By Timothy Sparks
Jesus brought a new covenant. The new covenant went into effect after Jesus’ death, not before his death: “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives” (Heb. 9:15-17, NASB).
The new covenant had no strength at all before his death. Jesus lived and died under the old covenant. “For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth” (Heb. 9:17, KJV). “For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives” (Heb. 9.17, NASB).
Some seem to have difficulty coming to grips with the fact that the Jews could not divorce for betrothal fornication or for marital adultery, as the penalty was death (Deut. 22:13ff). Jesus lived and died under God’s law.
The new covenant had no strength at all before Jesus died. Jesus did not give a different law concerning marriage and divorce than the law God established in the beginning (Mt. 19:4, 8). There was no divorce in the beginning. Jesus did not introduce divorce into God’s law of marriage.