Summary: A sermon on Hebrews 8 on the better ministry, better promises and better covenant (Outline taken from Pulpit Commentary)
Jerome said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best.” In this case, what is better is the best.
The word “better” is used in Hebrews twelve times. The book speaks of “better things” (6:9), “better hope” (7:19), “better covenant” (7:22), “better promises” (8:6), “better sacrifices” (9:23), “better possessions” (10:34), “better country” (11:16), and a “better resurrection” (11:35).
The key to this brief chapter (8) seems to be vs. 6.
Thesis: This verse speaks of a better ministry, better promises and a better covenant
The verse does not use the word “better” here but it can be implied. NIV “superior”- KJV “more excellent ministry”- Contemporary English Version “serve in a much better way”
This verse mainly is talking about how Jesus is superior to the priests under the OT. We have to begin with Jesus and then begin talking about how this applies to us:
Jesus- his ministry is better or superior than the Jewish high priests in these ways
It is carried out on a higher plane.
The Jewish high priests ministered in the material tabernacle and temple, and for a brief time once a year were permitted to enter the Holy of Holies where God manifested his presence.
There were only copies and shadows of what is in heaven. Hebrews 8:5a
Jesus is the mediator of the heavenly tabernacle, the true tabernacle, which the Lord made. Hebrews 8:2
He ministers to greater numbers of people.
The ministry of the Jewish high priests were for the Jews only.
The ministry of Jesus Christ is for all mankind. He “tasted death for everyone”- Hebrews 2:9.
1 Timothy 2:5: There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Men and women of every nationality, and every race, and every age.
His ministry is enduring
The ministry of the each Jewish high priest ended at their death.
The ministry of our great High Priest is never ending. Hebrews 7:24 says that he has a permanent priesthood.
His mediation will never be superseded, never lose its attractiveness and glory. “Made perfect forever”- Hebrews 7:28
His ministry gives better results
The results of the ministry of the Jewish priesthood were symbolic and shadowy rather than real and lasting. Hebrews 8:5b. The earthly tabernacle, temple were made the best way they could be but how many times were they messed up, wrecked or destroyed.
Through the ministry of Christ we obtain real benefits and lasting blessings. Hebrews 10:34- we have better and lasting possessions.
Jesus ministers without human limitations. He has an unlimited ministry for He is seated at the right hand of God (Vs. 1) Great for Jesus but we will always have limitations!
Our ministry- by the way we do have a ministry through Jesus Christ- 1 Peter 2:9: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.
It is carried out on a higher plane
Ephesians 2:6: And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Talks like we already are in the heavenly realms, even though we are on earth we live on a higher plane because of the reality of heaven)
I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day; Still praying as I’m onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven’s table land, A higher plane than I have found; Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
We can minister to greater numbers of people.
Through Jesus Christ, all restrictions, all barriers, have been broken down. We are free to minister to all people. Acts 10:28: He (Peter) said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.
The Great Commission- Matthew 28- Make disciples of all nations
Our ministry is enduring-
John 15:16: I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
1 John 2:17: The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
Our ministry gives better results- 2 Corinthians 5:18-19: All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Numbers 23:19 (Of Balaam): God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?