There had been a manifest decay and vanishing away of the first Tabernacle or Temple with its rites and services. At the time when these words were written there were evident symptoms of the approaching collapse of the whole system of which pious Jews had been wont to boast. But the Holy Spirit reassures their failing hearts.
It is well, He seems to say, that these should vanish from the earth; that men may be certified that the old covenant, of which they were the sign and seal, has also gone - gone never to be recalled. Thereupon, the very natural enquiry was suggested: If the old covenant has decayed and vanished away, what is the agreement or arrangement under which we are living now? To this enquiry the present chapter is an answer.
Those who believe in Christ are still in covenant relationship with God. A new covenant has been set up, which indeed is as old as the everlasting hills. It is the covenant of love; the covenant which says very little of what man does, and much of the I WILLS of Jehovah; a covenant which was entered into between God and His Son, standing as Mediator; a covenant which has been sealed with priceless blood.
The provisions of that covenant are enumerated in the foregoing verses: that God will engrave His law on mind and heart, and take us to be His people and be our God, and remember our sins no more. As the decay of the symbols of the Old Testament indicated that it was vanishing, so the ever-fresh beauty of the supper of our Lord, as it was practiced in the first Church, witnessed to the permanence of the New Testament.