A Relationship with God: How Jesus Makes it All Better (Hebrews 8:1–13)

from openclipart.org
For those of you who are young, you may remember hurting yourself and then immediately running to mom or dad for a kiss on your boo-boo. Parents of small children actively administer such loving "first-aid." It's like magic, it works, at least until they get to a certain age and it doesn't.

In a much better way, Jesus makes it all better in His role as our heavenly High Priest. There are a few reasons that we can find in Hebrews 8.

1) Jesus Makes It All Better Because He Gets Up Close and Personal with God the Father (8:1)

v. 1:  Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens

One commentator stated that this is so imporant that it is found repeatedly in Hebrews (1:3; here; 10:12 and 12:2)

While earthly priests of Aaron were close in proximity to their fellow human beings, Jesus ministers up close to the One with whom we desire an audience, God the Father. In a lesser way, think of why there are so many lobbyists in Washington, D.C. and not spread all throughout the countryside close to the interests they represent. They get up close and personal with the ones who can make the difference for their constituents.

2) Jesus Makes It All Better Because He Ministers at the Real Deal – not a copy (8:2-5)
He ministers at the original tabernacle, not the copy shown to Moses. A copy is okay and it will do in the absence of the original but why settle for the copy when you can have the real deal?

v. 2: a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
Our High Priest is in the heavens, ministering at the true tabernacle.

v. 3-5: For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

One may assume that this indicates that the epistle to the Hebrews was written while the Temple was still standing. If that conclusion is correct, then the book was written prior to A.D. 70.

Jesus cannot serve on Earth, in the Temple in Jerusalem, for those who minister there are ministers of the Law (Old covenant). He is minister of the New covenant (and therefore at a better sanctuary, in Heaven).

3) Jesus Makes It All Better Because He Has Better Things to Work With (8:6)

v. 6: But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

What He has to work with consist of a better covenant and better promises. Does it matter what tools you use when you seek to do a job? Do you think it makes a difference whether you seek to cut a tree down with a chain saw or a nail file?

His ministry is a more excellent ministry as a mediator of a better covenant with better promises

4) Jesus Makes It All Better Because the New Replaces the Old (7-13)

vs. 7-13:   7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The old covenant was broken by Israel’s rebellion and God judged them for it. He strengthened their enemies, He brought judgment on their crops (through droughts, famine, pestilence), and ultimately, the judgment of losing their national sovereignty and being under the dominion of other powers. We call this the Gentile dominion of Israel that will be over when Christ returns.

The new covenant will be obeyed by Israel and God will be merciful to them. This new covenant was spoken about by Jeremiah the prophet. In fulfillment of that prophecy, Jesus came born of a Jewish woman, of the seed of Abraham and of David and the kingly line. He fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law and was slain as a spotless sacrifice. He rose from the dead, offering reconciliation with God through His blood. After He ascended to heaven, the Church was formed by power of the Holy Spirit [consisting of both Jews and Gentiles]. All of that has already happened

In 1948, an amazing thing happened, Israel as a nation rose from the dead (fulfilling Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones, see Ezekiel 37). Since then, Israel has had many attempts by its Muslim neighbors to get rid of her, one that has not yet happened is described in Ezekiel 38-39. There we see what appears to be an Islamic coalition of countries perhaps led by Russia but definitely including Iran as a major player.

Daniel describes a future Gentile ruler who will establish a peacetreaty with Israel for 7 years and break it in the middle. This will leave Israel defenseless against enemies that seek to destroy her, including this Gentile ruler the Bible calls the Anti-Christ. Israel’s only hope will to be to obey Scripture and call upon the name of the Lord. When they do, Christ will return and defeat her enemies, establishing Himself as the King of this world from Jerusalem, on the throne of David. Subsequent to all of those yet to be revealed events, the New Covenant of God with Israel will be complete, in which the Jews will no longer be taught how to love and follow God but it will be written upon their hearts (Hebrews 8:10). Gentile believers in Jesus like me and most of you will share in the blessings to Israel during the Kingdom and in the new heaven and earth.    

The new replaces the old, making the old obsolete and ready to disappear (Hebrews 8:13)
Many Jews have turned to Jesus as their promised Messiah; they call themselves completed Jews. Yet still many others remain under the Law or some portion of it. In communion, we remind ourselves of the words of Jesus, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” They don’t realize that Jesus’ new covenant, which was introduced at the cross, makes the old covenant obsolete and ready to disappear.

Seeing how Jesus makes a relationship with God all better, how should we respond?

By Giving Thanks – thank God for Jesus’ gift of salvation and that you are not under the Law but grace instead

By Praying – take advantage of Jesus’ access to God – in the name of Jesus, talk to God the Father – worship, make requests, thank Him and praise Him

By Believing – look at the promises of God in the Bible and take comfort and receive strength from them

All Scripture is taken from the New King James Version (NKJV)
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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