A Superior Covenant
Ancient of Days, fuel me up with Your power so that I may have an overcoming day.
Read Hebrews 8:1–6
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jesus Christ is God’s superior High Priest and he ministers on the basis of a better covenant.
These verses sum up the argument so far and bring us to its heart. The perfection of Jesus our great High Priest is confirmed by his enthronement (1). This very day, Jesus Christ is reigning in heaven, seated at his Father’s right hand. Praise him! He is not sitting idly on his throne, however; he has a ministry in heaven. We can learn something of that ministry by looking at its “copy and shadow” on earth (5), the ministry of the tabernacle, though Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly “true tabernacle” (2) is in every respect far superior. Just as the Levitical priests acted as mediators of the old Mosaic covenant, so the heart of Jesus’ ministry can be summed up as the mediator of a new covenant. The subject of this new and “better” covenant (Heb. 7:22) has already been introduced. A covenant implies a mutual agreement within the context of a relationship. The old covenant expressed the Lord’s will for his people, in the form of the Mosaic Law, and promised blessing to those who obeyed it.
Although God’s people promised to obey, time and again they proved completely unable to do so. The problem was that the old covenant had insufficient power—it could only transform people outwardly, not inwardly. That was not God’s failure, for it was designed as a pointer to a better way. Nonetheless, all too often the result was a tepid observance of ritual rather than a joyful, wholehearted, relational reality. We all share this human tendency to drift away from genuine spirituality into mere formality. Our only hope rests on the introduction by Jesus Christ of a “superior” new covenant with more solid foundations (6). Fortunately, the initiative in making the new covenant lay entirely with the Lord (2), a testimony to his mercy and grace.
Have you been drifting away from genuine spirituality into mere formality? What steps might you take to return?
No one understands better than You, Lord, my failings, frustrations and fears. I thank You for Your comforting and challenging presence that spurs me on.