Old Covenant verses New Covenant
The Old Covenant of Moses revealed God’s glory to the Israelites and to the world but it
was a conditional covenant with Israel and is being spoken of in today’s passage. The Israelites failed to uphold their end of this covenant between them and God thus God promised them a new Covenant one day which would be unconditional (See Jeremiah 31:31 and other passages). Because no one can uphold the Law of Moses, God himself had to fulfill its requirements; which He did through the satisfactory life and death of Jesus on humanities behalf. Thus the Old was designed to lead them to Christ vs 14. The New Covenant pertains to what God will do for Israel in the Millennium when Jesus reigns on David’s throne in Jerusalem one day; and all Israel will be saved. For now, the Church which includes us Gentiles has access to the spiritual benefits of this New Covenant because of what Jesus did for all people, so that anyone can have access to the Father through him. I will talk about the New Covenant below, but my point is that those who cling to obeying the Old Covenant of Moses in their religious experiences are blind and mistaken. The ministry of the Spirit sets us free from the Law of Moses as we depend upon him for our righteousness. Thus He is glorified through our lives as we reflect his glory and not something that we conjure up by blind religious obedience to any set of laws including those of Moses. Jesus rebuked the religious in Jn 5:39, 40; “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
The Glory of the New Covenant
2 Cor 3 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who glorifies myself through you. You cannot glorify me because you are sinful. But as you become redeemed by my Son and rely on my Spirit in you, I will reveal my Glory to others through you. My Law revealed my perfect holiness to you. It is the picture to humanity of who I AM and what I AM like. This is why I said do not make any graven images. Take down those pictures of me off your walls. My Law is the only picture you need. But you cannot obey it because you are sinful. This is why I provided the sacrificial system- to have mercy on you and in my grace provide a way of forgiveness. I became the perfect sacrifice for you In Christ. In Jesus my Law was perfectly obeyed and fulfilled for you. Thus “He who has my Son, has my life in him.” Whoever has my Son, has my law perfected in them. Consequently only those who receive Christ have my holiness in them and will enter heaven one day.
I AM the God who gave the Law and who fulfilled it. No one can “do” my law. The sooner you comprehend and accept that fact, the sooner you can receive my forgiveness and be made righteous by my Son. “I came to seek and save those who (know that they) are lost.” Come to my Son and let me remove the veil from your heart and mind. In Christ the old Covenant of Moses with its Law has no more glory in comparison to what I offer you in Jesus. He is the only hope of glory now.
Jesus will one day fulfill the New Covenant to Israel
The Israelites, from Abraham through Jacobs 12 sons were the only people group through which God chose to bring salvation to the world in the Old Testament. Through Israel he gave his Word the Bible and through the tribe of Judah he gave Jesus Christ to fulfill the promise to Abraham that the entire world would be blessed through him. In the Old Covenant, God gave the Law to them through Moses so that they would be the godly representatives of Yaweh to the world. His glory was revealed through the Old Covenant to Moses. But they could not because no one can obey God’s Law to his standard of perfection. Having broken the Old Covenant, God promised a new covenant through the prophets which is unconditional that one day all Israel would say “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the LORD.” This new Covenant makes the old Covenant not glorious by comparison (see vs. 10). As part of the New Covenant, Jesus will rule the world on King David’s throne in Jerusalem. The lion will lay with the lamb and all Israel will believe and be saved. Israel will rule the world in prosperity and He will renew everything. There are other promises yet to be fulfilled as well but as you probably noticed, this is not that day. We are not experiencing these physical promises yet. But just as Christ came literally fulfilling many of the promises in his first appearance, He will come again to fulfill the rest of the promises in his second. You can take that to the bank. Until then, we in the church are now enjoying some of the spiritual aspects of fellowship with God in spirit and not just by obedience to the “letter of the Law”.
Why do people insist on clinging to the Old Covenant in light of the glory of the New which Jesus procured for any and everyone who would believe? Because they are blinded (they have a veil on still). Only when you come to Christ, regardless of your religious background, can you be enlightened in your inner being to God’s Truth. Otherwise you are bound to worthless religion. Don’t be bound anymore. Come to the savior and receive his forgiveness and be redeemed. The Letter of the Law kills, but the spirit gives life.
More to come,