorious God Who has given us all things “according to His Riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
In Genesis 15, after the account of the fall and the promise of the seed of the woman that would crush Satan’s head, we find God “cutting” a covenant with Abram, a man who was graced by God. God told Abram to split in two a three year old heifer, a three year old she goat, and to take a whole turtledove and young pigeon. As the sun went down, a deep sleep fell on Abram and “a great horror of darkness fell upon Him” Vs 12. God gave him the “seed” promise, that he would have a seed that would inherit a “promised land”. And God sealed that covenant in this way, “and when it came to pass, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.” It is significant that Abram was asleep when the oven and lamp passed between the pieces, indicating that the covenant was based on God’s Word alone, not Abrams’ two cents being added in. And of course this becomes the foundation of our justification, “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3 from Gen. 15:6)
The Apostle Paul, through the revelation given to him, makes it plain Who this Seed is. “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to our Seed,’ Who is Christ.” (Gal. 3:16) Therefore, according to Paul, the Seed has always been Christ and the physical seed of Abraham were not the Seed God was speaking of, but were a part of the “shadow covenant” that was continually pointing to the True Seed, Christ Jesus.
In Psalm 89:3-4, we find this theme, again in shadow. “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations.” A quick reading of Acts 2:25-36 will verify that the seed of David Is Christ Jesus.
Isaiah, that great gospel writer of the Old Testament, provides us with two key passages. Isaiah 42 is a grand Messianic declaration of the Servant, the Father’s Elect One “in Whom My Soul delights”. (Compare Matt. 3:17) In verse 6 we read, “I, the LORD have called You in righteousness, and will hold your hand; I will keep You and give YOU as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.” In Luke 2:25-32, aged Simeon, brought to the temple by the Holy Spirit, adds Isa. 42:6 to his list of Isaiah passages fulfilled by the Babe in his arms!!! He was beholding God’s Covenant!!!
In Isaiah 49, we have the Servant prophecy again, giving once again hope to the gentiles (Vs 6), forecasting an international Gospel. In the middle of verse 8 we come across this message, “I will preserve You and give YOU as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages.” Once again, the Servant of Jehovah is HIMSELF given as a covenant.
Consider with me Hebrews 10. It begins, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image (reality) of the things, can never with these sacrifices (animals as in vs 2-4)….make those who approach perfect.” Verses 5-10 gives us one of the most beautiful truths in scripture. This chapter is a contrast of bodies! Verse 5 gives a Holy Spirit twist to Ps. 40:8, “But a body You have prepared for Me.” God prepared a Body for Christ that was the Adequate Flesh to replace those shadow sacrifices that brought no pleasure to the Most High. They were instituted as a matter of obedience to maintain the “shadow communication” with God, and to point the continual sinners to a Sufficient Sacrifice Who was to come!!! Romans 8:3-4 speaks to this very issue. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh (both the flesh of the sacrifices and the flesh of the people), God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” The Body that God prepared for His Son is exactly what Perfect Holiness required to give access into the Presence of the Most High God. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.!!!” And our only hope of completeness is in His Perfect Flesh and Blood. (Colossians 2:9-10)
Now consider Hebrews 10:19-20. We are exhorted to enter the Holiest, the very Presence of the Most High God, and that with a humble, grateful, and eager boldness. But notice, we enter by a “new and living way which He (This Man of the Perfect Body) consecrated for us through the veil, that is HIS FLESH!!! Remember the cutting of the covenant with Abram? Turn to Matthew 27:45-51. Note the darkness from the 6th hour to the 9th hour, as with Abram, great darkness came upon Him. Hear the Man Christ Jesus’ sense of desertion for our sins, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” That was the darkest hour in human history and in Eternities annals. Now note Vs 50-51 Jesus yielded up His spirit, “and behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” The Perfect Body, the Perfect Flesh, the Perfect Sacrifice bore our awful death penalty, that His Father might be Just in His Righteousness, and yet be the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus, the Perfect Man!!! (Romans 3:21-26)
You see, the veil in the tabernacle in the wilderness and its succession of temples, was a picture of the truth “that in me, that is my flesh dwells no good thing”. (Romans 7:18a)
There was no access into the Holiest Place, the Presence of the Most High God until a Perfect Flesh was come. Our flesh was a constant barrier to that Presence.
These very bodies that we coddle and pamper or despise and curse, they cannot do anything that pleases God, let alone bring an adequate sacrifice for our innumerable sins. The shadow sacrifices could not change the picture, for the veil continued to cut off the entrance to the Presence/Holy of Holies. The sacrifices had to be repeated over and over. But God prepared the Adequate Body, the One Who completely pleased the Father, for it was the God manifest in the flesh, the Man Christ Jesus that the Father showered His Pleasure on in His Baptism, the emblematic object lesson of what was soon to occur for our salvation. This Flesh and this Flesh only could be "cut" as the covenant of Eternal Redemption!!!
One more blessing from Hebrews 10:9-10 “Then He said, Behold, I have come to do your will, O God., He takes away the first (shadow covenant) that He may establish the second. By that will we have been set apart through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Consider carefully Hebrews 9:6-10. The shadow covenant was symbolic until the time of reformation. The Reality is now at the Right Hand of His Father, our Forerunner.
But what about the smoking oven and the flaming torch of Genesis 15:17? Where is that in the Seed Sacrifice? Do you remember John the Baptist’s words just before this Declaration of the Father in Luke 3:16, “I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Does that bring Scripture to mind? Acts 2:2-4 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind….Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” I am not ignoring the tongues in the passage but they are not pertinent to this discussion. They do point to the “gathering together In Christ of all things” as they evidence Gods’ reuniting what was scattered at the Tower of Babel.
So what do we take from this? We have the Father’s declaration of His Satisfaction in His God/Man. We have the tearing of the veil in the temple at the God/Man’s death along with the Hebrews 10 statement that the True Veil that had to be torn in two for our redemption was His Perfect Flesh—that is the Body prepared for Him by the Father!!! And then we have the Holy Spirit of Fire passing through the Veil, that is the Perfect Satisfactory Flesh in our stead, and alighting upon each and every one of the disciples in the room, repeated upon others in Acts to show that the Holy Spirit is the Guarantee of the Covenant, and that for all people, Jew or Gentile, male or female. The Holy Spirit is God's indwelling verification, His indwelling word, the Christ in us, that the Covenant is sure and true. (Ephesians 1:13-14) God Himself would have to be torn from His Throne of Righteousness, His Holy Spirit yanked from the hearts of His people, for this covenant to fail. There is no more sacrifice possible for sin because the Perfect Body has been prepared as the Sacrifice for the sins of His People and a new and living way has been made for access into the Presence beyond the veil, and the Man Christ Jesus is Eternally our High Priest seated at the Right Hand of the Majesty on High as the Living Intercession for His People on the basis of the Once Done Perfect Sacrifice that Destroyed "him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:14-15)
“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise, the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20