It's in Christ's blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins. Do this for the remeberance of him. (Wine in the Eucharist).
Introduction and OverviewEdit
Around 33 AD in Jerusalem, while Jews were celebrating Passover, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was instituting an everlasting covenant under which all former covenants would be subsumed. What distinguished it from its predecessors was that it was, as the Apostle Paul said, "a covenant of the Spirit."   This was the Covenant about which the prophet Jeremiah had prophesied when he said, "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" [Jeremiah 31:31].
The New Covenant was preceded by the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic Covenants, each having special significance for the time period that God had assigned to it; and all of them,in one way or another, foreshadowed the New Covenant, as explained by Christ's Apostles and others. In addition to the prophecies of Jeremiah, the manifestation of the New Covenant had been foretold centuries earlier by several other prophets of the Old Testament as well.
Forerunners of the New CovenantEdit
Biblical and historical evidence show that Yahweh [God] made covenants in the past. By means of covenants, God was able to establish binding agreements with men in order to carry out His will. God was always the initiator and the guarantor of the promises he had made, and He remained forever faithful to His word in spite of the shortcomings of the parties involved [Deuteronnomy 9:5]. . Although these covenants were made for different reasons and had different purposes, at the root of all of them was God's unconditional love and mercy.
- The Noahic Covenant
The Noahic Covenant was a Covenant of promise that God made through Noah for the entire earth. God promised Noah that He would never again send a flood to destroy all life on the earth. This covenant is recorded in part at Genesis 9:1 and reads, "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.'" The Covenant continues in Genesis 9:9-11 where it reads, "I now establish my covenant with you, and with your descendants after you...Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." Later God gives Noah a sign of the Covenant. At Genesis 9:12-13 it reads, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come," and at verse 13 it states, "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." One source explains that this was a "perpetual covenant between God and Humankind," and that "it would remain until the earth has passed away." [Also see Genesis 8:22 and 9:17]
- The Abrahamic Covenant
The Abrahamic Covenant was established around 2000 BC when God visited Abraham of Ur [Mesopotamia] and told him to leave his country for the land that He would show him. God then made binding promises of prosperity to Abraham regarding his descendants [Genesis 12:1-3]. The Abrahamic Covenant was a covenant of faith, for God chose Abraham to be the inheritor of many blessings because of his unwavering faith in Him as the only true God. Although the Covenant was an everlasting agreement between Abraham and his natural heirs and servants and God, it came to include people of all nations who displayed faith in God just as Abraham did. Their faith would make them heirs of Abraham and thereby heirs of the promises made to him. The covenantal promises spoken by God to Abraham are, "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" Genesis 12:2-3]. Circumcision was a stipulation that came with the agreement, and was a sign of the Covenant.
- The Mosaic Law Covenant
Some time around 1280 BC, following the Israelites' deliverance from slavery in Egypt [See Exodus], God instituted a Covenant through Moses. It was a Law Covenant designed to forge the Israelites into a holy nation that would serve God and be witnesses of Him to the Gentiles. This Law Covenant [aka Mosaic Law Covenant] required strict obedience to the commandments and ordinances of God. The Covenant was confirmed at Mt. Sinai, when Moses, after having recited all of the commandments and judicial decisions of God to the people gathered, had the men make burnt offerings and communion sacrifices to God and sprinkled both the book of the Covenant and the people with the blood from the sacrificed animals [Exodus 24:1-8]. [Also see Hebrews 9:18-21.] Since this was a covenant of the law and of the flesh [signified by circumcision], failure to adhere to its rules and procedures could mean banishment, legal fines and penalties, or even death. The remedy for most offenses was atonement through animal sacrifices - a daily and yearly regulation.[See Day of Atonement.]
- The Davidic Covenant
One commentator explains, "The Davidic Covenant refers to God’s promises to David through Nathan the prophet, as explained in 2 Samuel 7 and later summarized in 1 Chronicles 17:11-14 and 2 Chronicles 6:16. This is an unconditional covenant in which God promises David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever (2 Samuel 7:10-13). The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The surety of the promises made rests solely on God’s faithfulness and does not depend at all on David or Israel’s obedience." 
