For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
For finding fault with them, He says,
“BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD,
WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT
WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS
ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND
TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT;
FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT,
AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
“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 INTO THEIR MINDS,
AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
“AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN,
AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’
FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME,
FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
“FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”
When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
Hebrews 8:7-13 (NASB)
This morning, Good Friday, as I read through the letter to the Hebrews, I was struck by the enormous compassion that God has poured out on us. It wasn’t a huge, deep revelation. Just a fresh realization of the unimaginable act of love that brought Jesus to the cross.
Time and time again throughout the Old Testament – under the old covenant of the Law – we see Israel fall, and we see the Lord pour out His wrath on the nation. But the writer of Hebrews calls on the prophet Jeremiah to show us that this time, it’s different.
This time, when God found fault with His people, He didn’t just respond with wrath. He responded with a new covenant – one that would cause His laws to be written on our minds and hearts, not just paper or tablets of stone.
Christ was mocked, tortured, and killed. The blood that poured from His veins onto that Judean hillside is what seals the new covenant with God. That blood, which was spilled as payment for the sins of every person, assures us that, if we accept the great gift of Christ, God will remember our sins no more.
That is why it’s Good Friday.