During this time of Lent as we draw our minds and hearts toward Easter, let us understand what Calvary really means to the believer's life. We first, have to have an understanding of what the covenant means. The covenant relationship is one of the oldest ceremonies in human history. We see it throughout the Old Testament and before we can understand fully what Christ atoning work means at Calvarly we must first become familiar with the Covenant.
The Covenant Relationship
Read Joshua 5
The children of Israel have crossed the Jordan and they are standing on the “redemption side” of the river. They have established the memorial called “Gilgal” with twelve stones taken from the river bottom where the priest had been standing. A new beginning has begun for them and without a doubt there was excitement in the camp. The wilderness was behind them and Jericho lie ahead them. It would seem to us as it probably did to them that the time is perfect for them to attack the enemy. But God doesn’t command them to attack. Instead he commands them to sharpen the flint knives. Instead God says that a covenant must be established with this generation. You see these Israelites needed to re-establish the covenant that had been ill observed by the generation before them. They were in the camp, they had gone through the waters, yet Gilgal was more than just a place of rememberance, and resurrection. Gilgal was also a place of renunciation. Each person must come before the presence of the Great Physician of the soul and go under his knife. It was important that the covenant be established by each individual.
So, what is a covenant? Its root meaning literally means “to cut.” It was an all-encompassing agreement that was entered into to bind two parties together with stated and clear conditions outlined for the agreement. In a covenant were specified promises and obligations that were to be fulfilled.
Turn to Genesis 15, and let’s examine the covenant God initiated with Abram.