All I Want for Christmas: Hope

God is the great Deliverer. In him, alone, we have hope. When God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt, he established a covenant with them. The Mosaic Covenant, contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, put forth the blessings of obedience and punishment for disobedience. Unfortunately, Israel broke the covenant and experienced the consequences. Here’s how the prophet Jeremiah tells the story.  

Jeremiah 31:31-33
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

God established a holy standard, but because of their sinful hearts, the people could not respond in obedience. God initiated a change. With the new covenant, God moved from writing his law on stone tablets to putting his law in the minds of his people and writing it on their hearts. Amazing, isn’t it?! Even after the people disobeyed the holy God, he still pursued them. He let it be known that he was still their God, and they were his people.

The new covenant came with a great price. God didn’t ignore sin or sweep it under the rug. He met sin head-on by sending his Son as our substitute to pay sin’s penalty (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus said that the new covenant would be instituted through the shedding of his blood on the cross (Matt. 26:27-28; Luke 22:20). In Jesus, there is forgiveness. He is our great Hope!

Father, thank you for putting your Word in our minds and hearts. Thank you for the work of your Holy Spirit that brings not only comfort and confidence but challenge and conviction as well. Bring that person home today who is living far from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  

 

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