V. 1. Paul here sums up what he is saying, not only has said but his total letter is summed up here. Paul here will sum up the most important matter of his letter.
He has laid the proof of this, the foundation. Now he is going to give it all in just a few words. "We have such a high priest, who is set--
VV. 2-4. We see that everything, the priest, priesthood, offering, altar, sacrifice, even the law requiring these things was only a shadow. They were only human elements which pointed to the true element, Christ. They pointed to the original in heaven which was made by God, not man.
Notice where the true sanctuary and tabernacle is. It was not on earth, nor was it made by man. It is the heavenly abode of the majestic God.
He also points out that the earthly priests had to approach God through the earthly tabernacle with gifts. Therefore, this man who has replaced the earthly priesthood (patterned after the law), also had to offer gifts. Paul makes it clear that Christ was not and is not an earthly priest. Besides, the earthly law and tabernacle, sanctuary are now empty shells. They pointed to the heavenly.
Paul will compare the tabernacles as he proceeds. We will look ahead to one passage, 10:11 points to Christ being that tabernacle. The Lord pitched that tabernacle, Jn. 2:21; Heb. 10:5. Paul will also cover the offering which is now acceptable to God, chp. 10.
Might mention that with the passing of the earthly temple, so did the human priesthood pass away.
V. 4. Points out that those priest who served in the earthly tabernacle had to be of a different linage than what Christ was, therefore, Christ has to minister in a different tabernacle, the heavenly one.
V. 5. Shows us that the human priesthood only pointed to the true heavenly priesthood. The same as did the tabernacle itself, as well as its furnishings.
The human service was only a shadow of the heavenly service.
SHADOW--this would be a key word. A shadow has no substance. It has form, outline, size, yet there is no reality to it. The rites and rituals of the Hebrew religion were the same. They were given to Moses by God, yet their design was merely to outline the truth in heaven, Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17. Not only the design of that earthly tent as given to Moses, but also the rituals which went with it. The reality of what was given to Moses is in heaven. I have no doubt but this reality is Jesus and the office he performs there for us.
How else could man even imagine such a wonderful, complete, beautiful work which the Saviour is doing, without a physical illustration.
Notice v. 5-- making all thing-- The Lord God was very specific with Moses. Great care was taken to insure that Moses would make an exact copy of what was the real. This covered everything. The ark, candlestick, altars, etc. The shape and materials were clearly spelled out and had to be followed to the very last letter. They had to follow the pattern exactly which Moses was shown in the mount.
Only the God which gave the pattern knows what they all represented in heaven. All we know is that everything represented or was a shadow of the real. The idea presented here is that Moses was shown to Moses in the mount. A blueprint, a model. A similar drawing or model of the temple was given by David to Solomon, I Chron. 28:11-12.
Moses probably had this pattern impressed upon his mind in such a way as he could follow it.
V. 6. After pointing out that what they regarded so highly was only a shadow of the real (as he will do more of), he says that Christ is the real. He is not the shadow. He is as more excellent than the old which was given to Moses as would be a real person over a shadow.
Now Paul gets down to the crux of the matter, I think. He now presents the New Covenant.
Look at what he says. If the person, reality of Christ is that much better than the old tabernacle and ordinances (as much as a person is better than a shadow), then how much more is the new covenant which he is the mediator of than the old covenant which the shadow mediated of.
Not only a better mediator, but better promises. The old covenant with the nation Israel was only a shadow of the new covenant which Christ established with the church. (We will cover this quite in depth in SS within the next few weeks.)
Therefore, we will not go that much in depth with the covenant here.
V. 6. Notice the marg. for covenant-testament. This word speaks of A WILL as we will see from Paul's usage.
How could the new covenant be so much better than the old. V. 10 explains this. The old dealt more with the outside, the new with the inside.
The new has better promises. The old emphasized the material blessings and prosperity, yet, of course, contained eternal life. The new emphasizes the spiritual peace and prosperity, yet the same laws govern both. As we will se in SS, the new also contains physical material blessings and prosperity.
