In your reading yesterday you caught a glimpse of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34- the high point of Jeremiah’s prophecies. In those verses God reveals His heart for His people Israel. And there He makes three primary declarations about His new covenant with them:
1. He will put His law in His people’s minds. His law will be internal rather than external. Rather than on stones, He will write His law on their hearts so that it impacts their very lives from within. God’s new covenant would give His people the inner ability to obey His standards of righteousness and thereby enjoy His blessings. The prophet Ezekiel explains that this would result from God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believers (Ezekiel 36:24-32). So, under the new covenant, God the Holy Spirit would actually dwell within each believer (see Joel 2:28-32).
2. He said, I “will be their God, and they shall be my people.” That simply continues the relationship with them that He had already established. In other words, the new covenant wasn’t meant to replace the old, but to fulfill it.
3. He will forgive His people’s sins. Because Israel had sinned, they received God’s curse. But as a part of the new covenant, God will “forgive and forget.” How can a holy God ignore sin? He can’t. But it’s not that the sin is overlooked, it’s that it is paid for by a Substitute… whom we know to be Jesus Christ.
As He shared a final meal with His disciples, Jesus took the cup and invited them to drink from it, saying, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The cup represents the blood of Jesus, which in turn represents His atoning gift, His poured-out life, His substitutionary death.
As you read Matthew 26:17-30, thank God in prayer for His commitment to you through the new covenant, and for the atoning death of Christ which made it all possible for you to enjoy eternal life with Him.
God has made an unshakable, unbreakable covenant with his people. What commitments have you made with Him?
Compose a list of life goals you want to accomplish in God’s power- goals for spiritual disciplines, witnessing, Bible study, teaching, whatever they may be.
Remember, God deserves no less than your best. After all, that’s what He gave you.