FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 8
AUTHOR: Joe Ligon
The chapter begins almost as a concluding statement of the previous chapter. Jesus as our Great High Priest is unparalleled. He alone is seated at the right of God in the true Temple that is in heaven.
As we get to verse 4 we are reminded that according to the Levitical Law and Jewish tradition Jesus would not have been allowed to be a priest. He was not of the tribe of Levi but of Judah.
When we get to verse 6, we find one of the main points of this chapter. We find the comparison between the Old Covenant (the Mosaic Law) and the New Covenant. The simple statement is the New Covenant is better because it is enacted on better promises. In verse 7, we read that if the Old Covenant had been able to accomplish the main purpose of providing an eternal relationship with God through redemption and once for all forgiveness of sin, there would have been no need for a New Covenant.
It is important to remember at this point that the Old Covenant accomplished what it was supposed to. Because people could not keep it perfectly, the Old Covenant continuously pointed out their sin and then demanded continuous sacrifices be made not to remove the sin but to cover it. The New Covenant, on the other hand, does indeed point out our sin but there is one sacrifice made at one moment in time that provides for redemption and forever forgiveness. That redemption and forgiveness is the basis for our eternal relationship with God.
At the same time, it is important to remember that the New Covenant was no Plan B. It was not something added to the process because Plan A failed. The New Covenant was always Plan A. God’s eternal plan was for the sacrifice of His Son once for all.
In verses 8-12 we encounter seven provisions of the New Covenant that are found actually in an Old Testament passage from Jeremiah. (See! The New Covenant was always the plan.)
In verses 8-9 we see again the first provision which is the New Covenant is separate and distinct from the Old Covenant it replaced. It is “new” after all. And it is “not like” the old one.
The second provision is found in verse 9. The New Covenant will be characterized by the internalization of God’s Law. The New Covenant is better because it changes us from the inside out. It is not an external force that tries to change us from the outside in.
The third provision is found in verses 11-12. It is the promise of regeneration. The Old Covenant had no capability of making anything new. The New Covenant speaks of new creations. The fourth provision in verse 10 is the promise of a personal relationship. The fifth provision in verse 12 is the promise of sins being forgiven, not covered but forgiven. The sixth provision at the end of verse 11 is the New Covenant will be available to all. The seventh provision is the covenantal relationship between God and His people which we read about at the end of verse 10.
As we end the chapter it is important to remember the Old Covenant was not bad. People were bad. The Old Covenant did exactly what God intended. Part of that intention was to point people to the necessity of a new and better way. That way, of course, is Jesus.