“The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.”
Advent is a time of waiting. Prior to the birth of Jesus, the Old Covenant that God had with His people was a large and complicated covenant with 613 laws, rituals of sacrifice and a tabernacle where only the high priest was permitted to enter God’s presence at certain times of the year. Just imagine, living under these laws and restrictions, offering sacrifices when laws were broken… laws that no one person could, nor were they ever meant to be able to, ever keep to in their entirety. Then, in the midst of a very turbulent time for the people of Judah, Jeremiah speaks of a New Covenant. Like a breath of fresh air, the people most likely breathed in this promise of hope that their relationship with their God would be restored.
During this time of Advent, think about what that must have felt like, to know that their God had not forgotten them; He had not abandoned them. No matter what things may have looked like at that moment, God gave Jeremiah these words about the promise of a coming day. And like the people of Israel and Judah waited for that coming day, we also wait in eager anticipation to remember that “coming day” when Jesus was born, a Savior who was the New Covenant for all people.