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Hebrews 8: The New Covenant

Isn’t Christ sufficient?  We don’t need a combination of the old and new covenants.  This chapter expresses Christ’s superiority threefold—He sat down (v. 1), His eternal sanctuary (v. 2), and His eternal covenant (v. 2).

Sitting down was prohibited when the priests were serving because their work was never finished.  Sacrificing was a day-in and day-out process.  No seats arrayed the tabernacle except the mercy seat which represented the throne and glory of God.  Blasphemy was declared if the mercy seat was sat on.  After sacrificing Himself, Christ sat down at the right hand of the throne of God signifying His finished work.  It was a seat of honor and power.  When we are in heaven, we will be able to sit on the throne of God as well (Rev. 3:21).

Christ’s intricate sanctuary is eternally superior in every way.  It is the true tabernacle which the Lord designed and not like the primitive tent man erected.  In Acts 7:55, Stephen, as he was being stoned, described Jesus as standing at the right hand of God.  Jesus is seated as far as redemption, but when we are in trouble, He becomes active standing up as our mediator.  The Old Testament priests would offer meal offerings which had to do with thanksgiving and dedication to God.  We can’t dedicate ourselves to God unless we do it through Jesus.  The priest’s service in the tabernacle was  an example of heavenly things, only  a copy of the real (v. 5).  When we are in heaven, we will see His sanctuary in all its glory.

Finally, Christ is the minister of a better covenant (v. 6).  He was saying to the Jew…why would you mess around in the shadows, when you can have the real thing?  The covenant is established on better promises (v. 6).  He used Jeremiah 31:31 to show that even their beloved Jeremiah expressed the new covenant as being better.  Many features show the new covenant as being superior.  God made it and we are not to bargain with Him but accept it fully.  God is the author of the new covenant and has made it on His terms. The old covenant is fallible and must be discarded but Israel must understand they are still important. Legalistic practices permeated the Law.  If the Jews didn’t do certain things, God would walk away.  But the new covenant forgives and keeps us and is eternally written in our hearts. The greatest feature of the new covenant, having our sins totally forgiven, should bring resounding praise from our lips!!


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