In the Old Testament, God promised Israel the land of Canaan, and when the spies searched out the land they brought back signs of that good land, the fruit of the Promised Land. But you know the story: the people saw the signs, they tasted how good it was, and they didn’t believe that God could give it to them. They said there were giants in the land; they would be destroyed. And because they didn’t believe, God required them to wander in the wilderness for forty years.
In the New Testament, we have been given a far greater promise. Jesus, our Joshua, is not leading us merely into a tiny plot of land in the middle east. He has sent us out into all the world to disciple every nation of men. He said that when He was lifted up on the cross, He would draw all people to Himself. The promises of the New Covenant are glorious and clear: The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Is. 11:9). All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him (Ps. 22:27). It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills. And all nations shall flow to it (Is. 2:2). And Paul says that Christ has risen from the dead and must reign until all His enemies have been put beneath His feet, and the last enemy that will be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:25-26).
These are our promises. The meek shall inherit the earth. And so, as we come to this table week after week, the Lord lays before us signs of the new Promised Land. This bread and this wine are taken from this world, this land, and they are sure promises that the Lord is giving us this world. Do no doubt. Only believe. There are giants in our lands too, but if the Lord is with us no one can stand against us.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.
New e-book Death by Baptism available here.