Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Covenant of Friendship: Jesus(Yeshua) is Our Friend

In today times people loosely use the term friend. Even in the church world, people use this term, however don’t maintain covenant relationships with their quote on quote friends. People in the church gossip on one another about people who are their friends; they lie and run each other’s reputation down, backbite each other, married couples at the blink of the eye getting an divorce; people borrow money and promise to pay it back and never due; just plain out right covenant breakers. Most people don’t respect or even honor covenant relationships, that is expected in the “world” with the children of disobedience/darkness, but in the church with the children of God we suppose to represent obedience/light.

Friend in the American Heritage Dictionary is defining as follows: 1. A person, whom one knows, likes and trusts. 2. An acquaintance. 3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; comrade. In other words a true friend is one who has your back, and stick with you through thick and thin, good times and bad times.

Ancient Hebrews, when two males would enter into a blood covenant or friendship they would follow nine steps. The steps were as follows: 1. Take off Coat or Robe; 2. Take Off Belt; 3. Cut the Covenant; 4. Raise the Right Arm and Mix the Blood; 5. Exchange Names; 6. Make a Scar; 7. Give Covenant Terms; 8. Eat Memorial Meal; 9. Plant a Memorial. We see a good example of this in the Old Testament scriptures in 1Samuel 18:1-4 with the friendship of David and Jonathan. In 1Samuel 18: 4, when Jonathan stripped off his robe and placed on David, it was symbolically saying I’m giving myself (total being and my life) I pledge to you and you do the same. And Jonathan gave David his sword, bow, and girdle (taking off his belt) it was symbolically saying a person is giving you all my support and protection, and they would do the same. This covenant had such a strong bond between the two individuals becoming as one in unity, is one reason David makes the statement in 2 Samuel 1:26 that his love for Jonathan pass that of a women (no they weren’t having homosexual affair, but two men with a strong bond of friendship). Secondly, after Jonathan’s death, David after being King over all of Israel, remembers his covenant with Jonathan, and takes Jonathan only surviving son Mephibosheth (he was lame) into his house(2 Samuel 9).

Jesus is our friend, we were once enemies of God, but through His death on the cross and His resurrection reconcile us back to God. Through excepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior now makes us a friend of God by being born again, and follow His commandments. Jesus said in St. John 15:14: “Ye are my friends, if do whatsoever I command you.” We can see how we relate to Jesus and this nine step blood covenant two Hebrew males would enter into. Look closely at the nine steps of this covenant.

Step 1: Take Off Coat or Robe: Now to the Hebrews, a person’s robe represents the person. By taking off the robe and giving it to someone, was symbolically saying, I’m giving you all myself (total being and my life) I pledge my life to you, and you do the same. Isaiah 61:10: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Step 2: Take Off Belt: Means not to hold up someone pants, but hold a person weapons(armor together). A dagger, bow and arrow, or sword. Symbolically a person giving you all my support and protection and you do the same. Jesus gives us spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:13-18), and to tread upon all the instruments of the devil(Luke 10:19).

Step 3: Cut the Covenant: By taking an animal and cutting it right down the middle. After the animal is split, they would lay each half to the side of them and stand between the bloody halves, making a figure eight, and comeback to stop facing each other. In doing so we are saying that we are dying to ourselves, giving up the right to our own life and beginning a new walk with our covenant partner unto death. The second, the people point down to the bloody animal split in two and say, “God do so to me and more if I ever try to break this covenant. They would say; just split me right down the middle and feed me to the vultures because I tried to the most sacred of all covenants. Romans 6:4-5: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

Step 4: Raise the Right Arm and Mix Blood: Then they would raise their right arms, cut their palms and bring them together, to intermingle their blood; then swear allegiance to each other. By intermingling becoming one. This is because blood is life(Leviticus 17:11). It symbolically shows two becoming one. Romans 3:24-26; Hebrews 9:22; Revelations 12:11.

Step 5: Exchange Names: Then as they stand with their blood intermingling they exchange names. I take your last name as part of my name, and you take my last name as part of my name as part of your last name as part of your last name. Jesus became as sin for us when he died on the cross that we may become righteous through Him in the eyesight of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). We as believers the only we can saved is through His name, and He gives us authority. Acts 4:12 says: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Step 6: Make a Scar(Holy Ghost): The next step is they would rub our blood together as a permanent testimony to the covenant we had made. Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4: 30; 1 John 4:4 ; Revelation 12:11.

Step 7: Give Covenant Terms: Then they could stand before a witness and give the terms of the covenant. Everything I have is yours and yours is mine, both assets and  liabilities. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 8:16-17 says: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be also glorified together. Jesus took on our liabilities(sins), and gave us assets(salvation).

Step 8: Eat Memorial Meal: A memorial meal was used to complete the covenant. Wine and bread was used. Wine for blood and bread as flesh(Communion). 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.

Step 9: Plant a Memorial: They would plant a tree that would have sprinkled with the blood of animal. Signaling Jesus on the cross.

Let us remember Jesus is our best friend, He stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), Jesus will never fail you or forsake you(Joshua 1:5; Hebrews13:5), He doesn’t leave us comfortless ( St. John 14:15-18), but gives us Holy Spirit to dwell inside us to lead and guide us.

To conclude, let’s try to keep and honor our covenant with Christ Jesus, and just not our covenant with Jesus, husband and wives, parents and children, friends and family, and the saints of God. Please let’s not abuse our relationships with each other, but let us follow Mark 12:30-31: And Thou Shalt Love The Lord Thy God With All Thy Heart, And With All Thy Soul, All Thy Strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor AS Thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. We must keep our covenant and love in relationships both vertically and horizontally.

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