The New Covenant isn’t a modified Old Covenant. It’s altogether new.
Thankfully, I was taught early in my Christian life how to have a daily quiet time – a time for reading scripture and praying. I was also thankful to learn that God had a plan for my life that, if followed, would make life go much better for me. Through my personal relationships with Christ, I had an assurance that as a Christian I belonged to God and was special to Him. I had confidence that I would one day go to heaven and be with Him. I also surely found out that it’s better to follow God’s plan for morality than the world’s! I decided to avoid the drunkenness and licentiousness that I saw in many of my high school and college friends.
All of those things – the value of a devotional life, the knowledge that I belonged to God, the importance of a moral life – are important and good.
But what about it was so new?
After all, Israel, under the Old Covenant, had a sense of belonging to God. They, under the law, discovered that if they delighted in the Word of God, then life would go better for them. And the Old Covenant people certainly knew the benefit of living according to God’s standards of morality.
As good as my idea of Christian covenant was, what made this New Covenant new and better than the old? Sure, I didn’t have to go to the trouble of offering bulls on stone altars. It was nice not to have to bring a turtledove with me to church. I was glad not to have to go to a priest and get some blood sprinkled on me. But I have to admit, I sometimes viewed my daily quiet time as a sacrifice. Something that would make me more blessed.
Wasn’t my “new” covenant just a modified old covenant?
When I discovered what is so new about the New Covenant, my entire life changed.
Here it is. The Old Covenant was an agreement between God and the people. If they obeyed, they would be blessed. But the New Covenant isn’t between us and God. It is between the Father and the Son. If the Son obeys, then all who trust in Him are blessed. All the attention moves away from your righteousness to Christ’s. That’s why the New Covenant is so new. That’s why grace is so amazing. And that’s the Gospel!