Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
The whole point of this series is that we need to walk In His Steps. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. So, if He already did this, then why do we have to also fulfill all righteousness? And how can we fulfill righteousness when we are sinful?
Christ was fulfilling the covenant of the law and it is very true that we are not able to fulfill the covenant of the law. A covenant is a two-way promise. When the Lord made a covenant, He was promising something and the other party in the covenant was also promising something. With Adam God promised to provide everything Adam would need, but Adam’s part was to not eat from the tree. To Abraham, God made a covenant to increase His numbers and make him a Father of many nations, but Abraham’s part was to walk blamelessly before the Lord. With Moses, God promised Israel that they would be His treasured possession of all nations if they followed the law. To David God promised that he would always have a descendant upon the throne of Israel if his descendants carefully walked before God according to the law. Each covenant has a promise from God that He would fulfill so long as man fulfilled his part.
The problem though was that the covenant was too difficult for man in his sinful state. But along with all of these covenants, God made other promises. He made a promise to the devil, not a covenant, but a promise. A promise is something that is kept and there is nothing the other party has to do in order for that promise to be kept. He promised the devil that he would strike the heel of the offspring of Eve but that same offspring would crush the devil’s head. When God ratified the covenant with Abram, there was a blood ceremony.
So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon. ”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land,
The idea behind this covenant was that the animals would be cut in two, then the two parties making the covenant would walk together between the sacrificed animals. The symbolism was that if either broke their part of the covenant, may they be cut in two like those animals. It was a serious ritual. But look what God did. He knew Abram would not be able to fulfill his part of the covenant. He knew Abram would not be able to obey Him all the time because he was sinful. So, instead, he put Abram to sleep. The Lord appeared as a blazing torch, the fire. And the Lord provided a firepot, a vessel of the fire to represent Abram. This was God’s promise to provide a man, in place of all mankind, who would be able to keep man’s part of the covenant by never sinning. This firepot is Jesus.
Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant by never sinning and then established a new covenant. This new covenant is what we must fulfill just as Jesus fulfilled man’s part of the Old Covenant, we must fulfill man’s part of the New Covenant. The New Covenant includes all of God’s promises to man which are ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ Jesus, and man’s part of the Covenant is to live by faith in Jesus Christ. Boom!
Jesus changed everything for us. Because He lived a sinless life fulfilling the Old Covenant, we no longer have to be perfect. We need only to walk in faith in Jesus Christ. So, the question is, “Are you walking in faith.”