Summary: Jesus Christ is the mediator of a much better covenant which is established on better promises!
November 25, 2012
This chapter can be broken into two parts: verses 1-5 show us that Christ is the true High Priest, and verses 6-13 show us how His ministry is a true ministry. These two facts nullify the priests and their ministry since we now have something far better.
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
He is appointed (by oath) to the highest place of honor and authority with the Father. Contrast that to the high priests here on earth.
2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
If He “ministers” then that means He offers up sacrifice (just as the priests are required to do).
4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,
There’s no need for another earthly shadow since that’s already taken care of through the Levites. But without Him there is still a need for the heavenly things (or the pattern) to be shown:
as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
It was always intended to be only a representation of the better things. The pattern preexisted the shadow!
And so here we begin the second part of the chapter:
6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
It’s a more excellent ministry, a better covenant, and better promises.
His ministry is His duties as the High Priest.
A mediator is “one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant; a medium of communication, arbitrator.”
The covenant is the one between the Father and the Son regarding His people, the church. The priests and Moses mediated the old promise of “do or die,” but Christ mediates a much better covenant.
The promises are the things outlined in the last few verses and the promise of eternal rest.
7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
This is a quote from Jeremiah 31:33. It’s no longer “if you obey you’ll be my treasure” but now it’s “I will do all the work and not remember your disobedience!”