God made a covenant for the sake of his church. He has promised to redeem her out of bondage. He has promised to take exiled sons and daughters and bring them through the water and fire. He has promised to fulfill the terms of the covenant himself.
In the ancient Middle East, when a covenant was made it was called “cutting” a covenant because animals were halved and laid in two rows. Both parties walked through these bloodied and slaughtered animals. The point was if you didn’t keep your end of the bargain you’d end up like these animals.
You can see this played out in Genesis 15 when God makes a covenant with Abraham.
7 And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. (Genesis 15:7-14).
Did you pick up on anything different from the previous description? Abraham didn’t walk through the halved animals. Only God did. God promises that if he doesn’t bring Abraham’s children into the promised land than he would end up like these animals. We know he kept his promise. He brought Israel through the Red Sea and through the wilderness to the promised land.
The promise God makes to redeem his bride in the new covenant isn’t much different. He makes the promises and he keeps the promises. Jesus Christ comes and lives perfectly fulfilling the terms of the covenant. But catch this. He doesn’t only live perfectly. The story doesn’t end there. He is put to death on a tree. He is made a curse---a covenant breaker. He does end up like those animals. He is beaten, bruised, bleeding, and betrayed. He exchanges his status as covenant keeper with us for our status as covenant breakers. He takes our punishment. We should’ve suffered the consequences of the broken covenant. But God guaranteed the promise with his own Son. Folks, that’s good news.