Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the most famous passage in that book and gives hearers a warm glow within each time it is read. Yet Jeremiah describes this new covenant as a last resort when all else has failed. It is paired in the lectionary with John 12:20-33 which is the moment in John’s gospel of Jesus accepting his fate (the Gethsemane moment). This is not a chance meeting of two passages of scripture. Jeremiah 31:31-34 is misunderstood if it is seen as a moment of contentment on the part of the reader. The heart that this new covenant is being written on is Jesus, through his human life and death.
The message of Jesus can be sanitised or brought down to a simple basic of love. Yet love costs, and in order to offer this new covenant the cost was God’s own Son. I wonder if Jeremiah knew the conclusion of his prophecy?
Base image by Heather Stanley – Twelvebaskets