As we celebrate Easter, it's important to remember that the Gospel story of Christ's sacrifice on the cross is the fulfillment of a salvation plan that God had been promising His people since the very beginning. Throughout Scripture, God made covenants of grace, each one revealing more and more about His perfect plan to make us His people and to be our God.
Throughout Scripture, God made covenants of grace, each one revealing more and more about His perfect plan to make us His people and to be our God.
A COVENANT WITH ADAM
GENESIS 2-3 | A promise that a Son of Adam would bring victory.In the Garden of Eden, God instituted a loving relationship with Adam and Eve, the part of creation He crafted in His likeness. He provided them a beautiful garden, good work, good food, and one another. What is more, the Almighty God humbled Himself, that mankind might personally know Him. He gave them clear parameters for living in His presence, but Adam and Eve rejected His wisdom and love, allowing sin to take hold. Despite their unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. In His immeasurable love, the great I am promised all humanity victory over Satan and sin, through a coming Savior—a child from the line of Adam and Eve—who would crush the head of Satan but would Himself be stricken.
THE COVENANT WITH NOAH
GENESIS 6:9-22, 9:1-17 | A promise to protect mankind and thus the coming Son of Adam.
In order for God's previous promise to be fulfilled, God had to sustain and protect mankind. But wickedness and violence had become rampant—so He chose Noah to be like a new Adam on a new earth (9:1, 7)—not a redeemed earth nor a redeemed Adam, but a man who would preserve mankind. In this way, God ensured the Seed of Eve would come to fulfill the covenant of redemption.
THE COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
GENESIS 12:1-3, 15:1-21, 17:1-27 | A promise to bless all nations through a miraculous birth.
From the midst of a glory-hungry society (Genesis 11:1-9), God called out Abraham, promising to miraculously provide him a son through whom Abraham would father nations and kingdoms. God also promised Abraham the land of Canaan, a land that would belong to Abraham's children eternally, pointing us to a coming Kingdom without end—one that, through Abraham, would bless all nations on earth. Over and over again, God demonstrated that this covenant would not fail because it wasn't up to Abraham but up to God, who promised by His own blood that these things would come to pass.
THE COVENANT WITH MOSES
EXODUS 19-31 | A promise to not forsake His people—a once-for-all sacrifice would come.
As God foretold, Abraham's descendants became slaves in a foreign land—but with incredible displays of power and sovereignty, God freed them, calling Moses to lead His people out. Then He gave them the Law along with the tabernacle and its ritual sacrifices, which all testified to the impossibility of defeating sin apart from God. This covenant, though on the surface appearing to promote a works-based righteousness, demonstrated to the people the terrible cost of sin (death and the shedding of blood) and the inadequacy of the blood of animals to atone for sin once and for all—pointing them to the incredible grace of God in His longsuffering with them and fostering a longing for that promised Savior to come (Genesis 3:15).
THE COVENANT WITH DAVID
2 SAMUEL 7:1-16 | A promise that the everlasting King, the Savior, would come from the line of David.
In the course of time, God established a king over His people—a king after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14): David. When David brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, God gave him an incredible promise: He would establish David's throne forever before Him. And though God would discipline David's sons when they strayed, His gracious love would never depart from them because, one day, the perfect, sinless King would be forsaken in their stead—and ours.
THE NEW COVENANT
HEBREWS 8-9 | A promise to redeem forever all who call on the name of Jesus, making them God's chosen people.Finally, King Jesus, the Savior, the perfect sacrifice for the remission of sins forever, fulfilling each and every covenant—He arrived. Jesus, God with us, humbled Himself to be born a man, according to the promise (Genesis 3:15). He came from the line of Abraham, a son of David (Matthew 1:1-17). He perfectly fulfilled the Law (Hebrews 4:15), then poured out His own blood to cleanse all who call on His name from their sin, that they might serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14). He defeated sin and death once and for all and will come again to bring His people into the new Promised Land where God will dwell with them (Revelation 21).