Summary: Before Jesus can bring about the New Covenant He must ride into Jerusalem as was prophesied by Zechariah. The Temple courts have become a market of greed and gain instead of a place of spiritual discourse. What has worship become in our day and age?
Today we turn to the Old Testament to once again reveal the events of the New Testament.
We are nearly there, nearly at Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, nearly seated at the Last Supper, nearly gathered in prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane.
We are nearly at the time of Jesus arrest, trial and betrayal by His disciple Judas and the religious leaders.
We are nearly standing between Barabbas and Governor Pontius Pilate.
Jeremiah was given the words to proclaim the purpose of the New Covenant.
Jeremiah spoke some 600 years before Christ but his message was not listened to, his words were not heeded.
Jeremiah’s ministry was not successful by worldly standards. He did not pack ‘em in the pews. Still Jeremiah was faithful to preach God’s message for forty years.
Here in Chapter 31 of the book that bears his name we are given a prophetic utterance.
31 “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.
We know that that day was the day of the Last Supper when Jesus took bread and wine. Jesus broke the bread and blessed it and Jesus blessed the wine and passed it around the room.
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Jeremiah tells us that this New Covenant will be different from the Old.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the LORD.
Before Jesus can bring about the New Covenant He must ride into Jerusalem as was prophesied by Zechariah as we learned last week.
And before Jesus rides on the donkey He hits His knees and weeps over the city of Jerusalem God’s special possession, God’s Holy City on earth.
Luke 19:41 New International Version
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
Jesus is weeping not because of what He will have to suffer but He is weeping because of what God the Father has already suffered.
Jerusalem God’s bride has failed to honor the Old Covenant. She has strayed from her first love and she has been unfaithful to her husband God the Father.
After all that God has done to redeem her, to teach her to provide for her and to protect her. She has spurned the love of the Father.
The Temple has become filled with priest who are appointed by men not through the line of Levi. They do not preach the word of God but compromise it and promote a message that is polluted and tainted by their political overlords the Romans.
The Temple itself has become defiled with shopkeepers selling animals for sacrifice that are overpriced and whose purity is suspect.
The Temple courts have become a market of greed and gain instead of a place of spiritual discourse and preparation.
God the Father sent prophet after prophet and deliverer after deliverer but still the people’s hearts remained hard and cold and sinful.
What has worship become in our day and age?
What of the sacrifices and tithes that we bring before God?
How distant are our hearts from the heart of our Father?
No wonder Jesus wept over that ancient city. He was weeping for the Jews but He was also weeping for us.
For in Jesus God the Father would give us a New Covenant.
But would we do any better with it than our Jewish cousins did with theirs?
Have we obeyed our Fathers call?
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
How far dear one’s have we drifted for our Father’s love?
How true a bride Church have we been to our husband Jesus?
Yes before the crowd cheers Jesus weeps.
Let us then turn His weeping to joy by trusting in His word and by honoring His love and sacrifice for our souls.
Let us prepare our hearts for He is about to ride before us as the Son of David, the Promised Messiah, He is about to ride toward the agony that leads to glory forgiving the suffering and the shame that is our sin.