In the sermon today we will be looking at the new and better covenant that is inaugurated by Jesus. In so many ways it is richer, better and more far-reaching than anything previously offered in the Old Testament. The word for “new” used here is an unusual word that does not often appear. It means “new” as in never seen or heard of before. It is not an upgraded version or a modified version of the old one, but rather it is brand new, as never seen before. I know it is not good grammar, but I like to say it is new new.
This new covenant is no longer an outward set of regulations or duties that we need to perform to appease God, but rather it is a thing of the heart, an inward love of God, that stirs the heart and brings joy to the soul. The underlying premise which stimulates this deep joy and love for God is that God, in grace, through Christ, forgives and forgets our sin.
We can know complete and lasting forgiveness. This level of total absolution and forgiveness was only ever pictured in the Old Testament, but was never a reality. No Old Testament person could go home after offering a gift at the temple and claim to be forgiven in the sight of God. At best his sin was covered over until he returned to the temple to offer another sacrifice all over again.
Conversely for us, as we trust the finished work of Christ on the cross, and are participants of the new covenant, we can know lasting, inclusive and generous pardon. We can with confidence know we are not only forgiven, but God has promised never to remind Himself, or us that we had sinned. Such is the forgiveness for all who have trusted Christ by faith.