V. 7. The old covenant did not contain everything which was needed to provide all man needs to please God. If it had, it would not have needed to be replaced.
We should note that the original command given to Adam to have dominion over all the creation was never removed. The covenant-law was given to show man how to accomplish that dominion for God's glory.
Under the new covenant the dominion mandate was re-given by the God of Gen.; Matt. 28:19, 20. The covenant-law is still in effect of how to exercise that dominion only now the power of grace is involved.
The old shadow did not have any substance in it to enable men to carry out the mandate. We now have the substance of that shadow, Christ in us, our hope of glory, which enable us to do what Adam, Abraham, Jacob and Israel failed to do.
[December 16, 1995]
V. 8. This verse introduces a doctrine that is impossible to believe: This section tells us that the knowledge and salvation of the Lord will cover the earth. This is probably my favorite part of the gospel of grace: Paul clearly tells us the covenant was changed and who it was changed to. He reaches back into the OT once again and shows it was prophesied that there would be a new covenant with a new people, THE CHURCH.
God found fault with them, the old Jewish race, and he cut them off because they would not turn from that fault or sin. He quote Jer. 31:31.
Here would be the fault He found. The old nation hardened itself and rebelled against God. He used Assyria, Babylon and Rome to judge them. Judea was a captive state to Rome in the time of Christ, because of their sin.
God gives the old Jewish nation another chance. He sent Christ, his son to his own people and his own people refused to receive him. In fact, they killed him. This sealed their fate and the covenant was opened up to all men, Jews and Gentiles alike. Then He used Rome to destroy the old race of Jews who killed the Son.
The word covenant here speaks of an arrangement. The arrangement God made with man regarding salvation, his laws, direction and promises. Notice the new arrangement He is making.
Paul will compare the old arrangement with the new and, again, quotes an OT passage to prove that he is presenting nothing new. The difference between the old and new covenant is not the law, but the place the law is written, v. 10: Old covenant (arrangement), the laws of the covenant were on the stone and in the book. New, the laws of the covenant are on the heart and in the mind. The arrangement is different, not the laws.
Paul's quote here is quite interesting. As I said, I love
these "I wills" of the OT.
Before we look at the quote itself, let's examine a little of the background leading up to this. Jeremiah had been pronouncing the wrath of God against the nation of Israel.
We have Jeremiah's call in chp. 1. Evidently, he was just a young man when God called him. His commission is found in v. 10. His job was to root out, pull down and to destroy, and to throw down. Then it was to build and plant.
Here we see that the old which is in rebellion against God must be destroyed before the new can replace it. This is true in our lives as well as in society.
God tells him to go to His people even though His people will not listen to him. In fact, they will fight against him. We see here also that the God haters (those among His people), would seek to destroy Jeremiah in hopes they could stamp out the truth, v. 19, yet, God promises to protect Jeremiah.
Also with this book, we see the corruption among God's people so deep rooted that only single individuals could be pulled out of it. The nation would not turn.
Sad to say, this is probably where we are in society today. Corruption is so deep rooted that only single individual's can be salvaged.
King Jehoiakim, in this book, shows himself to be entirely destitute, not only of love for God, but also of fear of God; He is a total picture of a king whom God has given in His anger against His people who have turned from him.
This king felt he could kill truth by killing the ones who spoke it. This is true also today. They feel they can kill the truth by silencing those who speak it.
At one point, as they speedily moved toward judgment, they sought the Lord through prayer and fasting, but an emotional movement cannot stop the course of sin. Only a heart change can withhold judgment. The people had fully given themselves over to the internal power of heathenism and paganism; therefore according to divine necessity they must be given over to the external power of the heathens both for punishment and reform. God himself could not change this, for it rests in His enteral nature. Even if Moses and Samuel could stand before Him it could not change, Jer. 15:1.
