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Lesson 11: A More Excellent Ministry (Heb 8:1-13)
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Lesson 11: A More Excellent Ministry (Heb 8:1-13)



We Have Such A High Priest (8:1-2)

His Superior Ministry (8:3-6)

The Old Covenant (8:7-9)

The New Covenant (-13)

Key Words/Phrases

High Priest, Minister, sanctuary, true tabernacle, offer, copy and shadow of the heavenly things, more excellent ministry, Mediator of a better covenant, better promises, covenant, took them by the hand, put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts, know the Lord.

General Analysis

1.   Up to this point we have studied the greatness of the High Priest Himself. This is summed up in verse 1. Verse 2 speaks of the greatness of the High Priest’s ministry. This will be the theme that chapters 8 to 10 will develop.

Segment Analysis

1.   He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens (1). He is in the place of highest honor (Php 2:9-11) and has received all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18). He is in the heavens, not on earth. This signifies His perfection, exaltation, and permanent priesthood, all of which make Him superior to the earthly priests.

2.   It is the true tabernacle, not a copy of it. It is erected by the Lord, not by man (2). This means that God Himself performs all the things necessary for man to come to God. No human mediator or agent is involved.

3.   Whereas the earthly priests offered gifts and sacrifices, Christ offered His body. Whereas the earthly priests had to offer many gifts and sacrifices, Christ offered Himself once for all.

4.   The earthly priests ministered on earth in a tabernacle that is only a prefiguration, but Christ ministers in heaven in the true tabernacle.

5.   Since the old tabernacle was a prefiguration, it is replaced when the High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle comes.

6.   Better promises. God’s new covenant with His people offers much more that what the old covenant could accomplish. These better promises are made possible by Christ the Mediator.

7.   It is through His personal sacrifice that God’s promises in the new covenant are fulfilled (-15).

8.   In the old covenant, God took the Israelites by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. But despite God’s deliverance and guidance, the Israelites failed to continue in the law of God. Consequently, God forsook them. What was lacking in the old covenant was that the people’s relationship with the Lord was passive and temporary. They followed the external regulations without a sincere desire to honor God. They were only led by the hand and did not actively follow God.

9a.  1.         God will put His laws in their mind and write them on their hearts. God’s people will have a change of heart (cf. Ezek 36:26-27). They will worship God in spirit and truth.

                  2.         God will be their God and they will be His people. God will not reject His people again but will be ever closer to them. He will dwell among them and shepherd them (Rev 21:3-4).

                  3.         They will not need to be taught to know the Lord, but each will know God, from the least of them to the greatest of them. Each will build a personal relationship with God.

                  4.         God will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds God will remember no more.

9b.  Because of Christ’s atoning death, God forgives us of all our sins. He does not remember our sins but shows us mercy. Through faith and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, our sins are washed away (Acts ; ).

Having believed and been baptized into the Lord Jesus, we are children of God (Gal -29), and the Holy Spirit is a testimony of this (Rom ).

Through the indwelling and renewal of the promised Holy Spirit, God’s word is written on our hearts, setting us free from mere outward observance and transforming us into the Lord’s likeness (2Cor 3:3-18).

In Jesus Christ, we can have an intimate, personal knowledge of God. Because God has manifested Himself through Jesus Christ (Jn ; Col), we who have believed in Jesus Christ can draw near to God (Jn 14:6). With Christ’s word and Spirit in us, we can personally know and experience God (Eph ; cf. 1Jn ).

11.  In order to participate in the new covenant, we must put our faith in Jesus Christ, the Mediator and High Priest of the new covenant. We need to enter into a relationship with Christ through the sacraments He instituted, namely baptism (Gal ; Col-12; Rom 6:3-4), footwashing (Jn 13:8), and Holy Communion (Mt 26:26-28; 1Cor -17). We must hold fast to our faith in Him (Heb ) and abide in Him by obeying His commands (1Jn 2:6).


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