““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.”” (Jeremiah 31:31–34, ESV)
Today is Palm Sunday. Many of us are either home alone or with our families making some attempt to worship our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. However, as Martin Luther penned, “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, his kingdom is forever.” Thanks be to God!
My last post was a bit of a commentary on the two aspects of Palm Sunday. First is the joy of the coming of the King, and the second is what the king brings with him. That is the judgment on sin and the righteousness of God.
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” (Romans 3:21–22, ESV)
In this lies the Gospel. The coming of the King was not for a political conquering of the world but for a spiritual conquering. I am not trying to imply that one is material and the other is not, for all things material were and are spiritual. It is their use that is for good or for evil, and that use centers on the hearts of mankind. Humanism is the dividing point for motivations that are anthropocentric are in conflict with those that are theocentric. More simply put, the goals of sinful man are self-glory as gods and not denial of self for the glory of God Almighty who created all humanity to be in his image.
Following our sin, God began his restoration project. His work among us has been and remains to be by Covenant. The coming of Christ is the fulcrum of restoration. Anna and Simion knew it. So did the angels, the shepherds, and the magi. The disciples learned to see it and became apostles to proclaim it to the whole world. There is no accident or coincidence that the Bible is the greatest book of all time and has bee preserved from the earliest days. And there is no accident or coincidence that all of history is divided into two parts which are divided by the Incarnation. Anno Domini or AD and Before Christ or BC are not from the Bible and came much later in history. However, they are the recognition that there was a major shift in history.
In the biblical sense, the division is the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. God came in the flesh to finish the Old Covenant and establish a new one. Jeremiah makes the clearest prophecy of the coming of a new covenant, but all of the Old Covenant was to prepare us for that which was to come in Christ. Jesus himself declared that he brought a New Covenant when he said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20, ESV)
This week we shall observe the meeting with the disciples in the upper room, the prayer in the garden, the treason of Judas, the kangaroo court that judged the Messiah, the crucifixion of Christ, and his resurrection. We will see the tapestry in the Temple torn, the sky darkened, the earth shaken, and the burial of God. The old is “finished.”
And we shall celebrate the coming of the new. This coming will take time. Jesus will give final instructions and the Spirit to those he has called to be Apostles. The Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh. The Temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed so that not one stone will be left standing (Matthew 24:2). Then the old will give way to the new completely.
Let us all rejoice at the coming of the King who brought the New Covenant. Let us all embrace that Covenant of Christ and live new lives.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)