Jesus did not begin His existence either at His conception in Nazareth nor
His birth in Bethlehem. Jesus said that before Abraham had been born, He was
there. He used the Divine name for Himself, the “I Am” of the burning
bush. He does not say “I was” but “I Am” which means He is
eternally existing. He has no beginning or end. This means He is deity, He
possesses Godhood, because only God is eternal in both directions: past and
Additionally, He is the messenger of a new covenant which God establishes
with us by His grace and our faith. There has never been a covenant made by
God or man superior to this one; the one Jesus brought forth. Any covenant
that God establishes with us the way this one was established must be
powerfully necessary and important. At Mount Sinai, there was thunder and
smoke and fear when God established His first covenant, but now He has
established a new covenant; a better one (Hebrews 8:6-13; 10:9,10). Consider
Jesus as the Messenger of the New Covenant.
The Messenger Ratifies a New
First, the Messenger had a messenger. Malachi's prophecy (Malachi 3:1)
foretold the coming of a messenger (fulfilled by John the Baptist) who would
prepare the way for the Messenger of the New Covenant (fulfilled by Jesus).
He would come to His temple Himself (the temple at Jerusalem) and He would
be the messenger of the Covenant (New Testament).
John's birth was announced (Luke 1:17). He was to be the forerunner of the
Lord who was shortly bringing His covenant (see also John 3:28-30). Jesus is
the One with the covenant (Hebrews 12:24). We are now to listen to Him
The New Covenant was ratified by the sacrifice of Christ. This is what Jesus
taught (Matthew 26:28). It is His blood by which we are forgiven (Hebrews
9:28; 13:20). Anyone who think any other system is adequate is sorely
mistaken! Jesus died because it was the only way for redemption to take
place. It is by the gospel, or New Covenant that we are saved. (Romans
One other point. Jesus had a forerunner in John. We also have a forerunner:
it is Jesus Himself! John prepared the way for Jesus' ministry to follow.
Jesus prepared the way to heaven for us to follow. This is our hope; our
best hope; our only hope (Hebrews 6:19,20; 9:24)! If you seek to see Jesus,
then you seek to see the One who has ratified the covenant of our only hope
by His blood.
The Messenger Brings a Better
The New Testament is better than the Old Testament. Both are of God, but one
led to Christ and the other is of Christ. The Messenger of the Old Testament
was Moses; the Messenger of the New Testament is Christ. (Hebrews 3:1-6)
Because of this, we must be careful to open our hearts to its truths.
Consider some ways the two covenants and their messengers differ.
Moses failed to enter the promised land of Canaan because of sin; but Jesus
knew no sin and has entered into heaven. (Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Old Covenant priests/tabernacle/sacrifices/Holy place were mere shadows
of the spiritual things of our Covenant (Hebrews 7:22-25; 8:1; 5,6).
The promises made under our covenant are better promises. Heaven is a better
promised land than Canaan. (Hebrews 7:15,16; 22; recall 8:6).
Perhaps the most vivid contrast between the two covenants and their value is
seen in Hebrews 12. What will it be? A return to the mountain, and the smoke
and fire where the first covenant was given; or entering the sacred light of
the New covenant made sure by the love of God, brought by His Son, and with
the promise of eternal life (Hebrews 12:19-29). If you seek to see Jesus,
then you seek to see the One who has ratified the better covenant. It
contains the best promises that will ever be made to us by One who is
Our Covenant Has a Better Messenger
Moses was good; Jesus is better. Consider the attributes of the Messenger of
the New Testament:
1. Compassionate (Matthew 9:36). Moses offered to die for the people; Jesus
did die for the people. Moses' death would not have resulted in our
salvation, but Jesus' death does bring about that result for all who come to
God through Jesus in faithful, trusting obedience of the gospel.
2. Loving (Ephesians 5:25-27). Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us.
3. Propitiation (1 John 2:1). It is because of Jesus' sacrifice that we can
have confidence that our sins are covered and we need not fear for our past
4. Teacher (John 3:2; 7:46). Jesus is a wonderful example of a great
teacher; both in His words and by His example.
5. Judge (John 12:48). How wonderful that the One who will judge us on the
last day is the same one who loves us so much! But remember; He is also
righteous. We can be confident and comforted by the prospect of the outcome
at judgment only if we live by faith in Him today.
6. Helper (Hebrews 2:18). He will help us everyday; He always lives to
assist us in every area of life.
7. Redeemer (1 Peter 1:18-20). He has paid the price for our sins.
8. Friend (John 15:13). There has never been a greater offer of friendship!
9. Savior (Hebrews 7:25). There is no other equal to the task of saving us
10. Mediator (1 Timothy 2:15). He seeks to bring about reconciliation
between God and man. And wherever there is a willing human heart, Jesus is
Jesus is the One who is the perfect example of all these things. No one else
can be to us what Jesus can be and wants to be.
So, what do we do for those who would like to see Jesus? We show them the
Messenger of a wonderful covenant of promise. There is no better; and one
can do no better, than to pledge loyalty to the King, and then to follow
through by keeping the covenant.
From The Bradley Banner 6/4/2006
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
Bradley, IL 60915