Summary: Up to this point, the focus of Hebrews has been on Christ. His superiority to prophets, angels, and Moses. We also looked at the superiority of his priesthood to the Levitical priesthood. Now the focus shifts to the new covenant.
Promises of the New Covenant
Up to this point, the focus of Hebrews has been on Christ. His superiority to prophets, angels, and Moses. We also looked at the superiority of his priesthood to the Levitical priesthood.
Now the focus shifts to the new covenant. A new covenant in which Jesus has already been described as: the surety and mediator. In both passages, this covenant was described as a “better” covenant.
Better than what? Better in what way? In Hebrews 8, we learn the answer. It is better than the first covenant and because of the promises contained in it. Tonight we are going to examine how the New Covenant is better, especially with regard to its promises.
I. God’s Promise of a New Covenant (vv. 7-9, 13)
a. The First Covenant was not faultless (v. 7)
i. Otherwise, there would have been no need for a second covenant.
ii. We have already seen concerning the first covenant that…
1. The Levitical priesthood could not bring perfection.
2. The law made nothing perfect, and was therefore annulled due to its weakness and unprofitable ness.
iii. This inadequacy has special reference to the sacrifices of the first covenant…
1. They could not make those who approach perfect.
2. The blood of animals offered by the priests could not take away sins.
b. The People of the First Covenant were also at Fault (vv. 8-9)
i. God found fault because they did not continue in His covenant
“For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, ‘Listen to My voice.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not. Then the Lord said to me, ‘A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and the y have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”
ii. For this reason He disregarded them, allowing them to be taken away by their enemies.
1. Even so, He did not leave them without some hope, for through the prophet Jeremiah He made a promise.
c. God promised a New Covenant
i. Promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34
ii. In which God would make a new covenant with Israel and Judah
iii. A covenant different than the one make at Mt. Sinai
d. The New Covenant has made the First “Obsolete” (v. 13)
i. By even calling the promised covenant “new”, God made the first covenant obsolete.
1. The old covenant actually continued on for about 500 years after Jeremiah.
2. But with the promise of the new, attention would be taken away from the old covenant and directed toward the new one that was coming!
ii. Its obsolescence was especially seen in the days of the Hebrew writer…
1. It was “becoming obsolete and growing old”