WHAT WE ARE IN OUR FALLEN CONDITION
Another aspect of the kernel of the book of Jeremiah is the exposure of what we are in our fallen condition. In this matter Jeremiah is very deep but also very simple. In 17:9 he speaks regarding the human heart, saying, "The heart is deceitful above all things / And it is incurable; / Who can know it?" Our heart is deceitful to the uttermost and incurable. Just as our heart is incurable, so our fallen nature is unchangeable. Thus, in 13:23 Jeremiah says, "Can the Cushite change his skin, / Or the leopard his spots? / Then you also may be able to do good, / Who are accustomed to do evil." In our fallen condition we are corrupt and rotten; there is no way for us to change, correct, or improve ourselves. The disciples of Confucius tried to use his teachings to improve themselves, but they have failed. As fallen human beings, we are incurable and unchangeable.
WHAT CHRIST IS TO US
The third matter in the kernel of the book of Jeremiah is what Christ is to us.
The Shoot of David
Jeremiah 23:5 and 6 say, "Behold, days are coming, / Declares Jehovah, / When I will raise up to David a righteous Shoot...And this is His name by which He will be called, / Jehovah our righteousness." Although Christ is God, He became a Shoot, or Sprout, of David. This means that He was incarnated to be a descendant of David. As a Shoot, the Sprout, of David, Christ is tender, living, and fresh.
Jehovah Our Righteousness
Christ, the righteous Shoot of David, is called Jehovah our righteousness. In our fallen condition we are corrupt, sinful, deceitful, incurable, and unchangeable. How could we ever be righteous before God? In ourselves this is impossible, but we can become righteous in Christ. Christ came to die on the cross for our sins, accomplishing redemption for us. Based upon Christ’s redemption, God is able to forgive our sins, to forget our sins, and to justify us. Furthermore, with the redemption of Christ as the foundation, Christ Himself has become our righteousness. Not only have we been justified by God, but God has given Christ to us to be our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30). It is a wonderful fact that Christ has become one with us to be our righteousness.
(Life-Study of Jeremiah and Lamentations, Chapter 40, by Witness Lee)