Hebrews 8:10-12 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

 Jeremiah records the words from God about something new in the future. “After those days” refers to the time of struggle for Israel and Judah during exile and destruction. The new covenant is all about relationship. Relationship with God through the Holy Spirit empowers us to fulfill God’s plan for us. The problem with the old covenant was that the law was external. It is impossible to keep the law because of sin. Sin causes us to rebel against God by breaking God’s laws. Sin also leaves us weak and unable to obey God. Something deep and internal needs to happen to the human heart. This is what the new covenant does. God puts his laws inside of us through the Holy Spirit who speaks to our minds and helps us develop a new world view. Our priorities change. Our outlook changes. We have new values. We become more and more like Jesus. The result is that we know God deeply and intimately. The relationship that Adam and Eve had with God is restored because the problem of sin is removed. The relationship God intended to have with Israel is now possible. Everyone can have this relationship through faith. Iniquities and sin are removed and forgiven. The separation from God is removed. All of this happens through Jesus who inaugurated and enabled the new covenant in his blood. These verses are a profound linkage of the Old and New Testaments. The word for “testament” means covenant. Jesus brings the whole Bible together. The author of Hebrews is writing very deep thoughts in this passage that require significant thinking to understand and apply.

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