- In 1 Chronicles, the prophet Nathan is commanded by God to deliver His words to King David. Nathan therefore repeats God's exact words to him saying, "I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.' "[1 chronicles 17:10-14] 
The above commentator continues, "The Davidic Covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David. 1) God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants). This promise is seen in 2 Samuel 7:10, “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously.” 2) God promises that David’s descendant or “seed” will succeed him as king of Israel and that David’s throne will be established forever. This promise is seen in 2 Samuel 7:12-13, "I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This is a reference to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ." 
In conclusion, the writer says, "The provisions of the covenant are summarized in 2 Samuel 7:16, “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” The promise that David’s “house,” “kingdom” and “throne” will be established forever is significant because it shows that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign. The covenant is summarized by the words “house,” promising a dynasty in the lineage of David; “kingdom,” referring to a people who are governed by a king; “throne,” emphasizing the authority of the king’s rule; and “forever,” emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel. 
The New CovenantEdit
Jesus Christ, Mediator of the New CovenantEdit
As prophesied by Isaiah and other prophets of the Old Testament, a Son would be born of a Virgin in the latter days, and the government of the world would forever be on His shoulders. This prophesy is found in Isaiah 9:6.7 and reads:
- 6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. " 
This glorious event took place around 4 BC in the city of David [Bethlehem] when the Virgin Mary gave birth to an infant son and called his name "Jesus". The birth of Jesus Christ was the unfolding of God's plan of redemption. The plan would culminate in Christ's ransom death and resurrection which would, in turn, bring about a forgiveness of sin and a reconciliation between Almighty God and mankind. [The words at Corinthians 5:19 state, " that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them." ] Jesus Christ, following His resurrection, would ascend back into heaven to be installed as our eternal King and High Priest, and mediator of the New Covenant.
The most sacred aspect of the New Covenant is the Eucharist or the Lord's Last Supper celebration [Also see Holy Communion, Divine Liturgy.] Christ instituted the Eucharist ceremony during His last Supper with His Apostles on the eve of the Passover celebration in Jerusalem. He prescribed this observance as the manner by which all would remember Him. 
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines communion [the Eucharist] as "a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ." 
The Apostle Luke describes the sacraments in Christ's Last Supper ritual stating, "In the same way, after the supper he [Jesus Christ] took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. [Luke 22:20.] The blood of Christ, symbolized by the sacrament of wine, is the most sacred part of the New Covenant, for only through His blood does the New Covenant have any value, since this was the only means by which atonement or forgiveness could be achieved. As pointed out before, the Apostle Paul noted that the New Covenant is a covenant of the Spirit [2 Corinthians 3:6], and this Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. It is the Spirit of Life and of Truth [God], and is the Spirit we find in Christ's Blood, the wine of the Eucharist. Without Christ's blood, there is no New Covenant.
The Apostle Paul makes note of the value that blood has in regards to forgiveness. He states in Hebrews 9:22, "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."  Also see Numbers 8:12. 
The Apostle Paul further applies the concept of blood as a requirement for Atonement when he speaks of Moses and the Israelites. The Apostle says, "18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, 'This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.' 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies" [Hebrews 9:18-21].
The sacrament of bread offered during the Eucharist ceremony represents Christ's body, for Christ is the true and living bread that sustains all life. Jdgray 13:50, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Jesus Christ, Our High PriestEdit
Jesus Christ is the eternal High Priest under the New Covenant. As High Priest, He performed the ultimate role of sacrifice when he laid down His own life on behalf of others. The Apostle Paul writes at Hebrews 9:11-14, "But when Christ came as High Priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"
As High Priest, Christ baptizes His followers in [or with] Holy Spirit [referred to by some followers as His annointing], makes intercession on their behalf; and He blesses, nurtures and sustains them spiritually.
The Eternal Holy SpiritEdit
As the New Advent Encyclopedia points out, "The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Though really distinct, as a Person, from the Father and the Son, He is consubstantial with Them; being God like Them, He possesses with Them one and the same Divine Essence or Nature. He proceeds, not by way of generation, but by way of inspiration, from the Father and the Son together, as from a single source." 
In explaining the truth about the Holy Spirit, Jesus told His apostles, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" [John 14:16-18].
Jesus spoke further on the Holy Spirit when he said to His apostles, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" [Matthew 28:18-20].
