Jesus - A Better Covenant
We see many examples of covenants in the Old Testament. Some of the key parts of a covenant are: the shedding of blood, agreements, halved animals, and blood paths. A blood path comes from taking animals or birds and cutting them from "nose to tail" and laying each half across from the other. The blood drains to the center and creates a path that both parties of the contract walk through. by walking the blood path, both parties are saying, "If I don't hold up my end of the agreement, may it be done to me as it has been done to these animals." It was a significant commitment.
In Hebrews Chapter 8, the writer is pointing out that Jesus is a better covenant than the old covenant of the law between God and the Israelites. In verse 1, it shows that Jesus is seated. No High Priest would ever sit down. They made offerings in the Holy of Holies and got out! Jesus sat down on His throne! In verses 2-3, the priests must have had offerings in their hands. Jesus didn't have something in His hand...He was the offering!
All High Priests came from the tribe of Levi (v4). Jesus was from the tribe of Judah. He wasn't just a better version of them, He was something altogether different. In verse 5, we see that the priests were shadows or copies of the real thing. The shadows proved that there is a light somewhere. All the High Priests and their lives, work, and the Temple pointed to someone better. In verse 6, we see that Jesus' ministry was better, which means His covenant is better.
In verse 8, God says that He will establish a better covenant. He calls it "new", which means "fresh", and it will always be new and fresh. It never gets old. In verse 9, the contrast is so clear. The old law was written on tablets of stone, but the new covenant is written in the minds and hearts of people. It is accessible to all. It speaks to an extremely intimate relationship. The old covenant had intermediaries (priests) that would go to God on behalf of the people. Everyone who is in Christ has direct access to the Father. As verse 13 reminds us, there is complete forgiveness of sin once and for all through the sacrifice of Jesus!
He is the END ALL BETTER COVENANT!
To Discuss Today:
1. Find and discuss the 6 reasons why the new covenant is better than the old covenant.
2. How does the truth of the new covenant propel you to love God and love people? Why do we really do that?
3. What are you reading in the Bible right now and how is it showing you more of who God is? Remember, you have direct access to Him in Christ!