Summary: A Better Covenant (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
“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.