Today the author of Hebrews tell us that Jesus Christ is the High Priest of a new covenant which is better than the old covenant under the Law of Moses; for he “has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”
Under the first covenant, the high priest went alone inside the tabernacle behind the veil to the “Holiest of All” once a year to offer sacrifices “for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.” This act was symbolic of the work that was done through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice and foundation of the new covenant. “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
Back in the garden, after the fall, the Lord established the way to approach Him when He killed an innocent animal to atone for the sins of Adam and Eve. Then He covered them in that animal’s skin, illustrating that the shedding of the blood of the innocent atones for the sins of the guilty. In the wilderness with Moses, Aaron, and the Israelites, the Lord gave rules and regulations regarding the sacrificial system. “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Therefore Jesus “appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself… so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many… By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
We end the reading with a word of encouragement to the Hebrews to persevere and draw near to Christ “with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching… Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”
More to the Hebrews tomorrow. Keep reading.