The New Covenant is not a covenant that altered the fundamental nature of covenants. Throughout the Old Testament, covenants always had attendant blessings and curses. Some have wanted to imagine that the New Covenant was a covenant of automatic blessings, and that by its very nature, curses were impossible.
But St. Paul tells us here that many among the Corinthians were sick and that others had died because of their abuse of the Lord’s Supper. The Bible tells us, contrary to our superstitions, that the curses of the New Covenant are more severe than those applied under Moses, and this makes sense when we consider the nature of the blessings. The blessings of the New Covenant are the fulfillment of every blessing promised in the Old Testament, and consequently, surpass them all. But it is a fixed principle in Scripture that to whom much is given, much is required.
If someone could die under Moses with the testimony of two or three witnesses, how much worse will it be for those sons of folly today who trample under foot the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified? Upon learning this, our natural reaction is to shrink back from the Table – but rather we should act the part of Christians, and shrink back from our sins.
We are not among those who hesitate, and are lost. Neither are we among those who profane the good gift of God, set before us here.