LIVING WITH A CONFIDENT FAITH IN CHRIST
Jesus Established the Only Covenant You Need
Jerry A Collins
®What is the relationship between the covenant and priesthood?
What makes the new covenant superior to the old?
How does the new covenant affect our lives today?
There comes a time when we need to summarize what we have been saying. We have arrived at such a time. In the first half of the book the emphasis has been on the person of Jesus Christ. Chps 1-2 shows He is better than angels first in His divinity and then in His humanity. 3-4 proves Jesus is better than Moses because thru him we have access to God with the rites and privileges of heirs to that throne. 5-7 we see that the Lord follows the new order of Melchezedek as our great high priest. Now in chp 8 the writer switches to the ministry of Jesus Christ. So the person and the ministry of the Lord are inseparably linked. What he does is determined by who he is. The focus of chp 8 is that the ministry of Christ is better than that of the OT priesthood because his ministry is established on a better covenant or agreement. You mite thinks in terms of a renegotiated contract. Like athletes receive or executives maneuver. One with better terms, better benefits. The previous contract was insufficient, inadequate and according to vs 13, obsolete. That contract was the OT Law of Moses. Since there is now a new order of priesthood, one after that of Melchezedek, there must be a new foundation for that order since this new order will be an unchangeable and endless priesthood. This chapter demonstrates that the new order has a new basis making the former contract, the OT Law of Moses, null and void.
1. OUR HIGH PRIEST HAS A BETTER MINISTRY 1-6
Here is a review for these Jewish believers of what has been previously said about the superior ministry of Jesus Christ possibly anticipating the state of shock they may have at this point.
(1) We have a High Priest in heaven vs 1. Brot into the throne room of the Most High God we observe that after enduring such a humiliating death, the Lord is now exalted at the rite hand of God the Father in the place of ultimate honor. So we see him in His glory, the very thing He had emptied Himself of when He was here on earth. But He continues to function as high priest
(2) We have a high priest who serves in the original sanctuary in heaven vs 2. Even in heaven He continues to minister. While He is a King and a Priest He is still a servant. His kingship and priesthood is characterized by service. We encounter many forms of promotion and status during our lifetime. The world says use it as a platform to wield power over others. To be served by others. Now Jesus served long and hard to get the throne. He was misunderstood, rejected, ridiculed and murdered in the process. He gave repeatedly without appreciation, recognition or applause. The cross his ultimate objective. But now we see him at the rite hand and what is His posture? What is He doing even now? He is a servant and He is serving. The ultimate CEO and now He has an even better opportunity to serve!
(3) We have a high priest who offers his own blood vs 3. A priests office is to offer sacrifice. Since Christ is a priest he must have something to offer. His sacrifice went far beyond anything offered in the temple on earth. For a sinful person there is no access to God apart from sacrifice. Heb 10:12, 14, But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the rite hand of God...because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. His offering is superior to any other.
(4) We have a high priest who serves in a different priestly line vs 4. Jesus priestly ministry must be unearthly since He was not a Levitical priest and could not by strict law minister in the earthly temple. So His ministry must be in the heavenly one and must be of a different quality and nature. God instituted a religious code that had to be adhered too rigidly. There could be absolutely no diviation with dire consequences. Idolatry was their downfall as they step by step introduced foreign practices into their religious rituals. Solomon infiltrated the nation with idolatry by marrying foreign wives for political purposes. What seemed a good thing paved the way for his children to be trained by foreign priests and gods associated with his foreign wives. The seeds of idolatry was planted in successive generations of Israelite leaders. Today it is even fashionable to question biblical teaching on any issue that may impact people in our churches like divorce, womenís role, hell, sexuality, money, power, priorities. What stated clearly becomes targets for open attack. Remember, that Satan was the first to raise the question, Has God said, and men have been doing the same ever since. Our worship of God must be kept free from extrabiblical ideas or false teaching however reasonable or appealing it may appear.
(5) We have a high priest who is the real thing vs 5. This temporary earthly tabernacle of Moses was only a copy of something eternal and central to all things. A type of reality is not the reality itself and the Old order of priesthood was temporary and type. We have the real thing in Christ, in Heaven.
(6) We have a high priest who has a more excellent ministry vs 6. The priestly ministry of Christ is superior to that of Aaron because of a better foundation it rests on. Excellent, better & better characterize this ministry. Intrinsically far superior.
2. OUR HIGH PRIEST HAS A BETTER COVENANT 7-13
Someone may ask how do you know Melís order a better foundation that the Aaron-Levi order? ANS: Better promises.
(1) The old one revealed the need for a new one, a better one vs 7-9. The old had fault written all over it. First, people did not fulfill its conditions and second it was not sufficiently powerful enough to motivate them to obey.
(2) A new covenant declared a different rela between God & man 10-12. Here are the terms: A. An inner inclination to obey God. God is going to take His laws and inscribe them upon our hearts. B. A firm relationship with God. Belonging to God in a new way. C. The knowledge of God. New intimacy with God becomes basis of greater knowledge of Him. D. The forgiveness of sins. He does not ignore iniquity in us but is merciful toward us. We can be cleansed. It is an age of grace.
(3) No reason to rely upon the old covenant vs 13. The old replaced by the new. Now HS deals with sin