By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:13
With the destruction of the temple in AD 70, it became impossible for the Jews to keep the sacrificial requirements of the law. With the temple gone, the old covenant had completed God’s purpose for it and in this sense, disappeared. This was always part of God’s plan as the laws of the Mosaic covenant were only added until Jesus came.
“Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come” (Galatians 3:19). Yet, it was hard for Jewish Christians to cut their ties with the Mosaic covenant. Not just the religious ties but the emotional ones too, and realise that these things were only shadows pointing to the reality in Jesus.
Constable, in his Commentary, comments, “There is nothing wrong with Jewish Christians maintaining Jewish customs provided they do not rely on them for favour with God.” Likewise, we hold our own traditions and customs lightly. Though meaningful to us, they may not be to future generations and while we may grieve their loss, we know they aren’t essential to our faith.
The law was given to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). To make us recognise that a list of rights and wrongs wasn’t enough, and neither were punishments and rewards. We needed a Saviour. Someone who could empower us to keep God’s righteous requirements. God knew this all along and not only sent Jesus to be our Saviour, but also sent his Spirit to empower us and move us to follow his decrees, just as he promised (Ezekiel 36:27).