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Hebrews 8 (ESV)
Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant
8 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 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. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
How does an Old Testament priest prefigure what Jesus would really do?
Loving God, You made a covenant with Your people Israel to love and protect them if they followed You and Your laws. They didn’t keep their end of the bargain. Instead of giving up, You promised a new covenant that would be better than the old one. The new covenant that supersedes the old one, now includes all people of all nations. Instead of being strictly based on law, You renewed the hearts of those who love You and Holy Word and with the new covenant we can know You personally, learn Your ways and to love You and others through Your Spirit. You have treated us with Your kindness, even though we are wicked. Out of Your mercy and grace, You forgave our sins. This new covenant is for all Your people together and not solely with each individual person. I am included under this new covenant but it is a privilege to belong to the new community of Your people. Thank you Lord that I am never alone. That I can experience a personal relationship with you and be a part of the most wonderful community of Your church. As the Ultimate High Priest, You are now seated at the right hand of God and will serve in the most holy place in the Heavenly temple for eternity. Amen