In the halls of eternity past, before the foundation of the world, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit made a covenant. Hebrews 13:20 calls it the eternal covenant, and in this solemn council the Godhead Trinity, existing in perfect union, pledge themselves to one another.
God the Father covenants to give His Son a people, as innumerable as the stars, from every tribe and language and people and nation. God knew that the world would be fallen and the elect with it, and so He promised, as objects of His eternal love, that they would be forgiven. All their sins would be washed away and all their transgressions forgiven through the merit of the blood of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit, for His part, promised that all to whom the Father gives the Son, He would lead in Truth. He would grant them repentance, lead them to cleansing blood of Jesus, and grant them grace and faith for the journey home.
As for Jesus, listen as Charles Spurgeon imagines through eyes of faith:
"My Father, on my part I covenant that in the fullness of time I will become man. I will take upon myself the form and nature of the fallen race. I will live in their wretched world, and for my people I will keep the law perfectly. I will work out a spotless righteousness, which shall be acceptable to the demands of thy just and holy law. In due time I will bear the sins of all my people. Thou shalt exact their debts on me; the chastisement of their peace I will endure, and by my stripes they shall be healed. My Father, I covenant and promise that I will be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I will magnify thy law, and make it honourable. I will suffer all they ought to have suffered. I will endure the curse of thy law, and all the vials of thy wrath shall be emptied and spent upon my head. I will then rise again; I will ascend into heaven; I will intercede for them at thy right hand; and I will make myself responsible for every one of them, that not one of those whom thou hast given me shall ever be lost, but I will bring all my sheep of whom, by thy blood, thou hast constituted me the shepherd—I will bring every one safe to thee at last."
In this Advent season, as we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child, let us give glory to God for the blood of the eternal covenant. He is Jesus, our Atoning Sacrifice.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
About the Author: Christina Langella lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two dogs. In November 1999 she came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by an act of God’s sovereignty. Her hope, as the old hymnist says, “is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.” She teaches women’s Bible study at her church where she also serves gladly in various capacities. She blogs at Heavenly Springs.