AS WE HAVE SEEN IN THE TIME SPENT IN THE RECENT WEEKS OF INTRODUCTION, THE MAIN MESSAGE CONTINUES TO BE IN JESUS, THE PERFECT HEAVENLY HIGH PRIEST, THERE IS A BETTER COVENANT…
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.
SO RICH IS THIS TEXT, AS WE HAVE BEEN DOING IN THESE BLOGS THUS FAR, WE WILL PROGRESS SLOWLY AND METHODICALLY.
AS HAS BEEN BRIEFLY NOTED IN A PREVIOUS BLOG, CHAPTER 8 BEGINS WITH THE ATTENTION-GRABBING WORDS, “NOW THE ‘MAIN POINT’ OF WHAT IS BEING SAID IS THIS.’ The main point is: ‘We have this kind of high priest.’ What the author means by this is that Jesus matches the description of the Melchizedekian priest in chapter 7. He is the ever-living one, the one who always did the will of God, and the one whose sacrifice accomplished forgiveness of sins. The oath and promise of Psalm 110:4 find their fulfillment in Him. In addition, what is written in Psalm 110:1 points to Jesus…
NAS Psalm 110:1 A Psalm of David . The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.”
2 The LORD will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.”
3 Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew.
4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “Thou art a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at Thy right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift up His head.
“HE IS DAVID’S LORD AND SITS AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND UNTIL HIS ENEMIES ARE MADE HIS FOOTSTOOL. The author alludes to Psalm 110:1, affirming that Jesus sat down at God’s right hand in the heavens. Jesus is the reigning and ruling priest-king and exercises authority as the messianic king. The words ‘Majesty in the heavens’ point to God’s awesomeness and His transcendence. Since Jesus sits at the right hand of one who is so great, He also exercises transcendent power.” – Schreiner
COCKERILL TITLES THE FIRST THIRTEEN VERSES OF CHAPTER 8 “THE FIRST MOVEMENT: THE NEW PROMISED (8:1-13).” I INCLUDE HIS INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH IN HOPES IT WILL HELP YOU – AND ME – TO FEEL CONFIDENT IN COMPREHENSION AS WE BEGIN THIS MOST SIGNIFICANT CHAPTER: “The pastor introduces the basic themes and their Scriptural foundation. Ps 110:1 makes it clear that he Son minsters as High Pries in the heavenly sanctuary (8:1-2). The promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34 show that He is Mediator of a New Covenant (8:7-13)…
NAS Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.
33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 “And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
“SINCE HIS SACRIFICE WAS FITTING FOR SUCH A SANCTUARY AND COVENANT, IT MUST HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT FROM AND SUPERIOR TO THAT OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (8:3-6). Furthermore, God’s promise of a New Covenant demonstrates ineffectiveness of the Old. The central theme of sacrifice is muted in the first movement, increases in the second, and crescendos to dominate the third as the pastor comes to his grand finale.”
FOR ME, DURING MY YEARS AS A STUDENT AT A STRONG AND UNCOMPROMISING DISPENSATIONAL SEMINARY, CHAPTER 8 WAS THE FOREMOST REASON I BEGAN TO HAVE SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT MY ALMOST ABSOLUTE THEOLOGICAL STANDING AS A DISPENSATIONALIST. The more I studied the chapter, the stronger my misgivings about the classic position of most dispensational teaching on Jeremiah 31 and the traditional interpretation of the New Covenant. I’ll have much more to say about this as my blogs progress…
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm