31“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 31:31, 32)
The New Covenant Jeremiah prophecies about in the verses above is the covenant between Jesus and His followers. As Jeremiah and others point out, including the author of Hebrews in the New Testament, God realized the yoke of the original covenant was too much for His Chosen people. So God sent Jesus to Earth to finally lift the yoke and create a lasting covenant: follow Jesus’ commands to Love God and Love people and earn eternal salvation. That’s it, it’s that simple
But while the covenant has been simplified, to fully follow those commands, it requires a much more personal commitment. No longer is there a checklist of rules to follow, it’s a condition of the heart. For you to truly, truly love all people, that means you always put others before yourself. And that means your enemies, strangers, outcasts, not just your family and friends. If we truly loved people then all the atrocities unfolding around the world would be an outrage to us. And the foolishness that continues in the United States would be absolutely unacceptable.
So yes, Jesus established a new covenant with us, a much simpler covenant. But after nearly 2,000 years and we still can’t follow two commands, I can not help but think God is growing tired with mankind.
Luckily for us, Jesus is a better king than any one on this planet can be. He is patient and persistent, and will wait until the end of time until all people follow Him. As Branan Murphy sings in his new EP, Jesus is a far Better King than we could ever be.
Reading plan: 1 Timothy 1: 12-20
Deeper reading plan: Jeremiah 31, 32