Jesus Is Better #11 -- Jesus Brought A Better Covenant -- Hebrews 8

  • Today: Jesus brought a better covenant (agreement).
    • Jesus brought the New Covenant.
      • Luke 22:20 (ESV) — 20 ...“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." (also 1 Corinthians 11:25, Matthew 26:27-28, Mark 14:23-24)
      • 2 Corinthians 3:6 (ESV) — 6 ...ministers of a new covenant...
    • What makes his covenant better?

1 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.

  • 1 The point in what we are saying: Here we have the primary thrust of what we've learned so far in this letter -- we have such a high priest.
    • We have...a high priest: These Hebrew Christians may have been challenged by friends and family about the fact they had no high priest. The author wanted them to know they have one.
  • 1 One who is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven: Israelites would've never dreamed of a seated high priest. There was no chair inside (or outside) the tabernacle.
    • This was intentional, for their work was never finished.
      • The sacrifices had to be offered over and over again.
    • Jesus' work, however, is finished.
      • Hebrews 7:27 (ESV) — 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

  • 6 God had made promises about a New Covenant, of which we will look at in a moment, and those promises were better than the Old Covenant promises.

  • 6 Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better: Along with this superior covenant, Jesus has a superior ministry.

    • 4 The old priests served a copy and shadow of the heavenly things: The tabernacle and temples were merely a copy and shadow of the heavenly reality.
      • We often project earthly things onto heaven, but the tabernacle was a projection of a heavenly thing onto earth.
    • Remember: He has a ministry right now.

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

  • 8 House of Israel / House of Judah: You should know a couple things.
    • First, this is a word of hope for all of Israel.
      • Jesus and the Apostles were Jewish.
      • The gospel went to Jews first: "...to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
    • Second, this is also a word of hope for non-Jewish people.
      • It is for Israel and Judah, but the entire New Testament helps us learn that it is for all the nations as well.
      • Ephesians 2:18 (ESV) — 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

1. Because It's New (7-8)

  • 8 New: It isn't an enhancement or modification, but different and new.

9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

  • 9 In the covenant God made with their fathers, the people committed to obey. They belonged to God. They were children of Abraham. And God interacted with them. But obedience was the key.
    • Once they disobeyed and did not continue in his covenant, God had to stop showing his concern for them.

2. Because It's Grace-Based (9)

  • Conditioned on grace.
  • The previous covenant had too much human effort involved.
    • Exodus 24:7 (ESV) — 7 Then (Moses) took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”
    • Since it was conditioned on performance, it would never work.
    • They were to obey to keep their covenant.
      • Note: We obey to rejoice in, respect, and reflect our covenant.

Hebrews 8:10

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

  • 10 Law into / minds / write them on their hearts: Though the quote from Jeremiah intentionally ends at forgiveness, signifying the trademark characteristic of the New Covenant, inward transformation is another defining element.

3. Because It's Inward And Dynamic (10)

  • When Jesus came along, he announced the problem with the world.

    • Mark 7:20–23 (ESV) — 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

  • We need new hearts:

    • Ezekiel 36:26–27 (ESV) — 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

  • The Holy Spirit:

    • John 14:16–17 (ESV) — 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

  • Walk in the Spirit:

    • Galatians 5:16–17 (ESV) — 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

      • This helps explain the battle within you.
  • Transformed by the Spirit:

    • 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) — 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

  • 11 They shall not teach / Know the Lord / they shall all know me:
    • The New Testament bears witness to the role of teachers.
      • Jesus instituted his apostles, praying we'd be forever connected to their teaching (John 17:20-21).
      • Jesus went into heaven and poured out gifts on the church -- apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers (Ephesians 4:11).
    • But the New Covenant does not have representative figureheads who serve as gateways to our relationship with God.
      • In other words, the change isn't from teaching to no teaching, but from representatives to a personal walk with God.

4. Because It Calls Us Into A Personal Relationship With God (11)

  • Enoch pleased God (Hebrews 11:5). What did he do?
    • Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:22, 24).

12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

  • 12 Merciful / iniquities / remember / sins no more: This is the massive blessing found in the New Covenant.
    • I don't even want you tripping about doing the New Covenant wrong or right. I want you focused right here right now.

5. Because It Leads To Total Forgiveness (12)

  • Isaiah 53:6 (ESV) — 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

  • The Old Covenant was becoming obsolete, growing old, and was ready to vanish away. And, with the Romans invasion a few years later, it did just that.