Jeremiah 30-31: What’s New?

These are maybe the sweetest words in the Old Testament:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

In the midst of the exile of Judah and Israel, God offers a staggering promise. Despite their constant and consistent rebellion, God would not remain angry at His people forever. Instead, He would do something so radical, something so totally unexpected and glorious, that He would destroy their rebellion and His anger toward them in one stroke, and out of the aftermath would come something new.

A new law that is written down on hearts.
A law that does not condemn, but a law that frees.
The law of the Spirit of life. The law of Christ. The law that actually turns enemies into children.

Through Jesus Christ, the One who satisfied God’s holy wrath toward sin and defeated sin and death in the death of His own body, God has made a new people, His people. A people not defined by race but by grace. Grace that covers and does away with sin. Grace that heals and restores. Grace that upholds justice. Grace that makes beautiful things out of the dust.

So what’s new?

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

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