“In that He says, ‘A new Covenant,’ He has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.”Hebrews 8:13
As one fades away, the other grows brighter day-by-day.
Eternal and enduring.
Those are the words that best describe the “new Covenant” being talked about in today’s Manna. One (the “old Covenant/Testament”) was basically based upon the Law and laid out numerous laws for one’s interaction with others, obedience to God, proper way to worship, etc. And, by Jesus’ day the rabbis had turned the original Ten Commandments into 613 laws to keep.
No wonder there was “weariness in well-doing.”
They were both impossible to remember and impossible to keep!
That’s why the Apostle Paul described them as a stern “schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24) to keep its followers in check until Christ, the Emancipator-Liberator of the soul, would come. Truly, “before faith came, we were kept under (Grk. ‘phroureo’—‘to be a watcher, to post a guard or sentinel, to hem in, guard with a garrison, etc.’) the Law, shut up (Grk. ‘sugkleio’—‘to enclose, lock up, lay hold on, etc.’) unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (Gal. 3:23).
And, that’s why he also wrote, “The letter of the Law kills” (II Cor. 3:6a).
Simply put, again, the Law was like some strict, overbearing, always-watching-to-see-if-you’re-going-to-make-a-mistake schoolmaster with whom there was no leniency or mercy whatsoever. In essence, its purpose was to remind you of your faults or shortcomings, which produced despair.
But, Jesus’ ushering in the New Covenant produced “Life and Light. . .Grace and Truth. . . delight and devotion” (Jn. 1:4, 17; Ps. 1:2; 40:8; 119:16, 24, 35, 77, 174; Rom. 7:22). No longer do we serve Him out of fear, drudgery or desperation. We now do it because we love Him (Jn. 14:15; 15:10). Hallelujah!!
As the anonymous author of Hebrews said “If the first Covenant had been faultless (Grk. ‘amemptos’—‘irreproachable, blameless, etc.’), there’d been no need for the second one” (Heb. 8:7). But, the Lord knew our Adamic nature prevents us from keeping every jot and tittle of the Law—which puts us under its curse (Dt. 27:26; Gal. 3:10); so, He sent Jesus to “redeem us from the curse of the Law by being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13).
And, in so doing His New Covenant would be based in Jesus’ Blood, not the blood of an animal sacrifice. Likewise, it would be “written upon the heart,” not upon tablets of stone (Heb. 8:10). And, because of the inward-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, there’d be no need for someone else to tell us “Know the Lord—for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest” (v.11); neither would there be a need for someone to say “You are forgiven,” for the “Blood of God’s sinless, eternal Lamb cleanses the conscience from dead works so we can serve the living God” (v.12; 9:14). Glory! What a Savior! What a great Salvation!!