It is absolutely impossible to stop the effect without changing the cause. As long as the river flows it sends out water. That water can be dammed for a time (stop the effect), but if the river is not changed, either the water will overflow or the dam will break. It is just as impossible to stop the results of sin against God without changing the sin, cause. We might mention, these people sought their best to escape the results, Jer. 44:13, 14.
As we look at these prophecies, we must not forget the restoration under Ezra and Neh. 12:15, probably fits here.
As they were warned of the impending judgment not only did the false prophets call Jeremiah a lair and tell them there was nothing to worry about, 14:13-15, but the people pointed to the temple and said the Lord could not destroy them because he had established His residence among them, (I Cor. 3:17; I Tim. 3:15), 8:1-10.
17:20-27 speaks the king as well as all of the inhabitants with 18:16-17; 19:13-15, calling for total and perpetual desolation.
In 22:1-7, we see that God threatens the house of David with desolation if they do not return to God's law-word (v. 3, execute judgment and righteousness). In fact, this message against Coniah, the son of King Jehoiakim, 22:24, 30; Jer. 19:13-15; 22:1-7.
All of this is leading up to the passage quoted by Paul. You will find as you read Jeremiah that he follows up every pronouncement of judgment and woe with a promise of restoration and what Paul quotes is one such promise.
Jeremiah has specifically prophesied of a total, complete and utter destruction of this nation. It is as unavoidable as is the omnipresent God. All human hope has been cut off, yet he speaks of a restoration in general terms. The result of sin is inescapable.
The time was quickly approaching when the house of David was to be humbled with every trace of its former glory done away with. With this destruction of the house of David (as kings), all hope seems to be gone.
The once glorious temple which held their pride and hope had been turned into a den of robbers and it was going to be destroyed, 7:11. Yet under their law, the temple was required for forgiveness of sin. Now what? Did this mean there would no longer be forgiveness of sin. (Christ quoted 7:11 and identified 12-16, as fulfilled by Rome.)
With the kingly line of David cut off, here went their hope of physical, world-wide domination. Now what? With no mediator, nor king what were they to do? Again, all hope was gone with Jeremiah's words. No wonder they sought so hard to do away with him, as well as to dismiss his words.
Jer. 33:14, "The good word." This book is full of both blessings and curses according to the law, Deut. 28. The strength of the curses contained here in the promised blessings which He had attached to the curses. All of the good words which He had spoken to David would be accomplished through the righteous sprout. In Him all of the promises to Israel would find their final fulfillment, 33:15. 16.
Note: 33:17, 18, is a prophecy of Christ. As usual, Jeremiah speaks of total destruction and follows his prophecy of the destruction with this promise. Christ is the Everlasting King, as well as the Everlasting Priest. V. 18, could also speak of those of us who are also priests of the most high God. We are now a royal priesthood in Him, I Pet. 2:5-9.
Notice here in Jer. 33:15, 16, who is endowed with salvation. Salvation is of the Jews (tribe of Judah). Remember what Paul said, Heb. 7:14, it's evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah. This fits with his statement in Heb. 8:8, the covenant is with Israel and Judah, Judah being Christ and Israel the church.
Something is passing, 22:21. Very few people who are prosperous will accept instruction, as long as things are going good, it is usually a waste of breath to speak or try to instruct them according to God's word.
Jer. 31:31-32, indicates the covenant being compared here isn't the one made at the mount, but at their deliverance from Egypt. We can find mention of this covenant in Ex. 6:4, 5. This covenant is traced back further, Gen. 17:1-14.
God delivered them from Egypt according to the promise, covenant made with Abraham. This was already in effect before Sani. This old covenant also required a holy life before God, but it was sealed in the outward flesh through circumcision.
The old covenant was seen in fulfillment at the deliverance from Egypt and bringing into Canaan.
Jer. 31:31-32, tells us that these people who He took for His wife broke this covenant as given to Abraham, Gen. 17:1.
