• The New Covenant for Judah and Israel confirmed by Christ’s sacrifice | Photo: Pixabay

God’s People Forever (Jeremiah 31 – 10) (Ending)

Rev Henk Poot - 5 May 2020

The New Covenant for Judah and Israel has been confirmed by Christ’s sacrifice. He can hand out the gifts that come with it and He does that at Pentecost after His ascension. It is Peter that points the astonished crowd to the fact that Jesus is exalted and that He has received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, handing it out to Israel now. That is what they hear and see. (Acts 2:33).

In Jeremiah 31 we read what the gifts of the New Covenant mean and it says so as a conclusion relating to the whole chapter. But before I shed the light on that, the question, in all modesty, what does this all mean to us? After all, through Christ “we share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.” (Romans 11:17). It means that the gates of the Kingdom are open for us. We have forgiveness of sins and nothing will separate us from God anymore. It also means that we are set free of the fear of death. We will not even see death in the eye again.

“Through Christ “we share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.” (Romans 11:17).”

The other gift of the New Covenant is the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit who lays down the law in the hearts of people. In that law it is about love. The Lord has given the Torah out of love and love is the epitome of the law. That is the key. And thus, we are prepared by the Holy Spirit for life in eternity, when prophecies will cease and faith has turned into sight and only love has remained.

This means the same for Israel as well. If it is about the freedom of the fear of death, the letter to the Hebrews writes that Christ does not have mercy on the angels but on the descendants of Abraham. (Hebrews 2:16).

But in Jeremiah God draws the conclusion: Israel is His people now forever. Nothing and no one can change anything about that anymore. As I sometimes say in my own words: imagine you walk out for a moment at night, to get a bit of fresh air before going to bed. You look up and see a clear sky. It is a beautiful spring evening. But while you are looking up, you notice something: there is no star to be seen and no matter where you look, there is no moon either. You walk inside and on television code black is proclaimed. Disconcertedly you sit on the couch and you listen to what is being said: the sun is dying!!  A few more hours and the entire earth is one big lump of ice, that falls apart creakingly and disappears into the darkness of the universe. That is inconceivable, something you don’t think it’s possible. Now, says the Lord, it is equally impossible that Israel ceases to be my people.

“But in Jeremiah God draws the conclusion: Israel is His people now forever.”

With God’s immovable loyalty Jeremiah concludes this prophecy. Is it a fruit of the New Covenant or is the New Covenant a fruit of God’s eternal faithfulness? Anyway: Israel first and then we following: We people live through the election and faithfulness and mercy of the Lord and thus we go into the future, whatever may happen.


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