Hebrews 7:22

One of the biggest struggles of the Christian life is to believe that God really does love us. We read the words on the pages of Scripture, we sing about His love, and we teach it to our children. Yet, for many, the doubts often linger: “Does God really love me? Does He love him/her more than He loves me? If God loves me, why does my life look the way it does?”  The doubts that simmer below the surface are dangerous. They can cause us to feel unstable and unsure in our relationship with God. They can even move us in a direction away from the heart of God instead of closer to Him. How can we be sure of God’s love for us? He tells us in Hebrews 7:22:

“Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.”

God has made an oath to us. And when God makes an oath, it’s a done deal. Settled. Secure. Decided. What is the oath? Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant.

For us to understand what this means, we must first ask, “If Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant, what was the first covenant, and what was wrong with it?”  A covenant is an agreement made between two parties. God had made a covenant with Israel. They were to obey His law and He would be their God. This would include His provision and His protection.

Ex. 24:1-8 describes when the Israelites came into that covenant with God. Moses read the book of the Law and they responded, “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do, and we will be obedient” (v.7). This Old Testament covenant was based on obedience to the law. Could the Israelites maintain their end of the agreement and obey the law? NO. Therefore, the priests would offer sacrifices on behalf of the Israelites whenever the law was broken. This old agreement, or covenant, was not sufficient. The Israelites could not keep their end of the agreement, and the sacrificing of animals was never meant to wash away sins.

Enter: A Better Covenant

Jesus brings a new kind of relationship between God and man. He brings a new covenant.

The difference:

Old Covenant: Based on law, justice and obedience

New Covenant: Based on God’s love

Under the old covenant of law, you had to obey to receive God’s blessings, but under the new covenant, Jesus has perfectly obeyed in my place so I can receive God’s blessings through grace. His perfect obedience at the cross means that I receive God’s salvation, and that includes His love and blessings towards me.

What does it mean that Jesus is the guarantee of this new covenant?

So, how do we know the old covenant is no longer operative? How do we know now that access to God is no longer dependent on my achievement of obedience, but simply on the welcoming love of God? The answer: Jesus guarantees it.

The word “guarantee” in the Greek means, “One who gives security.” It’s the same meaning for a person who guarantees someone else’s overdraft at a bank. He will make sure it gets paid. He is someone who guarantees that some undertaking will be honored.

When we see Jesus in all His love, we are seeing what God is like. Jesus guarantees that I receive the love of God because of the blood He shed. When the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites, He didn’t look inside to see who was worthy, He looked to see if the blood was covering the doorposts. In the same way, Jesus’ blood in the new covenant secures my relationship with God.

We are part of an unshakable agreement that God’s wrath has already been poured out upon Jesus and so we can now simply receive His love, not because we are worthy, but because we stand under the covering of Jesus’ blood that guarantees it.

In a healthy relationship, a father loves his son or daughter, not based on how they perform, but simply because they are HIS child. Jesus has established this kind of relationship for us with God so that we can have security in knowing we have the love of our Heavenly Father, no matter what our past might look like. In Jesus, we have the guarantee of a secure and loving relationship with God. We never need doubt or waver.

Does this mean I no longer have to obey? NO! It means I am loved first, and then obedience grows out of the love I receive. I don’t obey to receive God’s love. I have His love, and so I obey. A life transformed by the love of God will always bear the fruit of obedience. Jesus’ death for me guarantees that I can live secure in the love of God. I can have 100% assurance that I am loved because the covenant is sealed by God’s oath. When God makes an oath, He does not break it. Next time you are tempted to doubt God’s love for you, don’t look to yourself or your behavior for assurance, look to Jesus. Jesus has honored the covenant through His perfect obedience. In doing so, He has forever secured God’s lavishly poured out love on you.