This old covenant was written and sealed in the outward flesh. The New (Heb. 8:9, 10), is contrasted, not as a more perfect revelation of the law of God, for that is common to both covenants. Not one jot or tittle can be added or removed from it. God's law is based in His nature and is as unchangeable as His nature.
Therefore the contrast is in its stability. The old one written on the outside, the new one on the inside, Rom. 15:8.
Now, let's look at Paul's quote here. Heb. 8:8-12, Jer. 31:31-34, to me this is one of if not the greatest prophecies in scripture. I would suppose the reason I like it so much is because it includes me.
This passage of Jer. 30 and 31 has been called the grand hymn of Israel's deliverance.
Jeremiah had spoken of the utter destruction while the false prophets had spoken of peace, prosperity and salvation with no cause to fear. Jeremiah's warnings were coming to pass with Babylon, as Babylon had carried away her captives, 29:1. So now all hope has been lost and the false prophets exposed, but it was to late to avoid Babylon.
Now Jeremiah comes forward to proclaim Salvation at the time all human hope had vanished. His promise starts in chp. 30, with salvation to all Israel. Notice 30:22, here he picks up the promise made to Abraham back in Gen. 17:7. He restates it again in our passage, 31:33 and Paul takes it again and says this is a promise concerning the church, Heb. 8:10. As this promise moves through the OT, we find it covering the OT nation, Israel, also, Lev. 26:12; Ex. 29:45. Yet in every case it is pointing to Christ and His church as the final and complete fulfillment, II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21.
Jeremiah's pattern is consistent. Here in 30:22-24 and in 31:31-37, he pronounces judgment against the sins of God's people. That judgment being total destruction. Then he gives the promise of salvation. Then to keep the promised salvation from giving a false security to the sinner he goes back to his pronouncement of destruction. "Don't think you are going to get away with your sin without turning from it. This promised salvation is not for those who continue in their hardness in sin."
This shows us something for our day and time. As we see God's promised judgment against sin coming to pass, those of us who love God and are trying to remain sensitive to his moving and his word, we should be able to rejoice because in the midst of judgment against sin is the promise salvation for the remnant. God's promises are true, not only against sin, but for righteousness.
The scriptures teach that as righteousness comes down from heaven, then salvation will spring up, Isa. 45:8, and really justice cannot spring up until righteousness rains down upon sin, Isa. 2:4.
Let me mention here, it would not surprise me a bit to see Jessie Jackson elected as President. The most liberal and one of the most wicked men of our day. We'll covered up by the news media. Everyone is afraid to expose him or just don't wan to.
Sad to say, it would be a just reward for a nation which is turned from God. The blindness of our day is almost beyond belief. Jackson is running on a purely socialist (Communist), platform and swept Michigan. It is beyond a saved man's understanding why people with a sound mind can buy his Communist line. That they are for the working man. But, it is a sign of our time.
I have no doubt that this nation is being judged for her sin. I will go further, the people of God who have turned their backs upon God's law-word are bringing about this judgment. There is a blindness over this nation and if Jackson doesn't make it this time, he will next time.
As judgment rains down from heaven, I believe our hope can be found in Amos 4:7. I know the context and what we are saying is within it. God's blessings and curses can be separated by the city. Blessing in one and a curse in one next to it.
The climax of God's judgment against sin can contain the climax of His mercy and grace upon those who are trying to live by his every law-word.
Hosea is clear on this. AS people refuse to appoint leaders according to God's law, then God will give leaders which are as contrary to his law as can be. These leaders then are His judgment against those who refuse to recognize His authority.
Yet as we see these things taking place, Zech. 13:9, can be ours. I don't know about others, but I rejoice as I see these things of our day come to pass because my hope is in the Lord. Those with their hope elsewhere are having their hope dashed. Again, Zech. chp. 13, speaks of this very thing. The false hopes are being shaken and destroyed. Yet, God and His word are standing strong. It should cause us to draw closer to our God and rejoice in His salvation. When I get my mind off of God's word, I also become fearful.
