Q. I am ever so thankful for your site – read it every day. I have a question regarding the new covenant – in Jeremiah 31:31-34 – we see the Lord saying that He will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah – it is my understanding that we are talking here prophetically of the covenant with the Church – if so – how do we understand that to be the church from that portion of scripture when it specifically says the house of Israel and Judah?
A. The New Covenant was first promised to Israel and Jesus came to fulfill this promise. At the so-called last supper He introduced the New Covenant to His disciples (Luke 21:20). While Israel had officially rejected Him, the offer of the New Covenant remained open to all who believed in Him. Later Paul extended this promise to the Gentiles (1 Cor. 11:23-26) and the New Covenant became the foundational doctrine of the Church.
But the offer was never withdrawn from Israel, and toward the end of the Great Tribulation they will accept it. Zechariah 12:10 says,
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”
In Romans 11:25-27 Paul wrote that when this happens all Israel will be saved. Romans 11:27 is a summary of Jeremiah 31:33-34.