Friday, August 11, 2017

New Covenant

The Old Testament is full of prophesies of the coming Messiah. The Book of Hebrews points back to many of them in addressing the Jews about who is Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Lord. Moreover, I recently read Jeremiah 31 which speaks of the Old and New covenant with God’s people. This book written some 600 years before Christ’s incarnation speaks wonderfully of a God who draws us with loving-kindness, “I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt” (Jeremiah 31:3,4). I love the terminology that takes us back to Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the wall that was demolished as the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon. Judgment for disobedience is one of the themes. But he wants to tell them that they will again rejoice and dance. Rebuilding is a theme.

Restoration is a theme (v.18) as God has disciplined and now he will restore them in returning to their land.  Then they will repent after they have strayed (v.19). God tells them to set up Road Signs to return. As the prophet Isaiah 30:21 tells the Israelites “Whether you turn to the left or the right you will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way walk in it.” God will lead them, and He will lead us with the guideposts of His word.  As the people follow the road to righteousness (v.23), the sacred mountain, GOD says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (v.25).

Then Jeremiah tells them “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel” (v.31). And of the new covenant, “The days are coming, declares the Lord, “when this city will be rebuilt for me…” (v.38).  But most importantly God says in verse 34, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” This wonderful verse speaks of the coming of the Messiah, the Christ who by His life, death and resurrection has forgiven our sins and remembers them no more.

It is full circle from sin to salvation. Sins are atoned for once for all forever and thrown as for as the east is from the west as Psalm 103 reminds us.  Can you see the beauty of this prophesy, promise and power. The Old is replaced by the new. Can you see the wonderful outline circumscribed in words that start with R.

Rebuild, Restoration, Repent, Road Signs of Righteousness, Refresh, Rebuilt, Remember Sins NO More, because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is not subtle people. This is the story of humanity and restoration through forgiveness of sins as we trust in the One who does it all- Jesus Christ.

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