There has been a lot of “new” over the past year. We’ve adjusted to new ways of doing almost everything in our lives–some we like better than others. One thing the last year has shown us is that “new” isn’t always better. Not always, but sometimes. Now, online grocery ordering and pickup? There’s something new to me that I like. I can get my food without anyone trying to run me down with their shopping cart? Sign me up. The rapid pace of change hasn’t always been as enjoyable, though. So, new isn’t always better, but sometimes it is.
Jeremiah 31 points us to a case where new is better–a new covenant. Jeremiah prophesied a new covenant that would be written on the hearts of the people, one where every single member of God’s people would know Him personally. It would be a covenant based on God’s grace to forgive and to redeem, and unlike the old covenant that was broken often by God’s people, this one would be unbreakable.
New isn’t always better, but if there was any doubt in this case, the author of Hebrews tells us that this new covenant is also a better covenant. Hebrews 8:6 says, “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus has established a new and better covenant so that whatever the new year might bring, it also comes with better promises for those who believe in Jesus–the Spirit within us, personal knowledge of our God, the forgiveness of our sins, and the certainty of a God who always keeps His word. Let’s hold on to these promises today and throughout this new year!