Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8 has the writer again talking about Jesus as High Priest.  “We have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.  One key thing to remember is that we have a high priest – and His name is Jesus.  He ministers for us from a position of all authority in heaven.  The tabernacle and the temple of the Old Covenant had beautiful furnishings, but no place for the priests to sit down, because their work was never finished. The work of Jesus is finished – He is seated in heaven!

Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises”.  The convenant God made with Abraham was amazingly good, but what Jesus offers is even better.  It is a covenant of grace, not works, which is guaranteed for us by God the Father through the shed blood of Christ that covers complete forgiveness of sin.  “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second”.  Guzik shares an overview of covenants through God’s redemptive history.

  1. There is an eternal covenant between the members of the Godhead that made possible the salvation of man (Hebrews 13:20).
  2. God’s redemptive plan was continued through the covenant He made with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3).
  3. The Mosaic covenant was another step in God’s redemptive plan (Exodus 24:3-8).
  4. The Davidic covenant was yet another step in God’s redemptive plan (2 Samuel 7:1-16).
  5. But the redemptive plan of God was fulfilled in the New Covenant (Luke 22:14-20).

God had a plan to create a new and once for all covenenant through Jesus.  “For he finds fault with them when he says:  Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt”.  While the earlier covenants were good, they still were based on works which is where mankind has always failed.  God had a plan for a new way, a once for all way to deal with sin and seal eternal life for all who would receive the gift of grace He offered freely through Jesus.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and  write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”.  This covenant is based on a relationship, not merely how someone was born.  It is based on receiving a gift from the Creator, and making it my own.  Jesus provides freedom from the penalty of sin, something that all the prior covenants failed to do.  They were still dependent on man doing things.  Now, at this very time and place, God offers us a covenant based on what Jesus has already done on our behalf. All we have to do is receive it and make it our own through a personal relationship with the giver of the gift.  If we do, scripture promises “I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more”.  What a Savior.  What a Lord!

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