World English Bible translation
8:8For finding fault with them, he said,
"Behold, the days come," says the Lord,
"That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
8:9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers,
For they didn't continue in my covenant,
And I disregarded them," says the Lord.
8:10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel.
"I will put my laws into their mind,
I will also write them on their heart.
I will be to them a God,
And they will be to me a people.
8:11They will not teach every man his fellow citizen,
8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness.
8:13In that he says, "A new covenant," he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and grows aged is near to vanishing away.
The Epistle to the Hebrews has built a convincing case around the high priesthood of Jesus Christ. The author has established that the priesthood of Christ is of a higher order than the priesthood of the Sons of Levi. Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchizedek, an order that was established before the Levitical priesthood and that has been shown to be superior. Now the author has turned from the priesthood of Christ to the covenant that He established through His death, resurrection and ascension.
A new priesthood implies a new covenant. The priesthood of the Sons of Levi was established through the Law of Moses. If the Levitical priesthood is overturned for a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, the Law of Moses that established the priesthood of Levi must be overturned as well. When Jesus had made sacrifice for sins, He ascended into the heavens and offered His own blood in the tabernacle that was made by God. The temple and the tabernacle of Moses are only shadows of the real tabernacle in heaven. When God accepted His sacrifice, Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father's throne. There would be no more sacrifice for sin. It was finished. This sacrifice was the beginning of a New Covenant.
This covenant was foretold by the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah wrote that the people that God had lead out of the land of Egypt had forsaken the covenant that they had made with the Lord. God had promised a new covenant that would redeem His people. God promised, "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, and they will be to me a people." This was the essence of the Old Covenant as well, with an important exception. Under the Old Covenant, the people had agreed that they would keep the law. Under the New Covenant, God would put the law into their hearts. By divine will, God would be the guarantor of the New Covenant.
Under the Old Covenant, the people did not continue in their commitment to God. They fell away because of sin. The Law of Moses could show them the holiness of God and could demonstrate His glory. But, the people were unable to attain perfection through the Law. So, through the sacrifice of Jesus the Anointed Son God perfected a people for Himself. The people could not continue in the Old Covenant because of their unbelief - their sin. Under the New Covenant, "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more."
Now when God said through Jeremiah that He would institute a "new covenant," He was declaring that the covenant that the people were under before was "old." The author declares that that which is old is growing "aged" and, "is near to vanishing away." The next two chapters will be an examination of the differences between the old covenant and the new one.
Do you see the mercy of God in your life? It is yours through the sacrifice of Jesus, the author of the new covenant and your high priest forever.
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