Posts Tagged ‘covenant’

Hebrews 9

Hebrews 9 compares the old covenant with the new.  Much of this book relates to the covenants and the role of High Priest, through which Jesus fulfilled both completely.  The author begins in this chapter with a review of the old covenant and explains what the High Priest did during those days.  It was the relationship between God and man for generations.  But things all changed with Christ. The old ways were set aside and the new put into place for eternity.  “But when Christ appeared as a high priest….he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption”.

Everything changed with Jesus.  There is no longer a need for daily and annual sacrifices.  There is no need for a continual shedding of blood.  Jesus took care of all of it for eternity.  “The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God”.  His shed blood eternally fixes our sin problem if we receive God’s gift of grace through His death on the cross.  “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant”.

Jesus is the enforcer of the New Covenant.  He mediates on behalf of all who call Him Savior and Lord and gives us eternal life.  There was a reason why He had to go to the cross, because “under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins”.  Jesus carried our sins to the cross and shed His own blood to cover the price to earn forgiveness for eternity.  He paid it all.  And then He went on to make sure we were secure.  “For Christ has entered, not into holy places  made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf”.  He is in heaven as our mediator and intercessor.  He assures our salvation for eternity!

That’s what Jesus did for us.  “He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”.  Jesus took something that was very transactional under the old covenant and satisfied it once and for all through the end of time. But along with putting the New Covenant in place with a ‘paid in full’ status, He also promises to return and save us.  He’s coming again.  Our sin has been dealt with.  Now He’ll come to gather us to Himself and eternity! “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him”.  Praise God for a love that not only deals with our sin but brings us to Himself!

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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