Summary: A look through the book of Hebrews to learn more about who Jesus Is!
Jesus Is . . .!
August 13, 2017
It’s hard to believe but this is week 11 of our look at the book of Hebrews! This is the longest I’ve preached on one book of the Bible. And today, we’ve come to a very important chapter, not that they aren’t all important, but this chapter can lead us away from holding the Old Testament as vital.
I want to jump right in and look at the last verse of chapter 8. The writer tells us ~
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.
Now, the writer is talking about the Old Covenant. It’s a reference to the Old Testament. And we have this tendency in the Christian world to view God as two very different Gods. There’s the God of the O.T. who was mean and angry and retributional; kind of an eye for an eye God. A God who would destroy you if you messed up. A God of judgement and vengeance.
Then when we think of the God of the N.T. we think about a good of peace, love, mercy, grace. A God of power who figured out how to hold it back when He was really angry. Kind of like a super hero finally coming to terms with their supernatural powers. The N.T. God is the One who sent Jesus into the world to destroy the hold death has on us. He’s a God of justice, but now we think of God as a God of second chances as well.
For many people, we have different ways of looking at God. And some would say this passage in Hebrews is all about leaving the old and embracing the new. And they are right . . . but . . . they are also wrong.
So, as we get into this understand that in recent weeks Hebrews has been telling us that Jesus is our high priest — after the order of Melchizedek, a mysterious king and priest from ancient times. He was a priest of a higher order than the OT priests.
Jesus is the perfect high priest. He lives forever so he will be our priest forever. His sacrifice is once and for all, and you will never need another sacrifice to be made on your behalf.
And because Jesus lives forever, He forever intercedes for you — going before the Father on your behalf. In other words, he's your representative. He takes care of you, He stands up for you, He looks out for you.
Chapter 8 continues this theme. It reminds us that the old system of sacrifices was not a perfect system, it was a shadow of God's perfect plan for our salvation. The ministry of Jesus surpasses the old Levitical priesthood, because He ...
...mediates for us a better covenant with God, based on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)
8 “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.”
The plan of salvation that is taught in the New Testament was not developed as an afterthought. It is the fulfillment of promises and prophecies made by Old Testament writers, preachers and prophets. Specifically, in this passage of Jeremiah, God says, "I will make a new covenant with my people, and this is how it will be."
Now, we need to understand something. Because when we hear the word NEW, our thought process goes to get rid of the old and embrace the new. Which in a sense is true, but not totally. The word new does not mean so much newness as it does the quality.