Golden Nursing Center in Mannington, NJ –Evening Service on 3/21/2019
(edited January 2022)
Verse 1: “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;”
Paul is referring here to his explanation, back in Hebrews chapter 7, of how Christ became a high priest. A superior High Priest, not through the laws given to Moses, but through the ministry of an ancient priest named Melchisedec who was a priest before Moses and the law even existed, back in the days of Abraham.
Now, the Mosaic priesthood had been assigned to the Tribe of Levi in Ancient Israel. That was the tribe of Moses and his brother Aaron. That priesthood, as we now know it, was tied directly to worship in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. But that way of worshipping the Lord eventually came to an end. However, both Jesus and Melchisedec were granted eternal and Heavenly priesthoods. Paul says it best back in Hebrews chapter 7:
“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
Notice that both Christ and Melchisedec came to Earth under miraculous circumstances! Now, let’s get back into Hebrews chapter 8 where Paul focuses on Christ’s standing as The High Priest of the Church to this day.
Verse 2: “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
God told Moses and his helpers exactly how to build the Tabernacle, and so they did. That Tabernacle is long gone. It’s history. But there is another True Tabernacle in Heaven which God made without any human effort or input. That is the place of worship for our High Priest, Jesus Christ.
Verse 3: “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.”
Worship happened in Moses’ day by the offering of animals, slain and presented to the Lord by the Mosaic priests in the earthly Tabernacle. What has Jesus, our High Priest, offered on our behalf in the Heavenly Tabernacle, today? He has offered this: His own death and His own Blood!
Verses 4-5: “For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
Christ stands apart from the Temple priests of Paul’ time. There was still probably an active Temple in Jerusalem while Paul was writing this section of the New Testament. Paul was standing at a spot in history where there was an overlap of eras. But Jesus also stands apart from and far above all the ministers, teachers, priests, pastors, and servants of the Lord on the Earth in our day! An individual believer today needs no other mediator between themselves and God than Jesus Christ, God the Son. If you are seeking God today, it is, ultimately, between you and Jesus. Here’s what Paul says:
Verse 6: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”
The Old Testament had to give way at some point. It wasn’t all bad, of course not. The Bible shows us that it produced some spiritual fruit. But it wasn’t enough. The Son of God came, after Moses and law, because God was never going to be satisfied with a covenant based on the execution of laws, an earthly priesthood, the shedding of animal’s blood, etc., etc. It became more of a steppingstone than a solution. Listen:
Verses 7-8: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”
And a New Covenant with hopeless Gentiles, like me. Thank the Lord! How blessed we all are today to have this New Testament (holding up my Bible).
Verses 9-10: “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”
This is all accomplished through accepting and receiving God’s gift of faith in Christ, Who died for you and me.
Verse 11: “And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
From the start, there were never meant to be any half-Christians, or partial believers. And, in the end, there won’t be.
Every “saved” person has an eternal, personal, and Loving relationship with God, through Christ. And if you don’t then you are still not part of God’s Family. That doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love you. He does! But if you want to love Him back, you have to come to Him through Jesus.
By the way, being part of God’s Family doesn’t guarantee earthly wealth and all that stuff. But here’s something it does bring, FULL FORGIVENESS:
Verse 12: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
If you’re a sinner, like I am, it just doesn’t get any better than that!
Verse 13: “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
Paul message to the Church and to all of us, tonight,
is crystal clear: When it comes to your faith, look ahead, not backwards.
Don’t try to return to Old Covenant legalism and ritual. Don’t attach any
eternal significance to those things .
Accept Christ. He is your High Priest. Look to Him, where He sits right now in Heaven. And look for His imminent return to the Earth. Look ahead, and live today in the New and Eternal Covenant He is offering to each of us. Let’s pray.