Summary: A Better Covenant (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Hebrews chapter 8 verses 1-13.

Quote: Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary describes ‘covenant’ as:

"A binding agreement between two or more parties

expressly for the performance of some action."

• Notice that God makes a covenant and not a contract

• Contacts are broken when one of the parties fails to keep their part.


• Let’s say you make an appointment to see the doctor;

• But you forgot all about it and did not go.

• Your doctor has no obligation to call at your house and inquire,

• “Where were you? Why didn’t you show up for your appointment?”

• Instead the doctor simply goes on to his next patient ;

• And has the receptionist take note of the patient who failed to keep the appointment.

• The next time you wants to see the doctor.

• You may find it much harder, because they broke an informal contract.

The Bible indicates that a covenant is more like:

• The ties of a parent to her child;

• Than it is a doctor’s appointment.

• If a child fails to show up for the evening meal,

• Unlike the doctor’s, the parent’s obligation isn’t cancelled.

• The parent is obliged to find out where the child is and makes sure they are cared for.

• One member’s failure does not destroy the relationship.

• A covenant puts no conditions on faithfulness.

• It is the unconditional commitment to love and serve.

Quote Walter Riggans:

“A covenant was not a contract between two equal parties with both sides receiving equal benefits. This type of covenant was a relationship between a person (in this case God) with superior power and authority and another party.

The senior party offered protection and a sense of belonging to the weaker party, and in return the lesser party offered loyalty and service to the stronger”.

This chapter actually provides a hinge to the entire book of Hebrews:

• In the first seven chapters, the writer presents Jesus as the great high priest.

• In the last six chapters, he presents the New Covenant.

• And in this passage we see the two themes brought together;

• Jesus is shown to be the priest who mediates the New Covenant.


• The most gifted lawyer can do very little if the will he is probating is inadequate.

• In a similar way;

• Our Great High Priest could do very little;

• If he was ministering on the basis of an inferior "last will and testament."

• So in our chapter this morning (Hebrews chapter 8):

• The writer will present three evidences to prove;

• That not only is our high priest superior to any other;

• But so is the new covenant of Jesus over the old covenant (of the Old Testament).

(A). It is ministered by a superior High Priest

(verses 1-2).

“The point of what we are saying is this”:

• In other words everything that has been said in this letter up to this point;

• Has been to bring us to this one main point, one key truth of understanding.

“We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven”,

In these first two verses (1-2):

• The writer summaries the main points of his previous arguments;

• He gives us three key truths regarding Jesus our great high priest and why he is superior.

(1). HIS MORAL ADEQUACY (verse 1a).

• "We have SUCH an High Priest".

• This statement refers us back to Hebrews chapter 7 verses 22-28.

Quote: Chapter 7 verse 26:

“Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens”.

The fact that Jesus Christ is morally perfect;

• And yet identified with us in our needs and temptations,

• Makes Him superior to any other priest, past or present.

• Those of his readers who wanted to go back into the Old 'Testament priesthood;

• Would have to swap the perfect for the imperfect.

(2). HIS FINISHED WORK (verse 1b).

“We do have such a high priest, who SAT DOWN at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven”,

Today our Lord is seated in heaven because His work is completed.

• There were no chairs in the Old Testament tabernacle or temple;

• Because the work of the priests was never finished.

• Each repeated sacrifice was a constant reminder;

• That none of the sacrifices ever provided a finished salvation.

• The blood of animals did not wash away sin or cleanse the guilty conscience;

• It only provided a covering for.

• It took the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ;

• To take away the sin of the world.

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