Wednesday, March 29

Better

Scripture: Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8:6 But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises.

Hebrews 8:7–8 For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one. 8 But showing its fault, God says to them, 

“Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

Hebrews 8:13 When he speaks of a new covenant, he makes the first obsolete. Now what is growing obsolete and aging is about to disappear.

Observation

The author of Hebrews is believed to have written to a Jewish Christian community that was abandoning Jesus and going back to Judaism. The key word in the letter is “better”—the author consistently shows that Jesus is better than the old covenant.

In this chapter, he reaches back and quotes Jeremiah 31:31-34, a prophecy about the new covenant, when God would write His law on our hearts, all of us would know the Lord and our sins would be forgiven and remembered no more. 

He makes the startling statement that the old covenant was not faultless; it was faulty and needed to be replaced. And it has been replaced by Jesus, and now the old covenant is obsolete and aging and “about to disappear.”  It makes no sense to leave Jesus and go back to what is obsolete.

Application

Two things:

First, thank God for Jesus and the new covenant, that I can know the Lord and be fully forgiven. Thank God for grace! I’m forever grateful!

Second, Christians have often had an uncomfortable relationship with the Old Testament. On the one hand, it was the early church’s first Bible and so was known and revered by them. On the other hand, it was clearly superseded by the gospel of Jesus and the new covenant which is better. Even though the old covenant is obsolete, Christians keep going back and acting like we are still under it rather than under the new. Here’s the tension we live with: to respect the Old but live under the New. 

It’s why I keep saying, “Correct back to Jesus.” When you read something in the Old that you question, remember that Jesus is better; Jesus is the Word, God’s full and final revelation of Himself. When you see Jesus, you see the Father. Even today in my reading in Deuteronomy, there were things that seemed good and others not. I have to remember that particular revelation was for Israel in their unique setting, and while we can learn from it, it is also “obsolete and aging and about to disappear.” 

Jesus is better. Always correct back to Jesus. And live in the grace of the new covenant. 

Prayer: Lord, I love you. And I’m so grateful for Jesus, for the forgiveness He offers and the new life He brings. Thank You!

More: Deuteronomy 21-22, Romans 1