Tuesday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 8:1-13 (NKJV)
8:1 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, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
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. 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; 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.” 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.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 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—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. 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 in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 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. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
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.
In the previous chapter the author of the epistle explained the priest, Melchizedek, as a type of the Christ—a lesson by example in who the Christ would be or what He would do. In chapter 8 the author now comes to “the main point”: the difference between the old covenant and the new.
The old covenant did not accomplish the forgiveness of sins. Let us be clear: forgiveness of sins still came to the Jews of the Old Testament through faith in the coming Christ. Nonetheless, when Moses read the Words of the old covenant to the people and sprinkled on them the blood of calves and goats for its institution (Ex.24:3–8), this blood of the old covenant was unable to forgive sins. Sacrifices for sins were required of the Jews, but not that they would earn forgiveness by them, only that they would be a symbol of the coming Christ.
Of the new covenant (also translated as “testament”) Christ says, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt.26:28). The blood of animals could not forgive sins, but the blood of the Son of God establishes the new covenant for the forgiveness of sins. When the faithful eat and drink the body and blood of the Christ, they receive, thereby, forgiveness of sins. In the New Testament the “copies and shadows” are taken away; we now receive forgiveness and life directly from the Christ Himself.
We pray: Lord, we pray Thee that Thy grace may always go before and follow after us and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.