Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009 – Lent is a Time of Sacrifice – Jeremiah 31:31-34

God our Father through the prophet Jeremiah promises a new covenant to His people. Jeremiah addresses these words to the Jews living in Babylon. Through him God promises to make a new covenant with them. Out of their suffering, sorrow and isolation in exile as slaves, a new covenant will be made. No time was given when the new covenant would be made. Christians see the new covenant made through the blood of Christ. The difference between the old and new covenants is the fact that the law would be in the hearts and God would be known in an intimate and personal relationship. To made this new covenant possible, God promises to forgive and forget the people’s sins.

To effect this new covenant God must forgive the people’s past sins that they may begin anew in their relationship with God as though nothing happened. God not only promises to forgive but to forget. He says he will remember their sins “no more.” This wonderfully good news is that when we confess our sins and are forgiven those sins are blotted out and will no longer be brought up at judgment day. God keeps no tapes for playing back all of our sins.

When God is loved with the heart, there is no need to teach someone who God is. The person will know God instinctively. To know God is not a mere intellectual exercise or understanding but an intimate relationship based on trust.

What is new about a covenant between God and Man? Covenants were made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. The making of a covenant is not new, but this promised covenant would be new. The covenants of the past were only renewals. Here is a whole new deal. God is going to give Israel another chance to be His people. The new covenant was made through the blood of God’s Son.

Lord, by Your Passion You have entered into a new covenant with Your people. Live and dwell within me and never leave.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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