Jeremiah 31:31-34 Look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 This one will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant they broke even though I had married them”—the Lord’s declaration. 33 “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—the Lord’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin.”
As Anna preached the redemption of Jerusalem, she knew it involved a new covenant. It had to. Every day she saw the priests and the supplicants making and offering the sacrifices. And in but a few situations, nothing changed. They left as sinful and unreconciled to God as they had arrived.
Or like the woman in Proverbs who came to offer her sacrifice and left to have an affair, not only did the majority fail to repent, they became steadily worse.
Under the old covenant, sin seemed to increase. It wasn’t that the covenant was bad or the law was evil, but that neither paid the price for sin. Something different was required.
In the lifetime of Jeremiah, Jerusalem was under siege and life was falling apart in general. The treasures of the old covenant—the temple and the beauty of Jerusalem were destroyed. To offer hope, the prophet had to remind the people that the current set of conditions was not God’s last word.
The old covenant gave them rules to follow. Its role was to change them from without.
But the new covenant will write the law on hearts and change from within.
We are bread. Trying to add yeast after the fact will not make us rise. Even if we can work it in well, it might rise in pockets, but the overall effect will be unpleasant. But if we start over and begin with God’s law at the core, it changes everything and permeates the entire being.
The new covenant required the new birth.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas