Thinking of the New Covenant

December 24, 2009

Gospel

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=christian&iid=7313207″ src=”5/4/6/a/The_Epiphany_Giotto_16d8.jpg?adImageId=8614044&imageId=7313207″ width=”380″ height=”401″ /] There are so many things that we can think about during the Christmas season.  So many good things: food, gift-giving, family, warmth.  We are rightly drawn into focus about the ones we love and the importance of family and togetherness.  But during this time we certainly know that the heart of who we are before God is based on His promises and gifts made and given a long time ago. 

A couple verses from Jeremiah were brought to my attention and struck me as to how serious God is concerning the promises that he makes.

Jeremiah 33:20,21 – “Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;
21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.”

Ah,…wait, let me go out and keep the Earth from turning.  Just a second.  Ugh! Umph! pushh,…pant, pant, pant.  Well that didn’t work.  I suppose we’re stuck with night and day.

This covenant is alluded to in scripture in many places but can be seen stated to David in 2 Samuel 7:16 -“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.  Your throne shall be established forever.”  This is a continuance of the promises that were foreshadowed when he told Abraham his offspring would number as the sand or the stars.  And this promise given to David speaks of the one promised in genesis that would bruise the head of satan.

But if we go to Jeremiah 31:31-34 we can see the nature of this new covenant:

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more

So much more can be said about the new covenant. Suffice to say, though, Israel couldn’t keep the first covenant, the covenant of works, for Israel could not perfectly keep the law as was given by Moses; for all men are sinners before God.  Something new, something better was needed if they were to have any hope.  This Christmas think about the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ and the sin free life He lived.  Think upon how He perfectly satisfied the law.  He was the blemish-free lamb; the only one found worthy to receive the scroll from the right hand of God (in a sense the title-deed to the earth).  Our savior is faultless before God.  Think this Christmas about the imputation of our sin upon Christ; that He was the perfect sacrifice and paid the full measure for our iniquity.  Think this Christmas about the atoning work of Christ and how we can be at peace with God because of it.  Think of how we are justified before God because of our faith in His Son (faith; that, too, is given to us from God).  Think upon that great gift that God has given us.  The fact that for the rest of eternity to come, He will remember our sin no more.  And remember this holiday season that none of the great gifts we receive this season will compare to the splendor that was found in a manger some two thousand years ago. 

May God bless you this season and may the light of His majesty and love so shine in your very being that nothing but sheer gratitude and worship pour forth from your heart.

Numbers 6:24-26 – “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:  The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

 
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