The New Covenant is not yet complete. In case you didn’t get the connection between the two posts in the latest series, let me connect the dots. Jeremiah prophesied of a new covenant which would be made with the nation of Israel. The arrangement under this new covenant would include the fact that there would be no need to teach anybody to know the LORD, since they would all know the LORD, from the least to the greatest. When Christ came and instituted the new covenant in His blood with the believing remnant of the nation of Israel, this began the time of preaching the new covenant message to both Israel and the Gentile nations. Two thousand years later, the new covenant remains incomplete since we are still preaching that message.
The writer to the Hebrews saw this very process occurring, leading to the day when the new covenant would be complete. So he quoted the entire passage from Jeremiah 31:31-34, knowing that his contemporaries plainly understood that people were still teaching others saying “Know the LORD” making this prophecy in Jeremiah only partially fulfilled. He then stated that “what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” His description shows that he saw the new covenant’s implementation as in progress. He didn’t say it had vanished away, but he had faith that is ready to vanish away. We should still possess that same faith that it is ready to vanish away because the nation of Israel will completely know the LORD someday in the not too distant future.
This is how the Apostle Paul spoke of the new covenant as well. In II Corinthians 3, Paul speaks of the old covenant arrangement as “being brought to an end” (vs. 7 & 11) due to the ongoing new covenant ministry. Able ministers of the new covenant now possess the Holy Spirit which gives us life and surpasses the glory of the old covenant (vs. 6 & 10). But Israelites still have a hardened heart when reading the old covenant scriptures, therefore this implementation of the new covenant remains in progress, (vs. 13-15).
Even though Christ has shed His blood, there remains a future fulfillment of the new covenant if we take Jeremiah 31:31-34 at face value. Indeed, there comes a time when no one in the nation of Israel will have to teach any of their countrymen to know the LORD because they will all know Him. This is what is meant by Paul’s notation that “all Israel will be saved,” Romans 11:26-27.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman