“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ 13 In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
Jesus gave us a New Covenant in His own blood. He eliminated the need for the sacrifice of any animals ever again. Jesus completed all that was or will be ever needed for the salvation of all men from Adam to the last human to ever be born. This is an important doctrine; one of the hardest things to get into people’s heads and minds is that there is no work or works on our part that will save us from Hell and an eternity without God. The work, all of the work, has already been done. Yet, we have several religions that claim to be ‘Christian’ that teach that one has to have Jesus and works to be saved. Not just trust in Jesus alone for eternal salvation. This diminishes the power of all that Jesus has done. Paul, the writer here, goes on to paint a wonderful picture for us about the nature of this New Covenant.
- The Fault in the Old Covenant, verse 8
The fault with the Old Covenant was that everything was temporary with regard to sacrifices. Moses and Abraham were not temporarily saved in the Old Testament. God made eternal covenants with them based on their faith in what was to come. We are told in Romans 4 that Abraham ‘believed God,’ and it was accounted to him for righteousness. But to satisfy His justice, there had to be a temporary way of dealing with man’s sin until Jesus came. God had promised Jesus from Genesis 3:15. He promised Abraham that He would provide ‘himself’ a scapegoat in Genesis 22. He promised to send a ‘Prophet’ like Moses from among the Jewish brethren, and it is to this prophet that the nation should listen. On and on we can go with God’s promises to send the Messiah.
Why did we have to wait? God sent Jesus, the Bible tells us, in the ‘fullness of time.’
Galatians 4: 4-7 (ESV) “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Jesus had to come at a specific time for God’s plan. A time when the Roman Empire was in power, a time when the Romans had built safe, durable roads that extended to countries all over Europe and part so Northern Africa and Asia Minor. A time when the common language of Greek was in place and the language would soon die out, leaving a perfectly preserved scripture. A time when the Roman government would send persecution on Israel and thus spread the Gospel to the very ends of the earth. We can go on and on, but the fact is that Jesus came exactly when God wanted Him to come and not a moment sooner or later.
- A New Covenant Written on our Hearts, verse 10
This was a new thing; this talked about an event that would transform how God dealt with us mere men. This event was the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell us. In so doing, the Word of God would live in us and be written ‘in or on’ our hearts. God would live in us, and we would become the Temples of God. There would be no need for Tabernacles and Temples built by men’s hands, and no longer would we have to go to Jerusalem to worship as the Jews did. God is with us, with you and I, all the time in us, and we could worship anywhere.
John 20: 21-22 “So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (NKJV).
The Holy Spirit would speak to us and make us aware of God’s word, God’s ways, and God’s leading in our lives.
John 16: 13-14 “However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you” (Berean Study Bible).
Notice, He will guide us into ‘all truth.’ This new indwelling was a new thing, part of the new covenant that marked us with God’s holiness from the moment we were saved. The Old Testament saints did not have this. And as such, even up to the thief on the cross, when they died, they went to live in Paradise. But Jesus came and died; He rose from the dead, and now when we die, we go to the third heaven. Paul got a glimpse of this in 2 Corinthians 12: 3-4:
“And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell” (Berean Study Bible).
Notice he was caught UP in Paradise, referring to Heaven. In the past, Paradise was in the heart of the earth. But now, in the New Covenant, we go directly to Heaven. There are so many benefits to the New Covenant. I pray that you are a part of it. The temporary Old one is gone, and only the New Covenant in Jesus remains. Do you have the Holy Spirit in you? If not, you need Him.
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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