03/28/2012

(Jeremiah 31:31,34b NIV) “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah… For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Spring is here!  And what does the season of spring mean?  It means out with the old and in with the new!  When spring arrives we leave the cold behind and we welcome the warm weather.  And when the warm weather moves in we replace the old, dead flowers from last year and we plant new ones.  And of course, when spring comes, we put our old winter clothes away and we go on a shopping spree for new spring/summer clothes.  Spring is the time to get rid of the old and bring in the new!

And it is during spring that we are reminded that the old has gone and the new has arrived in our spiritual lives as well.  The old covenant or contract which God made to the Israelites on Mount Sinai said if you obey my commands perfectly and always remain faithful to me, I will be your God and you will be my people.  But that covenant or contract has been done away with.  Why?  Because the Israelites could not keep up their end of the contract.  They constantly disobeyed their God and were unfaithful to him.

And so what does God do with this broken contract?  Instead of disowning his people for failing to keep their end of the covenant (contract) he makes a new covenant or contract with them – a contract that is one sided, a contract that the Israelites cannot fail at, and a contract that would require nothing from them.  But this contract would require everything from God’s Son.  God would disown the one who had been perfectly faithful to him, God would forsake the one who kept his law perfectly as he hung on the cross and suffered the punishment of that broken contract in place of  every person who broke that contract, all so that God’s unfaithful people could have full and free forgiveness of their sins.  This was the new contract.

And this new contract was fulfilled some 550 years after Jeremiah spoke these words when Jesus came to his earth and died on the cross and rose from the grave abolishing the old covenant and ushering in the era of full and free forgiveness for all the world!  And it is this new covenant that you enjoy every day you spend here on this earth because Jesus died and rose for you, to take away your sins, to remember them no more, and to give to you a new home in heaven!

Spring is finally here and so is the new covenant!  Let us rejoice in the new life that we have in Jesus as our Savior!

Thankful that the old is gone and the new is here just like you,

Pastor Schumann

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