How strange this idea of a new covenant must have seemed to Jeremiah and those first hearing this prophecy. The old covenant had been in place for generations, but it had been broken. As it says in Hebrews 8:7, “If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.”
Jeremiah speaks of the new covenant that will be ushered in by Jesus himself. Reference to a new covenant speaks of a future far beyond the end of the exile. The hope of restoration will not be fully realized until the Messiah comes.
You may recall the “new covenant” is mentioned during our remembrance of the last supper. Jesus’ own words in Matthew 26:28, “for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” Similarly, in Luke 22:20, Jesus says, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.”
Each time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we are remembering the new covenant that God promised through Jeremiah. Isn’t that cool? When we see such things come full circle, we can only marvel at the magnificence of how God orchestrates it all for us!
God offers us the opportunity to have a relationship with him. Just like he did for those wayward children all those years ago. He has put his mark on our hearts so that we will recognize him and follow him. The new covenant is designed to help us stay connected and not drift away like people did from the old covenant.
I’ve always imagined that we have a “homing device” of sorts imbedded in our hearts. When we know God and treasure that relationship, we are full of love and all the gifts of the spirit. When we ignore God or avoid getting to know him, we walk around feeling like something is missing.
There are many people walking around in a stupor like that. They can sense something but don’t have any idea what it is. They may try to call it the “universe” or their “intuition.” They are totally missing the point. It’s God whispering to remind them of his presence. God’s laws are written in our hearts helping us discern right from wrong.
Hebrews 8:13 says, “When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.” That is what is happening according to Jeremiah. God has the power to do away with whatever he wants when he wants. Christ has become the foundation of the new covenant for all, Jews and Gentiles, not just the people of Judah.
How does it make you feel to know that you can have a relationship with God the creator? Not only “can” we have it, God desires our attention. What does the new covenant mean for you in your faith walk?
Let’s pray … Thank you, Lord for how you have written your laws into my innermost self. I treasure how the Holy Spirit prompts me and directs my path. Help me to be always discerning and aware of the Spirit’s presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.