Out With the Old and In With the New

In Hebrews 8 the writer begins to discuss two different covenants, the old covenant that God had with His people before the advent of Jesus and a new covenant that is now in place with His people after the resurrection of Jesus. Consistent with the theme of Hebrews, the new covenant is better than the old covenant, which was rejected by the people. Here is how the writer puts it: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

I’ll admit that I don’t feel like I have a great understanding of the idea of the old and new covenant. It seems to me that the old covenant was based on obedience. God gave the people the law and He asked them to observe it. The new covenant seems to be based on the grace found through Jesus Christ. But even under the old covenant, salvation was not based on works but on faith; that is the same under the new covenant. And it’s not like the new covenant doesn’t have obedience to God’s commands as a central part of it. In verse 10 God says that in the new covenant His law will be “in their mind and written on their hearts”. I don’t really understand that. If you do, please share it with me.

So today’s post doesn’t have any answers. I will trust God that the new covenant is better, because Jesus is better.  I think I’ll just go back to the beach!


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