“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:” (Hebrews 8:8, KJV 1900)
When I was a young boy my mother would get me one of those connect the dots books. I think they still sell them. Each page had numbered dots scattered all over the page. The idea was to draw a line from dot to dot in numerical order so that when you finished you could see the final image.
Now imagine that you had a page with one-hundred dots and you decided not to start at one, but at fifty and stop at one-hundred. Well, you would not be able to discern the full picture in detail. Moreover, every dot in the picture was important. I remember, on occasion, missing a numbered dot in the sequence and this messed up the entire picture.
I say this to illustrate a point. If we are going to understand the Bible, we must connect all the dots from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The author of Hebrews has done a masterful job of connecting the dots for us.
There is a dot from the Old Testament that is often overlooked, but vital for the church age believer to fully understand. It is that God made both the Old and New Covenants with Israel. The author quotes Jeremiah’s prophecy that the Lord will establish a “new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah.” The covenants that God made were with the Nation of Israel, not with those outside of Israel, the Gentiles. Now before you stop reading, hear me out on this.
We, in this church age, have entered this covenant by faith in Jesus Christ, in a peculiar way. In Romans 11:17-24, Paul explains this unique work. He writes that we as a wild olive shoot were grafted into the olive tree. We are not the natural branches, but the unnatural ones. The natural branches refer to Israel that were broken off because of unbelief. Yet, Paul further indicates that a time is coming when the natural branches, Israel, will be grafted back in again, if they do not continue in unbelief. Furthermore, Paul wrote to the Galatians, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29, KJV 1900)
The requirement to enter the New Covenant is faith alone in Christ alone. Genuine believers today have entered the New Covenant that God made with Israel. Moreover, a great day is coming when the fullness of the Gentiles will have entered this covenant, that all Israel will be saved by faith also (Rom 11:25-27).
Today we who believe should praise the Lord for His mercy and grace, by which we have been saved. We have been privileged to enter God’s solemn promise of eternal blessing in His New Covenant.
(Tomorrow, we will look at the blessings of this New Covenant.)