|A New Covenant|
|Sunday, April 10 2011|
"The Days are Coming..."
With only two weeks left during Lent, and Easter fast approaching, I thought that it would be good for us to prepare our hearts to fully understand what we are celebrating. In the Old Testament, God had made a Covenant with the Jewish people. What is a covenant? A covenant is an agreement or contract. In essence, God had made a contract with the Jewish people.
Guided by the laws set in the Ten Commandments, the Jewish people struggled to remain faithful to God. Time and time again, they fell short of fulfilling their end of the bargain. The Old Covenant seems to have set the Jewish people up for failure. In fact, the Old Covenant was just preparing us for the New Covenant. Often times, man's tendency is to lean on his own understanding. We are convinced that we can earn salvation through good deeds and works. By giving us a set of laws and rules that we are surely destined to fail at keeping, God has proven that we are not worthy of the grace that He has given us. He has proven that there is no way that we can earn a place beside Him.
The Old Covenant was not working, but God offers a new hope in Jeremiah:
"The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah." - Jeremiah 31:31 NAB
Through this New Covenant, God offers us His grace freely, in the form of Jesus Christ. By the laws of the Old Covenant, the Jewish people had to make sacrifices to atone for their sins. In the New Covenant, Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Knowing the fate that lay before Him, Christ continued to follow the path the Father had set for Him - to bring a New Covenant for all of mankind.
As we approach Holy Week, let us reflect on the laws and rules of the Old Covenant. Through our Lenten journey of prayer and fasting, we can see the ways that we fall short of God's grace. Only by understanding the dark depths of our sins can we fully embrace the joy of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. Be ready to accept the great gift that He has given us!
"The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people." -Jeremiah 31:31-33