Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
October 21 Scripture Selection: Jeremiah 7-8
Food for Thought: Jer. 7:3; 8:8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 22
What an advantage we have over the people who lived prior to the crucifixion and resurrection of our Savior! In fact, all the spiritual consequences of the transgressions and iniquities were laid on Jesus, and we now are not required to take any of them. All God asks of us is to believe on Jesus and receive the new life that He paid for. The differences between the experiences of those of the old covenant and ours today are like night and day.
In the days of the old covenant, the Lord said to the people, “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place (Jer. 7:3).” In other words, clean up first, then I will let you in.
But, thanks be to God and by His grace, He says, “Come as you are, and I will clean you up.” The thief on the cross (Luke 23:42, 43) and the jailer who asked what he should do to be saved (Acts 16:30, 31) are two great examples of people who did not first amend their ways. We gain our right-standing with the Father not by our works, but by His grace (Eph. 2:8, 9).
Man’s wisdom failed the people of the old covenant and led them to their own demise (Jer. 8:8, 9). Yet I Corinthians 1:30 tells us, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” In Him we have all the wisdom we need and will never be led astray, as long as we live by His wisdom.
The silence brought on the sinful people because of guilt, shame, and humiliation (Jer. 8:14), was completely taken by Jesus and, “as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth (Is. 53:7).” Never again do we have to feel condemnation or offer penance to deal with our sins. Jesus did that for us.
And that bitter gall that they were given to drink because of their sins (8:14)? Jesus tasted even that for us on the cross (Mat. 27:33, 34). And upon fulfilling that prophecy, He said, “’It is finished !’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit (John 19:28-30).” Any bitterness from the past was taken care of by Jesus. We no longer have to carry any bitterness in our hearts for the things we did or for the sins committed against us. Jesus paid for it all.
Jeremiah speaks of the people calling out for peace and finding none (8:15). But Jesus took on Himself all the consequences and everything necessary for us to have peace. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him (Is. 53:5).” And because of what Jesus did, we now have peace with the Father, as Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” something the people in Jeremiah’s day could not obtain. Isaiah lists healing as another benefit provided by Jesus through His sacrifice. Jesus is the “balm in Gilead” that they longed for and has now been provided.
The rebellion of the people in Numbers 21:4-9 caused God to send vipers that bit them, just as the Lord warned would happen again in Jeremiah 8:17. As a remedy for the bane and a fore-shadow of Jesus, Moses was told to make a staff of a serpent to hold up and have everyone look at, which served as a foreshadow of what Jesus would do. He explains in John 3:14, 15 that He had to be lifted up to save everyone who would look to Him, and the people would need to look no further for a solution for the bite of evil. For once and for all, Jesus became both sin and the antidote for it. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:21).”
What a difference a day makes (well, three days, actually)! Since the New Covenant was established by the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, no one ever has to go through what the people prior to it did. Because of His works and not our own, every burden is lifted off of us, and we have newness of life (see Rom. 6:4).
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):