His Incomparable Covenant

The definitive “Word” that God now speaks “in the Son” surpasses all the past revelations made in “the prophets,” including Moses, the Great Lawgiver. Jesus of Nazareth went beyond all his predecessors. He alone “achieved the purification of sins.” Consequently, he “sat down” at the right hand of God and inherited “all things.” Among other things, his exaltation signaled the commencement of the promised “New Covenant.”

The Letter to the Hebrews contrasts the perpetual priesthood, New Covenant, and once-for-all sacrifice of the Son with the multiple priests, obsolete covenant, and repeated animal sacrifices of the Levitical code.

Dawn Dover - Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash
[Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash]

God promised a new priesthood – One “
after the order of Melchizedek.” That declaration demonstrated that the Levitical priesthood could never achieve the “purification of sins,” otherwise, there would have been no need for a new priesthood or covenant.

Under the “former” legislation, the people received the Law with its regulations for sacrifices, the calendar, and priesthood. But the promise of a new order of priests also meant “a change of law” was coming and necessary - (Hebrews 7:11-14).

The old priesthood was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of priests due to human mortality. In contrast, the priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” is perpetual since it is based on the endless resurrection life of the “Son.”

Unlike the Aaronic priests, the Son has been installed by the oath of God (“The Lord swore and will not regret: You are a priest everlastingly”); therefore, his priesthood is not “transmissible.” He holds it now and forevermore - (Hebrews 7:15-22).

Thus, Jesus also is the “guarantor of a better covenant.” He is well able to save his “brethren” to the uttermost since he “lives evermore to intercede for them” - (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:19-25).

He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens” and became the minister of “the Real Tabernacle,” and not of a temporary tent “made-by-hand.” He intercedes continually for his people in the greater and true “tent pitched by God,” in the very presence of God.

The animal sacrifices of the Levitical system constituted only “glimpses and shadows of the heavenly realities,” therefore, they could never cleanse the sinner’s “conscience” of the stain of sin - (Hebrews 8:1-6).


Having attained a more distinguished ministry, he became the “mediator of a better covenant legislated upon better promises.” If the “first covenant” had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second one. But having found fault with it, the Lord announced the coming days when He would “conclude a new covenant” with His people - (Hebrews 8:7-13).

This “New Covenant” is stated expressly NOT to be “according to the covenant” made at Sinai. It is not a “renewed” or modified version of the Law given through Moses, but an entirely new covenant well able to achieve the “purification of sins.”

Under it, all citizens of the Kingdom know God since His righteous requirements have been inscribed on their hearts by the “Spirit of the living God”- (Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 36:22-27, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3).

By establishing the “New Covenant,” Jesus “made the first one obsolete,” and that means the covenant established at Sinai ceased to be in effect for God’s people because of the superior sacrifice, covenant, 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 Levitical code. To return now to that system would mean abandoning the supreme benefits of the New Covenant inaugurated by the Son of God through great personal sacrifice. Deserting him now would constitute nothing less than “crucifying him afresh and putting him to an open shame.”

Beach Twilight Alone - Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash
[Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash]

Not only so but forsaking the Assembly after one has received the knowledge of the truth is tantamount to “
trampling underfoot the Son of God and the blood of the covenant.” The Lord will judge His people, and, in the end, the apostate will find just what a “fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of a Living God.”

The position of the Letter to the Hebrews is that returning to the Levitical order means abandoning the superior New Covenant established by the Son of God and apostatizing from the “salvation” provided by God. The believer who does so will discover to his or her dismay just what it means to fall into the “hands of the Living God.”

  • His Supreme Word - (God is speaking His definitive word in His Son. All previous words spoken by the prophets were preparatory, promissory, and partial)
  • Purification of Sins - (Having achieved the purification of sins, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God where he now intercedes for his people as their High Priest)
  • He calls us Brethren - (The Son qualified to become our High Priest forevermore by participating fully in human nature, including suffering and mortality)



Language of the New Testament

Two Little Horns?