2 Corinthians 3:5-6 … God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. |
Because of the Golden Calf issue, the tablets containing the Words of the contract between God and man are broken. Moses’ intercession serves to appease God who renews the covenantal tablets, albeit with the same terms (Exodus 32-33). The only difference is that the first time the tablets containing the precious Words written by the finger of God were given under a contract of obedience, but the second time under God’s mercy which remembers our sins no more, yet not exclusive to a cleansing process in between (Exodus 32:26-28; Jeremiah 31:34).
Moses’ ordeal with the tablets serves to illustrate Messiah. In the same manner, Yeshua, the ‘Word/Davar’ made flesh came and was broken because of our idolatrous sin. He went back up to plead with the Father (Hebrew 7:25; Isaiah 53:12) and at a future date will return in a renewed fashion after a cleansing of the idolatrous world (Revelations 17-20). Jeremiah speaks of this return and even speaks of the renewed covenant (the Hebrew word ‘chadash/new’ means ‘new’ and ‘renewed’ (Jeremiah 31:31)) in terms reflecting this idea of mercy. This is why the prophet mentions that this will not be a covenant like the one made with the fathers in the desert. The terms are the same but the conditions are different because the death penalty inherent to it has been ‘covered’ (Jeremiah 31: 31-40).
Reading the full prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the New/Renewed Covenant shows us that the time has not yet come for it to be fully in force. All we have now is an ‘earnest’ (Ephesians 1:12-14).
Paul explains the difference between the two covenants using the terms ‘letter’ and ‘spirit’ (1 Corinthians 3:1-6). These terms do not refer to the terms of the contract which are the same in both cases, but to the dynamics by which the contract/marriage is sealed: the first under a ‘letter’ of condemnation for disobedience (the ‘letter’; that kills, the report of accusation), the second under the forgiving mercies of God. The idea seemed to work as is seen in the changed lifestyle of the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 3:2).
God again closes the case. We have shown ourselves unworthy by He remained faithful to His Word of Promise to take us as a people unto Him. We deserve the ‘boot’ but He still receives us, not because of righteous works which we have done, but because of His faithfulness (Ephesians 2:8-9).
May we show ourselves worthy of His grace and goodness living lives according to the standards of His Torah thus reflecting His Wisdom in a world living in the darkness of ignorance. of His Word (Deuteronomy 4:5-9).
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