Jer. 31:31-34, Jeremiah shows us the covenant looking forward to the church when the Holy Spirit writes His laws upon the heart of the believer.
Jer. 31:34, the Holy Spirit is the one who will place His knowledge within the heart. He is not saying here there is no need for teachers since Christ. To say that would say that all of the books of the NT are needless because they were written after Christ to further instruct the people of God.
Jeremiah had told of the utter destruction against Israel and even Titus, as he was destroying Jerusalem thought he was utterly destroying Israel.
God says in vv. 35-40 that although the physical hope of Israel was destroying utterly the seed of Israel would continue forever before Him.
As we have already mentioned, Paul takes great care in Gal. 3:16 to point out that this seed is speaking of Christ. Therefore, Jer. 31:36 is a reference to the new holy nation which is founded and has its being in Christ. If Christ ever ceases to be so will this nation, I Pet. 2:9.
Jeremiah speaks of the utter destruction of the nation of Israel. All human hope cut off because of their hardness in sin. He then speak of a renewed covenant made with Israel, he tells that this new nation will last forever, he also even tells us in 31:38, of the building of the city Israel. Also speak of this in 2:1.
Paul tells us how this is to be applied. As well as Peter.
Rom. 11:15, tells us of the cutting off of Israel because of their hardness in sin.
Heb. 8:8, Rom. 11:27, talks of the renewed covenant as he quotes the prophecy concerning the church.
Peter tells us who this nation is, I Pet. 2:9.
Paul also tells us of the city, Heb. 12:22.
Of extras importance is, Acts 15:13-19. Here James clearly tells us what the end-time tabernacle of David is which had fallen down and was in ruins. It is the redeemed in Jesus Christ, the church. The temple of Ezekiel in chp. 40 on must be viewed in the light of what James said in Acts 15:13-19; Ezek. 21-29, is speaking of Christ. Ezekiel is telling of the glories of this beautiful temple which James identifies.
Of course, Heb. 8:12 is a clear plain gospel presentation of the complete removal of sin in Christ. The sins of His people are removed as far as the East is from the West.
Heb. 8:13, I believe clearly confirms this. The old Jewish covenant, sealed in the rites and rituals of the mediation laws is old. Christ made it old and useless. It started to decay with the finished work of Christ and here Paul says it is ready to pass away. Remember, it had not yet passed away, it was still going strong and Paul writes a whole letter showing its uselessness now, Hebrews.
Of course, it did pass away totally in 70 A.D. I might add, the hope and dream of Jewishism since then has been and is to reestablish the old rites and rituals. Even if they do succeed in reestablishing them, it will be an abomination to God and will have his curse against it.
Of great significance here in Heb. 7-10 is the absence of
any reference t the commandments of God. The only reference in
these chapters is to the mediation laws being done away with in
Christ. In fact, chp. 10, reaffirms the law of God as still binding
In closing this chapter, let us also determine to lay the old aside and cling to the new.
This shows us the only difference between the old covenant and the new is the laws which they were/are sealed with. The old sealed with the rites and rituals of the blood of bulls and goats. The new sealed with the spotless Lamb of God.
If Hebrews is loud and clear on anything, it is on this.
December 16, 1995, reviewing these notes, if use, be sure to see TSK in Online Bible: It gives the cross references.
First, the I wills clearly state that the Spirit of God is the One Who will do the work, not man. It is done because of God's grace, not because of man's goodness.
Second, if the Lord does not do it, it will be done, BUT HE PROMISED!!! Therefore, He will do it.
Third, He does this to a limited extent today as He calls individuals to Himself, but the promise is that He will do it greatly one day.
My prayer: LORD, MIGHT YOU SEE FIT TO WRITE YOUR LAWS ON THE HEARTS OF YOUR PEOPLE AND THOSE AROUND US.