Sometimes there are moments of rare ecstasy. And, then there are once-in-a-lifetime moments that re-define history. Talking about Jesus’ mission on earth, involving a radical break from traditions of man, but not the laws of God. The stage is set for Him to fulfill every jot and tittle of Mosiac Law…at a time when religious customs ruled the day (Matt 5:17-18). Without delay, Jesus spoke parables about old garments and wineskins to demonstrate legalism. He came to replace ancient Jewish rites with a (new and living) testament (Hebrews 9:15)). However, most of the Pharisaical leaders preferred outward observances, and refused internal changes of the heart. It was not until A.D. 70, when Romans destroyed Jerusalem’s temple that Jewish rituals ended. Today, the priesthood, synagogue and altar are obsolete—so, they cannot practice generational formalities as their ancestors did (Hosea 3:4).
Overall, external rites and ceremonies teach us what we must ‘do,’ but Christ shows us how to ‘be.’ Therefore, under the new covenant, God writes His law on human hearts, where the Living Word instructs, shaping us into His likeness (2 Cor 3:1-3, 18). Now, if unfermented wine is put into brittle, worn wineskins, the gases will explode. Meaning, the new Life of the Spirit could not be forced into old containers of Judaism “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined” (Matt 9:17, Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-38). Interpretation: Self-righteousness is no match for the vigorous life of Christianity.
In this case, death by crucifixion could not kill the Last Adam, because God provided the New Wine of a better covenant (1 Corinth 11:25). We might deduce, how is this possible? Still, it’s true. Jesus is the dawning Light of a new era between God and mankind “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, throughout the blood of the everlasting covenant” ( Hebrews 13;20 NKJV). By the way, foreshadowing His destiny in the first miracle—Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:9). Later, gathered in an upper room, one last fellowship took place with the disciples and He reinforced their calling “He took the cup…saying, drink from it…for this is my blood (wine) of the new covenant” (Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV).
For me, I want to leave last year’s brokenness and failures in loving arms of the strong One. I desire new wine, tasting and seeing the Lord’s goodness (Psalm 43:8). Since his compassions are fresh every morning, we can cherish the wonder of a Savior whose resurrection brings us into the very throne room of God. There, we humbly bask in His presence and come away with vibrant life, sharing it with others in need.