Jeremiah 31:30-34 (NIV)
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Jeremiah is often called the “weeping prophet” and there is no doubt that many of his words refer to personal anguish, pain, and suffering. But it is also true that Jeremiah speaks powerfully of God’s heart – his enduring and everlasting love for his people, and the promise of a better life. Additionally, Jeremiah is fearless and faithful in the service of his God.
Jeremiah is also a pretty good prophet, as evidenced by his words in verse 33 “this is the new covenant I will make with the House of Israel . . . I will put the law in their minds and write it on their hearts” and verse 34 “ . . . for I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Most of us understand that when we celebrate Easter we remember that Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Further, he rose from the dead and sits at the right of God. This promise of eternal and everlasting life with Him fulfills the prophecy of the new covenant. After all, we affirm this belief every Sunday when we gather for worship.
I guess the thing that amazes me is Jeremiah wrote this prophecy some 600 years before the birth of Christ. And as I continue my personal journey to the cross in the coming days I will remember the familiar words of the Gospels that recount the story of Jesus; I will also hold close the words of an ancient prophet named Jeremiah.
Most heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise for your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. And we give you thanks for your everlasting love and mercy. Help us to be fearless and faithful in your service. Amen.