God's Solemn Promise
Read Luke 22:14-23
Promises, promises. How many of us have shaken our heads in disappointment while mumbling those mournful words? We've been on the receiving end of bright-eyed promises that have all too quickly come up empty. There’s the day-altering inconvenience of a broken engagement – or the life-altering devastation of a broken engagement. The promise of commitment – either minor or major – should not be a disposable one.
Sadly, many people don't agree. However, in his book The Power of Promises, author and professor Lewis Smedes says to take courage, for there are some people who still make and keep their promises. They choose not to quit when the going gets rough. They stick to lost causes, hold on to love grown cold, and stay with people who have become more of a pain than a pleasure. All because of one simple word… promise.
Professor Smedes says that when you make a promise, you reach into an unpredictable future and make one thing predictable: you will be there even when being there costs you more than you want to pay. With one simple word of promise, a person creates an island of certainty in a sea of uncertainty.
Webster defines promise as “a pledge; to give reason to expect; grounds for hope.” That's a very compelling definition. And it’s especially appropriate when considered in light of today's reading.
Jesus and His disciples were preparing to partake of what is commonly known as The Last Supper. It was at that table where Jesus instituted something that is still practiced to this day. As He broke the bread, He gave a visual illustration of the fulfillment of God's promise of grace.
Then He took a loaf of bread, and when He had thanked God for it, He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is My body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me." After supper He took another cup of wine and said, "This wine is the token of God's new covenant to save you – an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you." Luke 22:19, 20
The blood of Jesus. The Cross of Jesus. They revealed God's own covenant, His pledge to mankind to redeem us. And this promise is entirely dependable and complete. There is nothing else that needs to be added. It was signed when Jesus died on the Cross. It was sealed with the Blood that He shed there. And it was delivered for all mankind through His powerful resurrection.
God's new covenant with man: redemption through the death and resurrection of His Son. That is our reason to expect, our grounds for hope. Hope in the fact that when God makes a promise, His perfect character demands that He keep it. Hope in the fact that when Jesus died on the Cross, He made a way for sinful man to connect with Holy God. Hope in the fact that His glorious resurrection shouts God's solemn promise of an eternity with Him.
The next time you are tempted to go searching for an island of certainty in a sea of uncertainty, remember one thing: God has provided that island. The Cross of Jesus is your anchor of hope.
That’s a promise from God. And that’s one that will last forever.
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