The Holy Spirit performs other vitally important roles. The Apostle John explained that the Holy Spirit's major role is to bear witness of Jesus Christ [John 15:26, 16:14]. The Apostle Paul explains how the Holy Spirit also acts as a teacher [1 Corinthians 2:9-14], revealing God's will to Christ's followers and God's truth. Jesus Christ told His disciples, "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" [John 14:26]. Jesus Christ adds, "When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come" [John 16:13]. On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus Christ sent forth the eternal Holy Spirit as promised, for the Spirit is the guide for believers under the New Covenant which is, as we recall from the words of the Apostle Paul, a covenant of the Spirit. Jdgray 14:36, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
New Covenant membership rests upon the faith of the individual, and this membership is signified by water baptism. Jesus Christ, mediator of the New Covenant, prescribed water baptism for His followers. Like the stipulation of circumcision earlier, water baptism is a sign of faith and repentance - and therefore, a sign that one is a member of the New Covenant. According to one source, "Baptism is considered as the visible sign of entrance into the New Covenant and therefore may be administered individually to new believers making a public profession of faith, corporately to the households of believers which typically would include children, or individually to children or infants of believing parents (see Infant baptism). Baptism is thus seen as the functional replacement and sacramental equivalent of the Abrahamic rite of circumcision and symbolizes the internal cleansing from sin, among other things."  [For varying views, see baptism.]
The Apostle Peter says, in Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Many Christians, see water Baptism as an outward sign of an inner conversion that had taken place through faith. [Also see Galatians 3:26-29,Romans 1:5, 4:11 and 16:26] Jdgray 14:43, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Blessings of the New CovenantEdit
The ultimate blessing or reward for membership in the New covenant is eternal salvation. This blessing, at noted in Theopedia, "refers to the grace of God in delivering his people from bondage to sin and condemnation, transferring them to the kingdom of his beloved Son" [Colossians 1:13]and giving them eternal life [Romans 6:23].  -- all on the basis of what Christ accomplished in his atoning sacrifice."  The Apostle Paul explains how we were all dead in our transgressions before Christ, and were made alive in Christ because of God's great mercy. Our salvation, he explains, is due to God's love for us not to any works on our part. The Apostle says, "8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast." [See Ephesians 2:4-9].  In Hebrews 9:15, the Apostle Paul states, "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. " 
Another blessing of the New Covenant is Christian worship. This is seen by many Christians as "the fruit of salvation." Theopedia says that Christian worship was put into effect by God, and that "it is accomplished by the Son, and produced by the Holy Spirit." 
Jdgray 14:49, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Prophecies Regarding the New CovenantEdit
It was foretold by the Old Testament prophets and others, that God would send forth a redeemer for Israel in the person of the Messiah. Certain Jews also recognized Him at the Temple and testified accordingly. Below are some of the Old Testament prophecies as well as two eye witness testimonies.
- The Patriarch Jacob [Israel], in his final Testament, spoke of a "ruler from the lineage of Judah." His words at Genesis 49:10-12 are, "10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. 11 He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk. 
- Daniel also prophecies about the coming of the Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom under a New Covenant. Daniel 9:25-27 reads, " 25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." 
- The prophet Isaiah foretells of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the redeeming sacrifice that he would make. At Isaiah 53:1-12 it reads, " 1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression [a] and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. [b] 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes [c] his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
- The prophet Amos speaks of Israel's restoration by God through our Lord Jesus Christ. At Amos 9:11-15, it say," 11In that day I will restore
David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, [f] " declares the LORD, who will do these things. 13 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills. 14 I will bring back my exiled [g] people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God. 
- The prophet Joel says, " 28 "And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls. 
- Micah speaks of a promised ruler from Bethlehem.
Micah 5:2-5 reads, " 2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. " 3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace." 
- Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, speaks of the imminent coming of the Messiah. Malachi 3:1 says, "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.
[Also See Jeremiah's prophecies concerning the advent of Christ.]
- The Savior's presence is acknowledged by Simeon when he is presented [for circumcision] at the Temple. This event is recorded in Luke 2:21 and reads,
"21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."[c] 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss[d] your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." 33 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
- Again, in Luke 2:36-38 we read of the prophetess, Anna, who also spoke in confirmation of Jesus as the awaited Messiah. Here it reads, "There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." [Also see Psalm 132:12; Isaiah 40:3-5]
Angelic Pronouncement [The Annunciation] to the Virgin MaryEdit
- "26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." 34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God." 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her [Luke 1:26-38]
- ↑ Corinthians 3:6
- ↑ 1 Corinthians 11:25 states, "In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
- New Covenant in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology