A Better Covenant
Verse 1 – Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Verse 2 – a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
Jesus Christ sits at the right hand, which is the highest honor, of the throne of God in heaven, in the true “tabernacle” dwelling place of God. This tabernacle – is eternal.
Verse 3 – For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
A priest is one who offers sacrifice, mainly in the behalf of others. The principles involved in the office are; that there is need that some offering or atonement should be made for sin and , that there is a propriety that some one should be designed to do it.
The name “priest” should not be given to anyone who is not appointed to offer sacrifice. It should not therefore be given to the ministers of the gospel, for it is no part of their work to offer sacrifices – the great sacrifice for sin having been once offered by the Lord Jesus, and not being again to be repeated. According to the writers in the New Testament, they are consistent on this point.
Ministers, ambassadors, pastors, bishops, and overseers, are never to be called priests!
The name priest, as applied to Christian ministers, has been derived from the “papist.” They hold that the priest does offer as a sacrifice the real body and blood of Christ in mass, and holding this, the name priest is given to the minister who does it “consistently. It is not “right” or Scriptural!” What the entire doctrine is based on is absurd and false.
Verse 4 – For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
Now, don’t miss this: Under the old Jewish system, priests were chosen only from the tribe of Levi, and sacrifices were offered daily on the altar for forgiveness of sins. This system would not have allowed Jesus to be a priest, because He was from the tribe of Judah. His perfect sacrifice ended all need for further priests and sacrifices! Plain and simple – no man on earth today should be called “priest!” We have only One High Priest and His name is Jesus!
Verse 5 – who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Verse 6 – But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
The idea here is, that the model of the tabernacle was exhibited to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, so that he might have an exact idea of the tabernacle which was to me made.
There is One Mediator between man and God – The Lord Jesus Christ.
A New Covenant
Verse 7 – For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
Verse 8 – Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah –
Verse 9 – “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD.
Verse 10 – “For thus is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Verse 11 – “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
Verse 12 – “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Romans 11:27)
Verse 13 – In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
This passage is a quotation of Jeremiah 31:31-34, which compares the new covenant with the old. The old covenant was the covenant of the law between God and Israel. The new and better way is the covenant of grace – Christs’ offer to forgive our sins and bring us to God through the sacrifice of Christ.
This covenant is the new. It goes beyond Israel and Judah to include all the Gentile nations. It is written on our hearts and minds. It’s a new way to forgiveness, not through animal sacrifices, but through faith!