Jesus has set us free. Whereas once we lived in bondage, we now live in freedom. What was once darkness has now become light. What was once unknown God has made known to us. Though God revealed Himself long ago to the children of Israel, with the exception of a few, nearly all forgot or turned away. God’s first covenant with Israel did not last because it did not work. The law was not enough. It was weak, unable to achieve what God had planned for it. It wasn’t God’s fault; He kept His side, His word. No, it was Israel who couldn’t keep the covenant. Their flesh, as our flesh would have done, was unable to understand and unable to keep their side of the covenant.
Then God did something totally unexpected. He sent the Messiah He had promised. He gave His Son. All throughout Israel’s history, the people knew that a Messiah would one day come. But they did not heed the prophets’ words and did not understand the purpose of the Messiah. They believed that He would set them free from physical oppression, political oppression, economic oppression. They viewed their Messiah as a flesh Messiah, as savior of the body, not the soul. And because they believed this, “His own received Him not.”
Without changing, without breaking the covenant He had made, God renewed the covenant for all. The sacrifice of Christ and His resurrection marked the period during which God Himself came and fulfilled our end of the covenant for us. What the law could not do for us, Christ did on the cross. Because we were unable to overcome our flesh, Christ did it for us so that we can overcome our flesh through Him. Our flaws were made whole and strong through Christ. He set us free from the law that works in us that holds us bound to the flesh. What we wanted to do that was right we were unable to do because of our flesh, and what we did not want to do we inevitably did because our sin nature prevented us from doing it. The law of sin held us captive, until Christ came and fulfilled the law of God. Our inward man, our spirit man, had always longed to do so, but our disobedience blocked us out. Through Christ, no longer—we are truly free and brought near to the Father.