New Covenant Eclipses the Old

In his death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the promised New Covenant, thus rendering the old one obsolete - Hebrews 8:13

Sunrise - Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
According to Hebrews, the “word of the Son” surpasses all past revelations “spoken in the prophets.” He went beyond his predecessors, having “achieved the purification of sins,” therefore, he was exalted to “sit down” at the right hand of God, where he inherited “all things.” His victory signaled the inauguration of the promised “new covenant” - [
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash].

The epistle to the Hebrews demonstrates the superiority of the “Son” by contrasting his everlasting priesthood, the new covenant, and his once-for-all sacrifice with the multiple priests, obsolete covenant, and repeated animal sacrifices of the Levitical system.

In the prophets, God promised the new priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek.” That declaration demonstrated that the Aaronic priesthood could not achieve the “purification of sins,” otherwise, there would be no need for a new order. Under the old system, the people received the law, but the promised change in the priesthood meant “a change of law” was necessary - (Hebrews 7:11-14).

The ancient priesthood was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of priests due to human mortality, but the priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” is perpetual, since it is based on the endless resurrection life of the “Son” - (Hebrews 7:15-22).

Unlike the Aaronic priests, the single priest after the “order of Melchizedek” was installed by the oath of God - (“The Lord swore and will not regret: You are a priest everlastingly”); therefore, he holds the priesthood “nontransferable.”
Thus, Jesus became the “guarantor of a better covenant,” therefore, he is well able to save his “brethren” to the uttermost, and now he “lives evermore to intercede for them” - (Psalm 110:4Hebrews 7:19-25).

Unlike his predecessors, Jesus “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens,” where he became the minister of “the Real Tabernacle,” not a temporary tent “made-by-hand.” The Levitical system with its animal sacrifices constituted only “glimpses and shadows of the heavenly realities,” therefore, it never was able to cleanse the “conscience” of sin.
  • (Hebrews 8:7-13) – “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second. For finding fault with them, he declares:  Behold, the days come, declares the Lord, That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; for they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, And on their heart also will I write them: And I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord! For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more. In that he declares: A new covenant, he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxing aged is nigh to vanishing.
Jesus attained a more distinguished ministry, and “he also is the mediator of a better covenant legislated upon better promises.  If the “first covenant” had been faultless, there would have been no need for the second one. However, having found fault with it, the Lord announced the coming days when He would “conclude a new covenant” with His people.

In Hebrews, the promised “new covenant” is expressly stated NOT to be “according to the covenant” made at Sinai. It is not a “renewed” or modified version of the Law given at Sinai, but an entirely new one that is well able to achieve the “purification of sins.” All citizens of the kingdom would know God for His righteous requirements would be inscribed on their hearts.

By establishing the “new covenant,” Jesus “made the first one obsolete,” which means the covenant established at Sinai ceased to be in effect for God’s people because of the superior act and priestly office of the “Son.” Since the “new covenant” achieved the “purification of sins” and “cleansed the conscience” of the believer, its benefits far surpass those of the old system.

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