This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.   “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.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34)

I think this is one of the most incredible passages in Scripture that we often take for granted.

There was a time when not everyone knew God or could know God.  He spoke directly to very few.  And some preferred it that way.  The Israelites even told Moses they’d rather he speak to them and stayed at a comfortable distance from God (Exodus 20:18-21).

But then …

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  (John 1:14)

And suddenly we knew what God looked like, how He acted, how He reacted.  Even if some of us didn’t realize it was Him at that time. 

But the plan was never for Jesus to walk around in skin on this earth forever. 

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook and the rocks split.  (Matthew 27:51)

I will confess that every time I read this verse it gives me chills.  From my limited perspective, I think it is possibly one of the most profound moments in all of Scripture.  A curtain several inches thick.  A curtain meant to separate God’s holy presence from His unclean people.  A curtain behind which only one man could go one day of the year.  That curtain torn.  From top to bottom.  When Jesus breathed His last.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”  (Revelation 21:3) 

This is why He came.  My throat is getting choked up as I write this, but I can’t help it.  He came to rescue us from our destructive selves.  He came to restore things to the way they once were, before we messed them up.  He came so that we could walk in the cool of the day with Him ( Genesis 3:8 ) and so that we could know Him ourselves (Isaiah 43:10).  He didn’t come so that we would settle for knowing Him vicariously through listening to sermons each Sunday or just reading books that other people wrote about Him.  He came to write His Word on our own hearts and minds.  He came because He wanted us to know Him, the way Adam and Eve did before the Fall.  He came to fellowship with us and dwell with us.  And in order for that to happen, He had to deal with sin.  And He Himself did it. 

The curtain has been torn.  Any man, woman, or child can enter into that Holy of Holies now.  And when they do, they will see the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat by our Great High Priest once for all (Hebrews 4:14-16). 

This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.   “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.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34)

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.  He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.  (Isaiah 50:4)

May we not take Him for granted.

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