It is easy to be casual about the New Covenant. So Zechariah emphasized the covenant of blood. Christ gave His own blood to make the New Covenant possible. Without that precious blood of God in the flesh, there would be no hope for mankind.
“As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water” (Zechariah 9:11). If you check the Hebrew, God (through Zechariah) is talking about what could be termed a blood covenant.
We need to understand our spiritual condition apart from God. We are prisoners of Satan in a dark pit without any water! (a type of God’s Spirit). This is the normal condition of man without God’s Holy Spirit.
It takes the power of God’s Spirit to bring us out of the spiritual pit. That Spirit keeps us focused on the bloody price paid so we could enter into the New Covenant. We must view Christ’s sacrifice as God does. Only God’s Spirit makes that possible.
It took Christ’s blood and the Spirit of God to get us out of a stifling prison. It can happen only if we enter into the New Covenant with God.
If we are doing our part, God says He will bring us out of the pit where there is no water. Because He has made this blood covenant with us, we don’t have to be where there is no water, no food, no revelation.
We made a covenant with God. And the reason we are able to understand God’s truth is because Christ died. He suffered a savage butchery to make it possible for us to be able to keep all the conditions of the New Covenant, and to enter into it at His Second Coming. That’s the price of that covenant. God will never break His part of the covenant. He has already spent the blood of His Son to show His total commitment. Jesus Christ spilled His blood to let mankind know the depth of God’s indescribable love for each one of us.
What does it take to give us the opportunity to enter that covenant? Would the blood of bulls and goats make it possible? Absolutely not—it took the blood of God in the flesh. We must never forget that: The ultimate price was paid so we could enter this covenant!
Why can’t we enter the New Covenant until Christ returns? Because men can fail. God made the Old Covenant with the Israelites, and they didn’t keep their part of it. So now God says, I’m going to make you do what I command first,and thenyou’ll enter the covenant. He wants to see how much we love it first. So we are keeping the conditions of that covenant, even though we haven’t yet entered into it.
But we must never forget about the blood of that covenant. Always remember the ultimate price God paid to even make that covenant possible! His blood was given to pay for our sins. Only God, who is greater than His creation, could pay the penalty for our sins. Sin always exacts a penalty. This was the only way that we could be born into God’s Family and receive eternal life.
Zechariah is emphasizing the blood so we don’t forget. This covenant is the crowning glory of mankind. And how could God have given more to make it possible?
We should enter into this covenant with the utmost gratitude. Angels were never offered such a priceless opportunity. Only men and women can become sons of God.
What a glorious gift! And what a dangerous risk God took to make it all possible. One sin and Christ would have been lost forever—and so would we!
Thankfully, His blood was from a perfect sacrifice. Now we have the unparalleled opportunity to be born into God’s Family. We should thank God daily for that intensely brutal and bloody sacrifice for our sins—without it there would be no covenant.
When we become baptized, we covenant with God that we are willing to give up our own life—our blood—if it is required (Luke 14:25-26). This is also a small part of the reason it is a covenant of blood. We too must have a total commitment to this majestic covenant with God—even to the point of shedding our blood.
Victory Through Warfare
“Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee” (Zechariah 9:12). That’s what God’s people are, when He makes this New Covenant with them—“prisoners of hope”! This is a living covenant, and as far as God is concerned, it is absolute and sure. What hope that gives us! We never have to worry about God wanting to rewrite the covenant.
The word turn in the Hebrew is actually return. God is primarily talking to those of His saints who had His Spirit and still turned away. Christ refers to them as Laodiceans in Revelation 3:14-22. God is warning them to return to the stronghold. He wants to give them a double reward, along with all the rest of the firstfruits. But to receive that, they must meet the conditions of the covenant. Essentially Christ is saying, I spilled my blood for this covenant—now what are you going to do for it?
Zechariah 9:13 is all about a military war—spiritually. Being a Christian is warfare—the most difficult warfare you could ever fight. The only way we will ever attain victory is through a lot of conflict. This isn’t an easy covenant to be part of. That is why we lose people from time to time. War always results in casualties.
But victory in this war comes with stupendous rewards. Coming into God’s true Church today, when only the little flock of God’s firstfruits is called, will bring a double reward (verse 12)—the greatest honor we could ever receive. “And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land” (verse 16). This is our future: We will be like glittering stones in God’s crown. He will lift us up so the whole world can see us! We will be an ensign, or sign—we will be the standard-bearers. And God will tell everyone to hear our teaching about how to keep the conditions of and enter into the New Covenant. What an honor that will be!
This is an excerpt from “Zechariah and the Blood Covenant.” To read the whole article, click here.