The Covenant is a binding agreement between God and the people.
The first Covenant was given to Noah.
“And as for me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature…Never again shall all flash will be cut of from the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth…I set my rainbow in the clouds, and it shall be for the sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring the cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud” Genesis 9:9, 11-14 And this Covenant has not been broken up to now and will never be.
Later on, God made a great Covenant at Sinai, with the nation of Israel (in the Old Testament - Exodus 24:3-8). The tablets on which the Ten Commandments were engraved were called “the tables of covenant” (Deuteronomy 9:11).
If we analyze this passage from the Old Testament, we can notice that blood is taken as a key guarantee for the Covenant.
This is the way in which God has revealed to Israeli people. “He took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said: All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said: This is the blood of the Covenant which the Lord has made with you according to these words”. Exodus 24:6-8
The new covenant came into being through blood, too, but this time the precious and holy blood of Christ that was shed on the cross for our reconciliation with God and for our salvation.
In the New Testament, it is described in the Gospel according to Mark. During the Passover dinner in the upper room with His disciples, Jesus gave us a new Covenant. When we drink a cup of wine after taking a peace of bread as a remembrance to Jesus Christ, we in fact, witness about His death – witness that He died for us, and in the same time that this blood was shed for the whole world. See 1 Corinthians 11:24-26, Galatians 2:20, 1 John 2:2.
My fellow Macedonians, when you do this on Christmas or on Easter in Macedonian churches, be aware about this Covenant. This connection is very important for all of us, because God doesn’t like to be taken not seriously. He does not want us to give Him particular promises and not to fulfill them. In that way we can become a subject of God’s wrath.
My message is that when we promise something to God we must fulfill it completely or we shouldn’t promise anything at all. When we do not fulfill our promises to God we lie to God, not to men. That is why it is highly recommended to give to God promises that you are able and willing to fulfill completely. And the new Covenant, manifested through drinking red wine, is the greatest Covenant for our salvation that leads us to eternal life through Jesus Christ. At that very moment we promise to God that from that day on, we fully surrender to Him, to His Word – the Bible, and that we faithfully accept His offer for salvation and eternal life by our free will.
This is a serious warning and we must act according to the Lord’s directions for our lives, according to His (Bible’s m.r.) principles and values.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the prophecies. Tell all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may you whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” Amen. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23