AS I SAID LAST WEEK, FINALLY, AFTER A SEEMINGLY LONG AND REPETITIOUS CHAPTER 7, WE ARE BEGINNING CHAPTER 8. We will first study verses 1-6…
NAS Hebrews 8:1-6 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER HERE IS A NUMBER OF EXCEEDINGLY CHRIST-HONORING PARAGRAPHS FROM SOME EXCELLENT COMMENTARIES IN MY PERSONAL LIBRARY. AS YOU READ THE PARAGRAPHS, I BELIEVE YOU CANNOT HELP BUT BE STRUCK BY HOW CONSISTENTLY ORDERED THE WRITER IS AS HE FOLLOWED THE UNPARALLED ORDER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CONTINUING TIGHT ARGUMENT…
“A REVEALED PATTERN – At this point in the epistle the writer stops to draw breath. ‘He wants to crystallize his message,’ says Jones; he ‘is not content just to state truth correctly. He wants to inform minds so as to affect lives.’ Thus the writer summarizes the arguments developed, and conclusions drawn, in Hebrews 4-7. In doing so, of course, he adds new material that serves to illustrate and underscore his earlier teaching. Nevertheless, this passage provides pause for thought and reflection. This is valuable for both the writer and his readers. For the reader into clearer focus the closely reasoned thesis that has been built up in the preceding chapters. For the writer it gathers ammunition for the final campaign, namely, THE PRESENTATION IN CHAPTERS 8-10 OF THE GLORIOUS NEW COVENANT IN CHRIST.” – Andrews
“OUR HIGH PRIEST’S ALL-SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE: A SYMPHONY IN THREE MOVEMENTS (8:1-10:18) – The story of chapter 7 continues. Hebrews 7:1-28 reveals who this High Priest has always been – the eternal Son of God. Heb 8:1-10:18 discloses what He has now become through His self-offering – a High Priest ‘perfected forever’ (7:28) and thus ‘the Source of eternal salvation’ (5:9). Only the eternal Son could become such a High Priest, one adequate for human need, and only by so doing could He fulfill His sonship. The pastor would have his hearers grasp the implications of who this High Priest now is – the sum of what He has always been and what He has now become. He is the eternal Son who through His obedient, incarnate life offered Himself in death and is now seated at God’s right hand fully able to meet their deepest need.
“THE SON HAS BECOME THIS EFFECTIVE HIGH PRIEST ONLY BY THE OFFERING OF HIMSELF AS AN ALL-SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE FOR SIN. In 7:27 the pastor announces his intention to discuss this long-anticipated theme (1:3; 5:7-9). All that he has said up to this point provides the foundation necessary for its explanation. By delaying its consideration, he has awakened the curiosity of his hearers: ‘When are you going to explain the significance of Christ’s self-offering?’ In these chapters (8-10) he satisfies their desire: BY HIS SACRIFICE THE SON HAS ATONED FOR SIN, ENTERED THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY AS HIGH PRIEST, AND ESTABLISHED THE NEW COVENANT. Thus, he uses the themes of sanctuary, covenant, and sacrifice to disclose the full magnitude of the Son’s self-offering.
“A CAREFUL PREVIEW WILL ASSIST THE CONTEMPORARY READER IN NEGOTIATING THIS RICHLY REWARDING SECTION. THUS, WE WILL BEGIN WITH A STRUCTURAL OVERVIEW OF 8:1-10 – 10:18 FOLLOWED BY A SYNOPSIS OF EACH MAIN SUBDIVISION (8:1-13 – 9:22; 9:23 – 10:18). NEXT, WE WILL SUMMARIZE THE USE OF THE PRINCIPLE OLD TESTAMENT CITATIONS IN THIS SECTION. OUR PREVIEW WILL CONCLUDE WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE THREE IMPORTANT THEMES OF SANCTUARY, SACRIFICE, AND COVENANT.
“THE ARTISTRY OF THE PASTOR’S PRESENTATION IS LIKE A SYMPHONY IN THREE MOVEMENTS (8:1-13, 9:1-22, 9:23 – 10:18) DEVELOPING THESE THREE THEMES – SANCTUARY, SACRIFICE, AND COVENANT. Each movement begins with the theme of sanctuary (8:1-2; 9:1-10; 9:23-24) and ends with the covenant (8:7-13; 9:16-22; 10:15-18). At the center of each is the ever-expanding theme of sacrifice (8:3-6; 9:11-15; 9:25 – 10:14). The pastor appeals to his hearers through growing beauty of his as well as the cumulative cogency of his argument. When the author as conductor has finished his symphony, he would leave his hearers overwhelmed with the magnitude and wonder of this High Priest and ready at all costs to persevere through the benefits he affords.” – Cockerill
TOUCHING… AT TIMES OVERWHELMING, I FEEL…
“THE PASTOR MAKES HIS PURPOSE CLEAR IN THE ENCORE THAT FOLLOWS (ESPECIALLY 10:19-25).
“A SUMMARY OF EACH OF THESE MOVEMENTS CONFIRMS THEIR BOUNDARIES AND REVEALS THEIR INTERRELATIONSHIPS. The first (8:1-13) lays a Scriptural foundation. Even before their fulfillment, Psalm 110:1 and JEREMIAH 31:31-34 meant the Son would not serve as High Priest in the earthly tabernacle or would not mediate the Old Covenant. THE VERY PROPHECY OF THE NEW COVENANT MEANT THAT THE OLD WAS OBSOLETE. Thus, the Son’s sacrifice would be different from that of the old priests, suited to both heavenly sanctuary and New Covenant. How would it be different? The second movement (9:1-22) begins to answer this question by showing how the OT descriptions of sanctuary and covenant betray their insufficiency and point to the adequacy of Christ’s sacrifice. The third movement (9:23-10:18) completes this answer by expounding the full glory and effectiveness of ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (9:23-24), of the New Covenant (10:15-18), and especially of Christ’s sacrifice (9:25-10:14), which occupies the major portion of this movement and reaches its pivotal point in 10:5-10. – Cockerill
I FOR ONE THINK THE INFORMATION COVERED IN THIS SECTION OF COCKERILL’S COMMENTARY WAS EXTREMELY HELPFUL, ESPECIALLY IN CONFIRMING WHAT WE HAVE BEEN LEARNING IN THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS.
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm