Editor’s Note: This seven+ minute video is an excerpt of John Piper’s last pastoral message that he presented to Bethlehem Baptist Church on March 31st, 2013. Within this brief segment Dr Piper hit a New Covenant home run that should be enjoyed by all who are awaiting the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that you too will rejoice in what Messiah has accomplished on behalf of his saints. – Moe
Gleaned From: “God Raised Your Great Shepherd from the Dead”
A Farewell Sermon | March 31, 2013 | by John Piper | Scripture: Hebrews 13:20–21
Hebrews 13:20: “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant. . .”
This is the right way to read this verse. By the blood of the eternal covenant God raised Jesus from the dead. The covenant that Christ secured with his own blood secured his own resurrection. What was this covenant?
It was the covenant described in Hebrews 8: 8–12:
I will establish a new covenant . . . I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. . . . They shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
Forgiven sins, knowing God, God being our God, and the law of God — the revealed will of God — written on our hearts. This is what Jesus bought for us. Luke 22:20, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” The blood of the covenant is the blood of Christ shed to secure the promises of the covenant. God is covenant keeping God at the cost of the life of his Son.
And perhaps the best summary of what he bought for us is Jeremiah 32:40. I preached on this at the 125th anniversary of our church June 16, 1996. “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” Christ died to guarantee for us that God would never turn away from doing good to us, and that God would never let any of his children finally turn away from him.
O how we have reveled in this truth together! All the promises of God are yes! in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). He bought them. All our security is yes in Christ Jesus. He will not let us turn away. All future grace is guaranteed by the blood of Jesus. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Every need met according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). No good thing withheld (Psalm 84:11). All things working together for our good (Romans 8:28). Over every calamity of our lives are written the words to Satan and to our adversaries, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
God is a covenant-keeping, promise-keeping God. And the seal over every promise is the blood of the eternal covenant raising Jesus from the dead to guarantee every blessing in the heavenly places.