Summary: The ministry and covenant of Jesus is superior to the old covenant and ministry; it is also founded on better promises.
JESUS THE BETTER WAY: JESUS MAKES BETTER PROMISES
Big Idea: The ministry and covenant of Jesus is superior to the old covenant and ministry; it is also founded on better promises.
• Reading from the Old Testament: Ezekiel 37:1-14
• Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 146:1-10
• Reading from the Epistles: Hebrews 8:1-13
• Reading from the Gospels: Mark 12:28-34
Heb 8:1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
Heb 8:2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.
Heb 8:3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.
Heb 8:4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.
Heb 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Heb 8:6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
Heb 8:8 But God found fault with the people and said: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Heb 8:9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
Heb 8:10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Heb 8:11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me from the least of them to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Heb 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
How many times have people made promises to you and broken them? In some cases this probably brought real disappointment - maybe even left scars and a broken heart.
• Marriage vows were violated
• Promises at work never materialized
• Mom or dad did not come through or follow through as they said they would
• The degree from the university did not live up to its billing
• The politician’s words proved hollow
• A friend’s loyalty wasn’t so “loyal”
• Need I go on?
This might explain why some people approach religion with hesitancy. It might explain why, even for some Christians, God’s promises in Scripture are viewed with resistance and skepticism. It is, after all, a step of faith.
I am certain it explains why when Christians extend God’s promises of salvation, grace, and love to unbelievers they are met with resistance and skepticism.
What will it take for a watching, wounded, and weary world to place their trust in our Savior? Well, if the Christians the world is watching would authentically show the evidence of transformation listed in chapter 8 it would probably go a long way in whetting their appetite.
There is a song I heard while on Sabbatical that addresses this. It is called "How to Worship a King"
You give me joy
You give me life
You give me strength
To stand in the fire
Now I can live
Live what I sing
Showing the world
How to worship a King
With all my heart
All my strength
All that God has given me
This is how I worship my King
Lord, I give You thanks
God, I give You praise
I give You a life that shows
I'm living like a child who bears Your name
Now with every day
Let my life proclaim what I sing
I worship my King
The “better promises” listed in this chapter are in contrast to (to use this writer’s descriptions) the “weak, useless, imperfect, temporary, obsolete, and inferior” hopes that the Hebrews placed in the law (see also chapter 7,9, 10). It also contrasts with any worn and inferior promises that other religions might offer.