When did the new covenant start? Was it when Jesus was born, when He died on the cross, when He rose from the dead or another time? Why is it important you ask – because we need to be able to correctly divide scripture between the two covenants and understand which covenant was in force at the time.
God gave us a pattern when He established the old covenant and He followed the same pattern with the New Covenant.
God gave the Ten Commandments (the old covenant) on the very first day of Pentecost, 50 days after Passover. God did the same thing when He gave the New Covenant. It was 50 days after the celebration of Passover, on the day of Pentecost in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came to live permanently in Christians.
When the old covenant was given, 3000 people died. When God gave the new covenant in the upper room, 3000 people got life. There are so many signs but we have to be teachable. We must be ready to let the scriptures change the way we think.
When you stop and think about it Jesus did not speak to any Christians in the gospels because He had not died on the cross yet and the Holy Spirit had not been sent. There weren’t any Christians yet. The gospels, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John; are all before Jesus died on the cross to fulfil the law which means they are still old covenant. The law was still in force. Jesus was born under the law.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Ga 4:4 NKJV)
The religious leaders at the time had watered down the old covenant to something that could be kept. Jesus came to fulfil the law but He had to restore it before He fulfilled it. This is explained in the post “difficult sayings of Jesus”.
Before fulfilling the law on the cross, Jesus restored the law. He made sure that people knew they could not keep it no matter how hard they tried. Keeping the law does not make us right with God.
“”I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”” (Ga 2:21 NKJV)
Nobody can get to heaven by following the law. That was not the purpose of the law. The law was our school master to lead us to Christ. So how did Jesus restore the law?
- If you look at a woman with lust in your eye you have committed adultery.
- If you call your brother fool you are in danger of hell fire.
- If you do not hate your father, mother, wife and children you cannot be my disciple.
- If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
- If you right hand causes you to sin, chop it off.
In each of these sayings Jesus restored the law to being impossible to keep. He restored the law before He fulfilled it.
Jesus said that when He goes He will send a helper. The helper is the Holy Spirit. He was sent in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. This is when the new covenant started, so the gospels are old covenant, even though they are in the New Testament.