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.
I CAN EASILY IMAGINE SOME OF YOU WONDERING AFTER LOOKING AT MY TITLE FOR THIS WEEK’S BLOG, IF WE MAY BE AT THE SATURATION POINT OF SUMMARY AND REPETITION, BUT MAYBE I’M WRONG. Maybe you’re okay with the meticulous, time-consuming manner in studying and writing these Hebrews blogs I’m employing. I pray that is the way it is.
“BELIEVERS ENJOY A HIGH PRIEST WHO SITS AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND HAS ACCESS TO GOD’S TRUE SANCTUARY, HIS PRESENCE, IN THE HEAVENS. Jesus is not in the same category as the Levitical priests. His ministry is not earthly but heavenly. He has introduced a better ministry and a better covenant that is established on the basis of better promises. WHY WOULD THE BELIEVERS CONSIDER TRADING AWAY WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR THEM, AS IF A MINISTRY AND TABERNACLE ON EARTH COULD BE BETTER THAN A MINISTRY AND TABERNACLE IN HEAVEN?
“THE REASON THE NEW COVENANT IS BETTER IS BECAUSE IT IS ESTABISHED ON THE BASIS OF BETTER PROMISES. The relative pronoun ‘which’ actually gives the reason the New Covenant is better than the old. Both the ESV and the NIV reflect the interpretation by translating the relative pronoun with the word ‘since.’ THE BETTER PROMISES ARE REVEALED IN THE TERMS OF THE NEW COVENANT, FOR GOD WILL WRITE THE LAW ON THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE (8:10), ALL COVENANT MEMBERS WILL KNOW THE LORD (8:11), AND ALL SINS ARE FORGIVEN FULLY AND DEFINITELY (8:12).” – Schneider
NAS Hebrews 8:10-12 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.”
“THE PASTOR BRINGS THE ARGUMENT OF VV. 3-5 TO ITS CONCLUSION AND THEN SUPPORTS THAT CONCLUSION WITH JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY (Jeremiah 31:7f) OF THE NEW COVENANT IN VV. 7-13…
NAS Hebrews 8:7-13 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, And they shall be My people. 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
“VERSE 6a CONTRASTS WITH V. 4…
ESV Hebrews 8:4 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.
NAS Hebrews 8:6a But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry…
“…APPROPRIATE FOR THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY. THE EXCELLENCY OF THIS MINISTRY GROWS CLEARER WITH EACH SUCCEEDING MOVEMENT OF THIS SYMPHONY. ALL THAT THE PASTOR SAYS ABOUT THE INADEQUACY OF THE OLD IS COUNTERPOINT FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE NEW.
THE BENEFITS OF THE NEW OVER THE OLD AS DEMONSTRATED REPEATEDLY IN THESE OPENING VERSES OF CHAPTER 8 “ARE THE ULTIMATE MARKS OF THE NEW COVENANT’S SUPERIORITY. THEY ARE SO MAGNIFICENT THAT FURTHER EXPLANATION MUST AWAIT THE CLIMAX OF THE IN 10:15-SYMPHONY…
NAS Hebrews 10:15-18 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And upon their mind I will write them,” He then says, 17 “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
“BECAUSE THE NEW COVENANT PROVIDES THESE BENEFITS – UNOBTAINABLE THROUGH THE OLD – THE NEW IS ‘BETTER,’ THAT IS, EFFECTIVE.” – Cockerill
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm