Besides those I have noted over the last couple weeks, there are other OT prophecies that either speak of Messiah’s person or his work. And, of course, there are those that point even further into the future, into the last days. Maybe I’ll come back to some of these at some point but, for now, just one more and, then, we’re back to Genesis 1 for New Year’s Day.
The OT has much to say about covenants, which are God's promises to his people. God, in Genesis 12, covenanted with Abram to do a number of things, including giving him a son, many descendants, and a land. God has made good on those promises. He passed those promises on to Isaac and Jacob and the nation of Israel. God covenanted with David to give him a descendent who would rule eternally from an eternal throne. The prophets built on those promises and spoke of a “new covenant.”
“’The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah’” (Jeremiah 31:31).
Though other details are given by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Ezekiel adds these words from the Lord: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel. 36:25-26).
As he made his way toward the cross, and as he ate that last supper with his disciples, Jesus taught, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). The writer of Hebrews also sees fulfillment in the sacrifice of Jesus. Through him, the Lord says, “I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah . . . For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:8-13). And so, in Messiah, we can say of our God that “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). That’s what the whole story has been about, isn’t it?! What a wonderful thought with which to end one year and begin a new! What a Savior!
Take the world, but give me Jesus,
sweetest comfort of my soul;
with the Savior watching o'er me,
I can sing, though thunders roll.
Take the world, but give me Jesus;
in his cross my trust shall be
till with clearer, brighter vision
face to face my Lord I see. –Fanny Crosby (1879)