Memory Verse: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” —Hebrews 8:10
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 31:27-37
The “first covenant” was confirmed by the sprinkling of blood on the book Moses had written and read to the people and on the people (Exodus 24:5-8; Hebrews 9:19-20). Their being God’s peculiar people depended upon obedience to that covenant but in their ignorance of their own strength, they promised something they could not do. Within a short time after making the promise they were worshiping the “golden calf.”
The second “new covenant” (ratified) made with Israel is also according to the “the tenor of the ten commandments” (Exodus 34:27) however, based on a better promise—one to be kept by the Spirit of God as the Law of God will be inscribed in the “hearts and minds” (Hebrews 10:16). As the first covenant was sanctified by the blood of animals the second “new” covenant was ratified by Christ’s blood. The first was not kept by Israel because of carnality but the second will be kept by Israel, as well as Gentiles, because of spirituality; because God’s will (His Law) will be written in their hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). This better promise is with God’s law written in the hearts and minds of His people, and without laws “added because of transgressions” and “ordinances which were against us” (Galatians 3:19; Colossians 2:14). Instead, it was confirmed in Christ, by His blood, and when the fullness of its effect is reached the results of Hebrews 8:10-11 and Jeremiah 31:33-34 will have been attained.
Particular laws concerning transgression and atonement were to end at the cross (Colossians 2:14). The “ceremonial laws” were for the purpose of understanding terms of the “new covenant” ratified by Christ’s death at Calvary. When ratified, contrary laws regarding atonement, sacrifices, and shadows ended. Those experiencing this change of heart and mind become His faithful and obedient people. The Ten Commandments being the basis of both the first, the old, and second, the new, covenants with Israel likewise composed the basic objective of both the Mosaic ministration of the old covenant and Christ’s ministration of the new covenant.
Though the new covenant with Israel was known previous to Christ’s death it was not ratified until Christ’s blood was shed. Christ stated that the cup He drank “is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).
- What was the second—new covenant that was made with Israel? Hebrews 8:7-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33.
- What will be the condition when this new covenant is fully executed and observed? Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:11-13.
- Since a covenant involves promises on the part of the principals, what is meant by Christ’s being the Mediator “of a better covenant, which was based upon better promises”? Hebrews 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:4-5.
- How and when was this new covenant confirmed, ratified, and made effective? Hebrews 9:12-15.
- Under the new covenant, how are ordinances or penalties, shadows, types, and sacrifices, dealing with depicting and pointing forward to the atonement in Christ, to be observed? Colossians 2:6-17.
- Between the confirmation of the new covenant at Calvary and Christ’s return to earth, how many of literal Israel will be saved? Romans 11:4-7. Why not more than merely a “remnant” at this time? Romans 11:5, 8, 11.
- When is the blindness of most of Israel to end? Who will turn away their ungodliness? Romans 11:25-26.
- Compare the time element of Romans 11:25 with Luke 21:24, noting the conditions under the new covenant when Israel’s blindness has been removed. Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 8:11-12.
- How do the Gentiles also come in to the blessings of the new covenant made with Israel? Galatians 3:26-29.
- Contrast the old covenant under the Mosaic ministration, to the new covenant under Christ’s ministration. What is the basic law of both covenants? Is this the same today under the new covenant?