Hebrews 8-10

Making Things New

In the previous studies I have made references to the New Covenant. In Chapter 8:8-13 we read the New Covenant. Christians live under the New Covenant. Jesus our High Priest is the mediator of the New Covenant. He has given us the Holy Spirit who is the One who has taken the Law written on stone tablets and has written it on our heart and mind. God has also given His Son as a sacrifice for our sin.

There are two Greek words for sin in the New Testament. The one we are most familiar with is defined as missing the mark in one's relationship with God. Paul uses this word in Romans 3:23 where he tells us that we all fall short of the glory of God. The second word is the one John uses in 1 John 5:16 where he tells us it is a sin that leads to death. In the Greek, this word is defined as missing the whole goal and scope of life. Both words are used in Hebrews 10:26. Willfully sinning is to willfully continue to miss the mark in our relationship with God after we know the truth. For those who willfully do this,  there no longer remains a sacrifice for those who miss the whole goal and scope of life. It appears everything hinges on the word willfully. Such would be the case for those to whom this book is written. If they have heard the truth of the Gospel, that Jesus died for their sins and gave their life to Christ as a result, but then continued to trust in, and offer sacrifices for their sins they are missing the whole goal and scope of what Jesus did. They may well know the truth but there faith is in the sacrifices they are offering. No animal sacrifice can do what Jesus did. Hebrews 10:18 makes it clear that if we have received the sacrifice of forgiveness of Christ Jesus for missing the  whole goal and scope of life there is no longer a need for an offering for sin. The only way we can receive the forgiveness resulting from the sacrifice Jesus made is by faith.

We do not have to worry about animal sacrifices but what if we once had our faith in the things of the world like, the economy, politics, pleasure, power, evolution, humanism, etc. and defined these as the key to living? Let’s say they were our definition of the whole goal and scope of life. We were once doing what like-minded people did who trusted in these things trying to reach our goal but somewhere along the way we heard the gospel and gave our life to Christ and became a Christian. But after some time had passed perhaps doubt began to creep in or we came under pressure, and we started back following these things again and our actions began to define them as the goal and scope of life. Would we not be guilty of the same? It would be like saying yes I trust Jesus in Matthew 6:33 where He said to seek first the kingdom and all the things I need would  be provided to me by God, but if they are not provided, no problem because I have a wallet full of credit cards. What do I really trust in?

Israel had the Tabernacle which was made after a pattern in Heaven that Moses was given. The Tabernacle was a visual and practical illustration of how God’s people were to relate to God and how God was going to relate to, and provide for, His people. The curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place symbolized the separation between Heaven and Earth, Holy God and sinful man. Flowing from the Most Holy Place was the Law of God, the power of God, (Aaron’s staff), the provision of God (Manna), and the mercy of God. On the other side of the curtain was the Holy Place. There the Priests minister between God and the people. In the room was the Word of God represented by the loaves of bread, the illumination of the Word of God, (the Lamp) and the altar of incense which represents prayer. Although there was a curtain between the two rooms the fragrance of the incense could get past the curtain and reach the throne of God as did prayer. Once a year the High Priest would go into the Most Holy Place and offer a sacrifice to atone for his and the sins of the people. He was the mediator of the Old Covenant.

We need to understand what the Old Covenant did and what it means so we can properly understand what the New Covenant means. God’s power, provision, Law, and mercy still flow from His throne. We are to still represent God’s Word to the world. The Holy Spirit gives us understanding and instruction in the Word. But, the curtain has been removed and we can boldly approach the Throne of Grace with our prayers because our High Priest is seated with our Father in Heaven and hears our prayers. Jesus, our High Priest, intercedes for us and has paid for our sin, and all this is according to the plan of the Father. He is to be our God and we are to be His people. That is the bottom line of the New Covenant. When we consider all of this, then certainly, Hebrews 10:19-25 applies and should take on a greater meaning for any Christian.

Those who are in Christ are new creatures. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Pastor Dave