The glory of the New Covenant was evident on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus had taken three of His disciples. “Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him” (Matthew 17:1-3, ESV).
The glory was so immense that for a moment a glimpse of heaven broke through to the earthly realm. Suddenly, the disciples—Peter, James and John—saw Moses and Elijah talking with Christ. Peter was so amazed by this that he cried, “We need to build three tabernacles here.” Peter was seeing several covenants of God at once—in Jesus, in Moses and in the prophets.
But God the Father removed Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) from Peter’s vision, saying, “My Son embodies all the law and the prophets, the whole of every covenant — all that humankind will ever need. You have one command now, Peter, and that is to focus on Christ. When you love as He loves, with my Spirit in you, you fulfill all the law of Moses and the prophets. The law isn’t the driving force of your life—Jesus is” (see Matthew 17:5).
What a moment of revelation for Peter—and for us today! Fulfilling God’s law is not the reason we read our Bibles or pray. We do it to know our loving Father. Likewise, in the Father’s eyes, all of humankind’s needs are fulfilled completely in Jesus. It is why, as God looks on us today, He does not see people breaking His covenant continually. Instead, He sees in us the marks of His Son and therefore looks on us as covenant keepers!
God does not see a list of failures next to a list of good works, with a huge chasm in between. He does not see our works at all. He sees only His Son in us. And as He does, He bestows on us all the benefits of His covenant with the Son. All forgiveness is ours. All peace is ours. All acceptance is ours. All grace abounds to us, regardless of whether we’re up or down, succeeding or failing. His grace to us never changes.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon