The New Covenant declares: “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” It says nothing about disobedience and punishment, in fact it concludes with “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrew 8)
The old covenant that God made with man, as recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible, stated law and then promised rewards or punishment as the enforcement of that law. There followed a long history of the Israelites going back and forth between being good and being bad, and a constant repetition of asking for forgiveness. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, the author explains the New Covenant was necessary because the old did not work very well, annual atoning for sins and never getting beyond them.
So what is this New Covenant all about. In this it would seem that the law of God does not require enforcement as such, but rather just is, like light annihilating darkness just by its very presence. ”God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”(I John 1)
In my favorite textbook we find: “Truth, Life, and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves because they declare nothing except God.” (S&H) Truth, Life, and Love are here synonyms of God, so we might say: “God is a law of annihilation to everything unlike Himself, because He declares nothing but Himself.” Is this the jealous God referred to in Exodus? Annihilation takes no prisoners, but it is not a heartless thing. Rather it is Love itself, which annihilates rather than pardons sin, hence “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
This New Covenant is the underlying principle of Christ Jesus’ mission. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Free from what? Free from sin, as he explained. He was not referring to sin as the naughty things you are not supposed to do, but as that which claims a self apart from God. Jesus himself expressed a sinless state when he said: “Of mine own self I can do nothing. The Father that dwelleth in me He doeth the works.”
The New Covenant leads us away from self-righteousness and self-condemnation into a state of actively absorbing the law into our being, our everyday life, as did Jesus our Exemplar, to strive to think, to speak, to act according to His will. This New Covenant is a radical departure from the old which is still entrenched in most Christian churches, and the following challenge is sobering:
“Christians, are you drinking his cup? Have you shared the blood of the New Covenant, the persecutions which attend a new and higher understanding of God? If not, can you then say that you have commemorated Jesus in his cup? Are all who eat bread and drink wine in memory of Jesus willing truly to drink his cup, take his cross, and leave all for the Christ-principle? Then why ascribe this inspiration to a dead rite, instead of showing, by casting out error and making the body "holy, acceptable unto God," that Truth has come to the understanding? If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other commemoration is requisite, for demonstration is Immanuel, or God with us; and if a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend? “ (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy)