The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Jeremiah 31:31
You have come to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant. Hebrews 12:22,24
Imagine yourself bound to a fair contract , but one which you cannot fulfill. The terms are fair, just unattainable. You don’t have the necessary money to bring it to completion. You don’t have the resources to deliver the goods.
Now imagine that the one who holds the upper hand in the contract offers you a completely gracious and totally favorable to you. You are given favored client status, all the necessary resources, and complete financial backing. You gain everything you weren’t able to enjoy or deliver under the old contract. You simply go to work in a completely favorable environment.
Out of deep gratitude to the one who re-negotiated your contract and provided these entirely new and advantageous conditions, you might be willing to honor the wishes of the other party to your contract.
So it is with God and our relationship with him. The Old contract (Covenant) was simple: “Do these things and you will live. Don’t do these things and you will die.” There was no hope in that, for we could never fulfill our side of the Old Covenant. No one could. The best Old Testament king (David) failed. Royally. Murder. Adultery. Deceit. Sin. Two of the Ten Commandments completely, grossly broken. The superstar prophet Isaiah – when confronted with the glory of God – said,
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). The one who was declared righteous by God in the end said, “I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 53:3).
But now there is a new covenant – a new agreement between God and man. It is founded on the One who did good, was perfectly righteous, and then died in behalf of us who have failed to do so. Now the agreement is this: Jesus’ blood and righteousness has delivered us from sin, death, and condemnation. There is a new agreement, a new way for us to live.
No more manipulating the gods for favors we only deceive them into believing we deserve. No more trying to deserve the good things that come our way. Now we live lives of gratitude, love, and faith. Now we have a new attitude. Now we rest secure in the goodness of God, not in our efforts to do something we could never do in the first place.
For me that means I have new opportunities daily to begin again, to experience his love and grace, and to reorient myself to this new way of living – under Christ in his kingdom and serve him in eternal gratefulness and praise. That means I’m not stuck in some groundhog day of futile hopelessness.