Hebrews chapter 8 may not be very long but let me tell you, those 13 verses say a LOT and convey a really important and exciting message.
If we were to try and summarize this chapter in one concise statement then something like “A New AND BETTER Covenant.” would sum it all up nicely. All throughout this Dwell Series we have talked many times about this “New Covenant” but here Paul is reminding us that not only is this a NEW Covenant but a BETTER one! It’s not just change for the sake of change but rather a change with you and your best interests in mind. Let’s take a moment to look at a few of the differences between the Old and New Covenants.
Obviously they were instituted at different times. The Old Covenant around 1446 BC and The New around 33 AD. If you do the math then you see that approximately 1,479 years passed between the two Covenants.
They were instituted in different places. The Old Covenant at Mount Sinai and the New at Mount Zion. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT??
I found it quite interesting to learn that they were not only spoken at different times and places but also in different ways! The Old came through loud thunder on Mount Sinai, causing great fear and trembling, as we see in Exodus 19:17-24. The New, however, came through Jesus Christ, God the Son and was brought in love and unending grace.
They are also different in how and where they were written. The Old was written by God on tablets of stone - something temporal and designed to prepare the way for the New Covenant that was yet to come, but the New is written by God on the hearts of His people and will last forever!
One of the most prominent differences in my opinion was the difference in mission. The Old Covenant demanded a covenant of works with a goal of discovering sin, condemning it, and setting a “fence” around it, if you will; whereas, the New Covenant fulfilled the covenant through the death and resurrection of Jesus, allowing us to recognize, repent, and turn from sin and offering us the gift of eternal life.
And finally, they are different in their sacrifices and how they were dedicated. The Old through the endless repetition of blood shed from animal sacrifices and the New through the once and for all shed blood of the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
And it is because of His incredible sacrifice we can now ALL “boldly approach the throne of Grace” as Hebrews 4:16 states - living, working, and serving through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26).
There are several other differences we could highlight between the old and new covenants but even from the 6 we have just discussed I think we can all agree that not only is the New Covenant NEW, it truly is BETTER.
Today, let’s all take a moment to thank the Lord for His continual outpouring of love, grace, and provision in all things. Take a moment to remember the incredible sacrifice made when He died on the cross, taking on Himself the punishment WE deserve, and making a way for us to live lives of freedom, empowered by the Holy Spirit, ushering us into the new and better covenant.