The better covenant!
Scripture reading for December 14th: Hebrews 8-10
I love new things! Sometimes old things are nice to collect, but new things are nicer to use because they have all the latest technology and all the parts are new. But everything we were used to with the old has to be relearned with the new! Sometimes this shift is difficult for us because we are set in our ways. This is what happened to many Jewish believers in the time of the letter to the Hebrews.
The old covenant had laws and regulations for those who broke those laws. The old covenant had promises for those who obeyed and warning for those who didn’t. Moses was the mediator of the old covenant and Aaron and the Levites were the high priest and priesthood. These were men who had failings themselves and eventually died. The old covenant had a mobile tabernacle carried by the Levites, and God could only be visited at prescribed times by a certain few people.
Under the new covenant, things are much better! Jesus Christ is the mediator of this new covenant. He revealed it to us by His life, teaching, and sacrificial death on a cross. He was God’s Son, not just a servant. He was perfectly obedient to the old covenant while here on earth and then became the sacrifice for laws broken under the old covenant.
His sacrifice was better because His body and blood were without sin. He offered it once for all to put away sin. (Hebrews 9:14) His blood was offered in heaven on the heavenly mercy seat when He rose from the dead. He lives forever and is able to be a perfect high priest of a different order, that of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:20) He can identify with us because He is a man and has lived here on earth, experiencing our temptations. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
When we trust in Christ, God gives us a new heart and sends His Spirit to live in us. (Hebrews 8:10-12) We become priests of the new covenant –a kingdom of priests! Our sins are forgiven and erased from God’s memory. We become the new dwelling place of God, living stones in His new body the church. We become children of our Father and can approach Him boldly without fear anytime and anywhere. We should be offering thanks daily for this blessed new covenant!