Journey to Jerusalem Day 33
Fifth Sunday, March 21 Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Here is something mind boggling. You know more about God’s ways than Abraham, Moses, or David. None of these spiritual giants knew the specifics of Jesus. You do.
That’s because God reveals his plans gradually. Through the ages, truth builds on truth. Over time, things become more understandable.
Today’s passage is an important part of this process. Jeremiah said that someday God would make a new covenant with his people (v. 31). This new covenant was needed because God’s people consistently broke the covenant they made at Mt. Sinai. The essence of that old covenant was God is God and the Hebrew people were his special, chosen people.
Although God kept his part of the deal, his people did not. Time after time, they broke various terms of the covenant. The most egregious violation was the periodic worship of idols.
That was unacceptable. So, God planned a new covenant for his people. This covenant would not be written on stone, but on the human heart. Jeremiah did not describe how or when that would happen, only that it would happen.
For about 600 years, this new covenant remained a future hope and a mystery. It was only when Jesus appeared that things became clearer.
At the Last Supper, Jesus “took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19-20)
We participate in God’s new covenant by following Jesus and (as we say at communion) by feeding on him in our hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
Read the passage again. It is about you.
Thank you, Father, for the New Covenant.