What is it that makes Christianity so unique, and unlike every other religion? Is it the fact that Christianity underscores the need for self-sacrifice, which was powerfully displayed by Jesus at Calvary? Is it the fact that Christianity emphasizes compassion for others, which was powerfully illustrated throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry? Is it the fact that Christianity encourages forgiveness, which was powerfully exhibited by Christ when He ministered to His disciples after they had abandoned Him during His darkest, and most physically agonizing, hours? All of these factors make Christianity unique, and unlike every other religion. But something else about the Christian faith is intimated in Jeremiah 31:33. In this verse, and the verses surrounding it, God foretold of a day, an age, when His followers would come to worship the Lord in a new way. Yes, we would still have words of hope and inspiration in Scripture. Yes, we would still have opportunity, and occasion, to worship with fellow believers. But something greater would come to transpire: unfettered, personal access to God.
Followers of God came to the Lord largely through intermediaries in the Old Testament. What started with Moses, as a messenger of God, later morphed into priests, who were responsible for maintaining a purified structure of formal sacrifice. In other words, for every non-Levite there were buffers to accessing the Lord. And yet, in Jeremiah 31, in the midst of God waylaying Judah for its corporate sin and rebellion, the Lord trumpeted the coming of Christ. Having the ability to look at this text retrospectively we now understand that the holy was made human. The invisible was made visible. The impersonal was made personal. The law was made flesh. All of this was made possible in Jesus Christ. So what makes Christianity unique, and unlike any other religion? Jesus. The God who momentarily took on the form of humanity to rescue humanity, and give us unfettered, personal access to God – for eternity.
Jeremiah 31:33 “‘This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law into their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.’” (NIV)
Kevin Orr (8/13/2019)