Updated 1 Jun 2019
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This chapter explains the great blessing we have, in a High Priest who is indeed different from other priests and who has the power to bring us a New Covenant.
The Old Covenant
It is worth reminding ourselves that the Old Covenant was an agreement between God and man, which was based upon the law of God. If men kept His law, then God would accept them but a failure to keep His law results in rejection and being separated from God. This presented us with a devastating situation, because we are incapable of reaching such perfection.
Our High Priest, Jesus
After completing his work of salvation, Jesus sat down in heaven and now dwells in the presence of God the Father. He has presented not sacrifices of grain or animals but his own blood, which he freely shed for us and he is not on earth trying to achieve salvation, he is in heaven, speaking continually on our behalf.
The temple and the tabernacle were built according to God's specifications, as a representation of where God’s glory dwells - but they were earthly. Jesus is actually with God the Father, in heaven itself.
Jesus establishes the New Covenant on better promises. The law condemns us and shows up our failings but Jesus makes us righteous through his sacrifice for us.
The New Covenant
The joy of the New Covenant is that God, in Christ, came and did what we cannot do. Christ kept the law of God perfectly and now, if we repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ, we are accepted by God on the basis of our relationship with Christ, not on our keeping the law. Hallelujah! This is very different!
God always planned a New Covenant. The Old Covenant was necessary but temporary. The New Covenant is not external, with man reaching out to God, it is internal. God is changing us, to enable us to please Him.
His laws are placed in our minds and written on our hearts. Not on tablets of stone but ingrained into our very being. The work of Jesus in dying for us and the Holy Spirit indwelling us, radically changes things. Now, it’s all about relationship. Knowing God personally and belonging to Him.
Knowing God is instinctive and personal, not because someone has told us but because we know it for ourselves, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Whoever we are and whatever our status; rich or poor, educated or uneducated, priest, leader or minister, does not affect our ability to know God for ourselves. It is a precious gift that God has given to each one of us.
The Old Covenant is no longer required. Our wonderful Lord Jesus has made a new way, through the offering of himself on the cross. He died, rose and ascended into heaven - all for us!
Points to Consider:
- What is the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant?
- What difference does it make for me to have Jesus in heaven rather than upon earth?
- To what extent do I experience God’s law living in my heart and mind, not only by reading His word but also through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit?
- Am I enjoying New Covenant relationship with God or struggling to keep to the rules of an Old Covenant relationship?
- Do I keep my heart in a good place to allow God to speak to me?
- How much do I value my relationship with God?
God bless you!
Bible Study: Hebrews 8
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