|“He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”
Luke 5:36-38 ESV
In Jesus’ day, if you were to sew a new piece of cloth onto an old garment to patch up a tear or a section which was worn out, it would shrink the first time it was washed and it would tear away from the old garment that had already shrunk. This would damage the garment further. This shows us that Jesus did not come to patch up the Old Covenant with the New, but instead, He came to replace it.
“For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.”
Hebrews 7:18-19 ESV
You don’t put new wine (unfermented wine) into old wineskins. You’d need to use new wineskins because as the fermentation process occurs only new wineskins can accommodate for the expansion of gasses. New wine in old wineskins would cause the old wineskins (which are already stretched) to burst and the wine would be lost.
The Old Covenant law could never stretch enough to accommodate the New Covenant truths of mercy and grace. You cannot mix law and grace and have a successful Christian life. Law and grace are like oil and water – no matter how hard you try, they will not mix!
I love how the new covenant is referred to as “new wine”. God wants you to drink of the new wine and even become intoxicated with it so that it can transform you. But new wine (or grace) needs to be drunk straight! You cannot mix a little of the old wine (law) in with the new – it’s pure new-wine-gospel or it’s not gospel at all! Drink of the new-wine-gospel by focusing in on what Jesus has done for you and is freely offering you!
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