Lesson 16 – Hebrews 8:1-13
Lesson 16 – Hebrews 8:1-13
The main message of Hebrews 8 is the New Covenant. This New Covenant was promised by Jeremiah as Israel was being taken into captivity. It is better than the Old in every way. This connects with the Priesthood of the Messiah, which is part and parcel of the New Covenant. It is His priesthood that makes the New Covenant possible and validates it as well.
One of the key reasons the book of Hebrews is so significant is that it deals with a subject that all mankind is familiar, sin. In Israel’s past, priests represented the Israelites before God by building a spiritual bridge from man on earth to God in heaven. This bridge was established through the multitude of sacrifices offered daily and the various feasts and fast days.
The God ordained method was through the sacrificial system the Exchanged life principle. But there was a problem with this method, it was never final. No matter how good the priest was the blood would only cover the sins of the moment. But the message of Hebrews is that in Messiah we have a firm and permanent solution.
Hebrews 8:1 This verse alludes to the permanent solution in Messiah with the statement that the Messiah is seated. The Levitical priests could never sit. But our Messiah’s last words were “It is finished.” He was the Passover lamb, sinless and perfect. His sacrifice needs never to be repeated.
So the first aspect of the New Covenant is that it is mediated through a perfect priest. Where our High Priest mediates is another aspect of the greatness of our High Priest. He represents us before the throne of God. In Hebrews 8:2 we are told that he represents us in the True Tabernacle of God. The word “True” here means not a copy. When Moses received from God the design of the Tabernacle on Mt. Sinai, it was a copy or a reflection of the heavenly Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle symbolizes a number of things:
First it was a symbol of God’s dwelling place. The Tent of Meeting was designed in some small way to reflect the dwelling place of the Lord.
Secondly it symbolizes the Messiah Himself. The Messiah’s Presence on earth was His Tabernacling among us for a season, but the time is coming when He will be with us on a more permanent basis (Revelation 21:3). To a degree we experience His permanent presence by His indwelling Spirit.
In Him the fullness of God dwells bodily, and as we abide in Him so we abide in our Heavenly Father. God not man built the Tabernacle of the Messiah. That is one of the reasons that Jesus was born of a virgin. He dwelt in the midst of His people Israel just as the Tabernacle did.
Two Reasons are given why the New Covenant and Priesthood are better.
First because it is a reality, not a representation any longer (Hebrews 8:3-5). The priests ministered in an arrangement that was a foreshadow of what was to come. But When the Messiah Ascended into heaven, he entered the real Tabernacle not the image or reflection of what is in heaven.
A second reason is that God has given us a better Covenant. (Hebrews 8:6-9) The Old Covenant was less than the best. The Law was holy, righteous and good but it didn’t bring change into peoples lives. Even the most righteous of men were filled with guilt the closer that they came to the Law. But the Messiah brought in a brand new arrangement that God promised through the prophet Jeremiah.
There are 4 reasons why this Covenant is better than the Mosaic Covenant:
1) It gives us an internal motivation and power instead of 613 external commandments to keep. Hebrews 8:10. The Ruach Ha Kodesh dwelt under the Mosaic Covenant in the Tabernacle. In the New Covenant the Spirit of God dwells in us. It is the indwelling presence of God in our lives by virtue of our faith in the Messiah that the power to walk in God’s ways is granted us. This overcomes the reaction we normally have that says I can’t measure up.
2) The New Covenant is based on a close relationship instead of one that is fearful or distant. “And I will be their God and they shall be my people”. When the Mosaic Covenant was given in Mt. Sinai it was a fearful scene. Exodus 19:10-16. But the coming of the New Covenant was in familiar territory, Jerusalem and on the day of Shavout.
On that day the Holy Spirit filled the Jewish followers of the Messiah. It gave these men the ability to communicate in a language they had never before spoken or studied. It undid the curse of the tower of Babel which divided mankind and now would unite them. God drew near to man, in fact came to dwell within man!
3) The New Covenant provided confidence and assurance instead of insecurity and failure. Hebrews 8:11. Every man can know and be certain of where he stands with the Lord. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13.
4) It emphasizes forgiveness and Mercy instead of failure and error – Hebrews 8:12.
Now the classic response to our assertion that God has brought about the New Covenant is “Where is the peace on earth, where is the promise of Israel? Hebrews 8:13 begins to answer that. The New Covenant that God made with Israel is available to the Gentile by faith in the promised Messiah.
During this time, the time of the Gentiles, God is dealing with them primarily. The new covenant at this time is individual. When a person makes room in His heart for the Messiah he personally experiences peace. A peace the world can’t give and a peace the world can’t take away.