Christ of the New Covenant: The Mighty Christ of Jer. 31:22 A Curious Verse It is not unexpected that we would find Christ in these New Covenant chapters of Jeremiah. Lets start with that enigmatic passage we left off with, Jer. 31:21-22: "Turn back, O virgin of Israel, turn back to these your cities. How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth - A woman shall encompass a man." I remember being puzzled by this passage for a long time. It doesn't help that one version uses the quaint verb "gad about". What does that mean? For that matter what does the whole verse speak of? To start with, Israel is told not to be so flighty in the face of danger. God has a plan for His remnant, but central to that plan is that it be on the stage of Israel, in the city of Jerusalem, in the Temple where He caused His name to dwell. But the Israelites, as readers of Old Testament histories know, often aren't staying still for this plan to happen. They seek for foreign help several times and now, in the twilight of the Judean Kingdom, they commit an astonishing apostasy by going down to to Egypt after pointedly being warned not to by God's prophet. They, at first, prayed for protection, but then put fearful feet to their prayers. But God's plan was for them to stay put. Yet even if these rebels before the time of the Captivity missed out on God's promise, it doesn't make the promise itself of no effect. The remnant, those who dutifully went into captivity, and who come back (or their children), these are once again encouraged with the same message, though by a new generation of messengers (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). These preach the promise in ever clearer prophecies. The promise is found in the second part of this passage. "The LORD has created a new thing on the earth - a woman shall encompass a man." The woman is the Virgin Mary. Who is this man? He is not just any man. Not ADAM nor ISH, He is a GEBER, a "Mighty One". This is the same root as the "Mighty God" of 32:18. It is also used in a similar way in Isa. 9:6. And why should Israel not go about, not be fleeing, nor defecting (see Wilson's OT Wordbook for the word used here)? It is precisely because their help will come to Jerusalem, to the Temple. In fact He will "suddenly come to His Temple" (Mal. 3:1). If I can say this reverently, it reminds me of the joke about the man who, when his ship finally came in, was at the airport. Well, Israel's Messiah will come suddenly to their temple, at the very time when Israel will be, figuratively and spiritually, looking elsewhere. (Conversely, at this present time, both Jews and many Christians are focused once again on Jerusalem and a hoped-for temple - when God has already done with the physical, and is now growing the spiritual temple. They are waiting for an event that will never happen, a return of a Jewish theocratic Kingdom, complete with Levitical sacrifices.) Continuity and Newness: Something Old Something New Christ brings a new covenant and yet, in a sense, strengthens an old covenant. It is new, 31:31-34. He will put His law in their (and our) hearts. Verse 34 shows us that - because of this heart operation - the recipients of this new covenant will all be converted. Every one of them. "They shall all know Me, from the least to the greatest." This is the key to understanding, by the way, Paul's assurance that "All Israel will be saved", Rom.11:26. Yes, all Israel will be saved, because they are the Israel of God, Jews and Gentiles, every one with open heart and open minds. So in this sense, the covenant is definitely new. And yet there is a continuity as well. When Messiah vouchsafed to His disciples, in the upper room, that "this is the new covenant in my blood", He wasn't creating something totally new. He was fulfilling the passage in Daniel 9:27, confirming a covenantal promise that already existed. Daniel 9:27 states of Messiah - not Antichrist - that..." He shall confirm (BIGBIR) a covenant with many for one week". This BIGBIR means "to strengthen". It never means to create anew. More on this, and a closer and in-depth look at Daniel 9:24, here: Six Promises of Christ to His People. Jeremiah is just one place in Scripture that shines through, in many places, with New Covenant light, and the Christ of the new Covenant.