The average couple spends together 3 hours a day for 3.5 years = 3833 hours. The disciples spent ~25,550 hours with Jesus (20 hrs per day).
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
We would do well to hold the accounts of the apostles very dear. They knew Jesus. They believed His words, His works, and His sacrifice. He spoke of tearing down the Old Covenant and rebuilding it in three days (John 2:19). Jesus was saying, “Put aside the old and welcome the new!” I heard of a fellow who is trying to keep both the New Testament code and the Old Testament laws. It isn’t going very well. Why not? Because one is designed to replace the other. Let’s consider this passage from Hebrews 8,
5 They [the priests] serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Exodus 25:40). 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:
“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.
9 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 did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
Why the New Covenant Is Better
The Old Testament is a record of the nation of Israel struggling—and failing—to keep its covenant with God. The New Testament shows Jesus Christ keeping the covenant for his people, doing what they cannot do.
Theologian Martin Luther called the contrast between the two covenants law vs. gospel. A more familiar name is works vs. grace. While God’s grace frequently broke through in the Old Testament, its presence overwhelms the New Testament. Grace, that free gift of salvation through Christ, is available to any person, not just Jews, and asks only that a person repent of their sins, believe that God sent Jesus, and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The New Testament book of Hebrews gives several reasons why Jesus is superior to the old covenant, among them:
- Jesus is superior to Moses as a mediator;
- Jesus is a high priest forever, seated next to God in heaven;
- Jesus’ sacrifice was once for all, perfecting believers for eternal life.
Both the Old and New Testaments are the story of the same God, a God of love and mercy who gave his people the freedom to choose and who gives his people the opportunity to come back to him by choosing Jesus Christ.
Aren’t we glad we are part of the New Covenant?!!!
Abba, thank You for placing me in this time in history. Knowing you personally and having you in my heart (my seat of emotions, thought, and intellect) makes life a pleasure and a treasure. Even so, I long to be with You completely and wholly, Lord. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). Amen.