In the book of Jeremiah, we are given a description of what things will be like when the New Covenant is finally given by God to Israel. Of course, if you are a Christian you have probably read in the New Testament that Jesus has already instituted the New Covenant. Although we will discover that Jesus did not initiate the New Covenant, the point I want to make will surprise you as much as it did me. We will now examine the passage in Jeremiah that describes what happens when the New Covenant is given by God.
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:29-33)
In this passage, the first thing we notice is that the formerly mentioned false doctrine, identified as a proverb, is associated with the phrase, “But every one shall die for his own iniquity.” This means that the idea of someone dying for someone else’s sin is incorrect. At first glance, this seems out of place. If I were a Christian, I would be asking, “Why is this statement here?” Doesn’t this disagree with the entire basis of the reason of Jesus dying on the cross? Shouldn’t there be a statement here indicating that once and for all mankind will understand that the messiah came and died for mankind’s sins, dispelling the Old Testament idea that each man needs to die for his own sins? Instead, what we have here in the same passage describing the New Covenant is a statement saying someone can’t die for someone else’s sins.
This is an excerpt from my book, “Leaving Jesus.” It is available as an ebook ($4.99), an audiobook ($6.00) or a paperback ($7.49) at the link below.