Sermon Recordings MP3 Post:-

2011-05-01am Easter Anticipated

Jeremiah 31:31-36

Intro to reading

I call him Jeremiah Churchill!
Called to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow,
to build and to plant.

Called to warn the people but they did not listen.
Disaster came in 586BC and people went into exile.

Ch.31 is all about deliverance:
It describes Jeremiah’s hopes of a Second Exodus.
Not from Egypt and Slavery,
but Babylon and Exile.

It’s articulated in the earlier part of the chapter when God says:
Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,”

Here are Jeremiah’s hopes for a new people:

Intro

Had Jeremiah lived long enough – he would have been thrilled and disappointed.
Thrilled: Because after 70 years of Babylonian exile, the Persians took over and freed the Israelites.
Disappointed: Because although the Israelites had learned many lessons in the exile, the lessons didn’t stick.

The truth is, the return from Exile was a Second Exodus, but not a New Covenant.

But this did not mean that Jeremiah or God’s Word has failed.
It just means that Jeremiah was waaaaay ahead of time (like about 600 years!)
He was seeing what we have just celebrated over Easter:

There are four important things we must recognise about this New Covenant:

  1. It is a Covenant that has already been kept
  2. It is a Covenant that we can know
  3. It is a Covenant of forgiveness
  4. It is a forever Covenant

A Covenant that has already been kept

The Egypt Covenant failed because although God was faithful, the people were not.
The same thing happened after the return from Babylon. They had been released but they were not free.
A new covenant needed someone who would be faithful.

Jesus answered that call – representing all people, God was His God and He was God’s Person:
– yielding to none but heaven’s voice.
– surrendering to God’s will
– not breaking covenant

He is the trailblazer of the New Covenant – He opens the way.

Written on our hearts

Part of the problem with the Old Covenant is that our hearts are hardened to it.
This is best demonstrated in the OT story recorded in Exo34:
Moses came out the Presence of God and his face would be shining with the glory of God.
This was too much for the people and they were afraid, so they asked him to wear a veil.

People just couldn’t get the Old Covenant into their hearts.
It was based on performance:
– deep down we know we just can’t do it.

But this New Covenant is different:
– We don’t have to understand a bunch of concepts
– We don’t have to learn a lot of rules
– We don’t have to master a whole lot of rituals

We just have to know Christ.
– John 14:8 – Philip: “Show us the Father!” Jesus: “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father”
– John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
– Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Knowing God is now simple:
He came from heaven to earth – to show the way
From the earth to the cross – my debts to pay
From the cross to the grave – from the grave to the sky
Lord I lift Your name on high

But there’s more: The risen and ascended Christ sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts.
He helps us to know Him.

It is a Covenant of Forgiveness

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
We are not striving to earn forgiveness – we are forgiven.
We are not debtors frantically trying to repay our debts
We are debtors who have been freed.

It is a forever Covenant

35 This is what the LORD says, he
who appoints the sun to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–
the LORD Almighty is his name:
36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD,
“will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.”

The book of Hebrews which quotes this passage from Jeremiah says this:
HEB 7:23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Conclusion

Remember we looked at John 14 where Jesus said “If you’ve seen me – you’ve seen the Father”?
Well later in the same chapter (v.23) Jesus says this:
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
This is what Jeremiah saw:
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

————————————-
JER 31:31 “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.
32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ”
declares the LORD.

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying,
Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

35 This is what the LORD says, he
who appoints the sun to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–
the LORD Almighty is his name:
36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD,
“will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.”

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