The New Covenant II

Deuteronomy 30.1-10
Jeremiah 31.31-34
Exodus 20.18-20
Luke 24.13-49

The readings this past Shabbat represented another of those 'coincidences' which mark the hand of God. For months now during our service we have been reading the book of Luke starting at the beginning and finishing this week. In dividing up Luke for liturgical reading, there was no attempt to coordinate with the Torah portion. It is amazing how many times the Luke passage complemented the reading in the Torah. It happened again this week and showed me something I had never before seen in the Gospel.

A portion of the New Covenant says, "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live."(Dt 30:6) This circumcision, performed by God, will result in that generation and its offspring loving God. In Jeremiah's rendition of the New Covenant he says, "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts."(Jer 31:33)

We know that the Torah written on tablets of stone is a metaphor for our hearts of stone. God has always wanted to write His Torah on our hearts, but until Messiah, few men would be able to receive it. We see this, for example, at the giving of the Torah at Sinai. When God spoke, the people all said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die."(Ex 20:19) God wanted to give his Torah directly to Israel, but their hearts were not able to receive it.

Consider now the story of the encounter on the Emmaus Road between Y'shua and two of His disciples. After He had vanished at the end of the meal, the two said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?"(Lk 24:32) Later, when Y'shua met with the rest of his disciples, "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,..."(Lu 24:45)

This looks to me very much like Y'shua was performing the circumcision and Torah inscription that is described in the Deuteronomy and Jeremiah passages. So from this, we see that the disciples were a sort of first fruit of the New Covenant, the beginning of the harvest.

For more thoughts on the New Covenant, see this RMF blog article.