Sometimes change is hard. Sometimes we have a hard time accepting new things. Jesus told a parable that speaks to us about the new…The New Covenant that is better than the old. Grace is more complete than the Law. We are a new creation in Christ. The old self has passed away. There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth. He will make all things new.
Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ “
Jesus is speaking to the Jews who do not want to accept Him. They were not ready for change. The Old Testament prophets talked about the New Covenant, but many of that day didn’t want to let go of their traditions. The Law was there to show us that we are sinners. None of us are capable of living a holy, righteous life to God’s standards. That is why He sent His Son, one who is holy and righteous. One who would pay for our sins and by His grace we are saved. It is only through Jesus can we obtain salvation. Not Jesus and the Law, not Jesus and what we do, Jesus and only Jesus, and no other way or person will get us to heaven. That is the New Covenant. And those of us who believe, receive the Holy Spirit, and through Him, we can put our old self behind us, turn away from sin, and become a new creation.
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says:
“BEHOLD, THE DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH— NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; BECAUSE THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DISREGARDED THEM, SAYS THE LORD. FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS IN THEIR MIND AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. NONE OF THEM SHALL TEACH HIS NEIGHBOR, AND NONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL SHALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST OF THEM TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”
In that He says, “A NEW COVENANT,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Jesus came to this earth to begin the New Covenant. No longer were the people to follow the traditions of the religious leaders, who took the law and added more burdens. But Jesus came to fulfill the law. He came to be that sacrifice for all. We are no longer under the law but under grace. How often we have a hard time of letting go of the old. That is what Jesus is trying to tell us. The Jews wanted to keep their tradition. Sometimes even today we want to add to Jesus or we just have a hard time of letting go of things in our lives, but there is something better out there. Salvation is through Jesus alone. And when we turn to him, we can leave our old lives behind, that bondage that Christ has freed us from. We are a new creation.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
As believers, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in the right direction. The world offers temporary fulfillment and happiness (at least perceived), but Christ offers eternal life and abundant life, here on earth and in heaven. He offers hope, joy and peace. Why would we want to go back to our old ways? We often do, but God leads us to a better way. I am so grateful that Jesus changed me. My life, my desires, my thoughts, my actions as a whole are in line with Him , though I still fall in the trap of what the world and my flesh entices me. But God has created a new man in me that I no longer desire the old life of sin and bondage.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Jesus came to this world to save all people. Most of the Jews rejected Him. They did not want to change from the law and traditions of Judaism. But He also came to save the Gentiles. All of us non-Jews. All who trust in Jesus will be saved. All who believe, Jew and Gentile alike. That is what Paul is talking about here when he says He has made us both one and that He will reconcile both to God. All who turn to Him are His children. All!
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
As we look back to Jesus’ death and resurrection, we see that He died once for all. Through faith in Christ we are saved by His blood, by His sacrifice. He paid for all of our sins and has given us a new life, free from the bondage of sin. Our old self has died and we are created new in Christ.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
We do communion in memory of the Lord’s Supper. It reminds us of that new covenant that God has promised us…whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Jesus came to this earth, born of a virgin, paid for our sins (all of them!) by giving His life on the cross and being raised to life on the third day and lives and reigns today. Through Him our sins are forgiven. By grace we are saved through faith…it is a gift of God. That is the New Covenant. And one day He will come again and make all things new.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
One day we will be with the Lord. One day Jesus will return to make all things new. One day He will bring judgement. Judgement on what one does for those who do not follow Jesus (which none of us are worthy, so no one who relies on their own works will make it to heaven, and the unrighteous will be condemned), and judgement to believers for rewards on what we have done with what the Lord has given us. And when that day comes we will have eternal life in heaven without pain or sorrow, without sin or evil. What a great day to look forward to for those who believe in Christ. It is my prayer that we can all be there with Him. I pray that you know Him. If you are seeking or have questions, please contact me. Have a glorious day!