8 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;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
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.
4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
5 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.
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.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 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:
9 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.
I think the meaning of the word “covenant” is lost on this generation, and perhaps the one preceding it. Here are not many promises kept, or legal agreements that have the weight of a covenant. He strongest covenant we have. and the longest lasting one, is marriage. But for many, marriage is not seen as a necessity anymore, but rather as a hindrance. Couples live together instead of getting marriage, marriage vows mean little as adultery is rampant, and divorce takes about half of all marriages. His is not a covenant that we honor.
Another covenant in our own country is the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are like covenant in that they are binding agreements between our government and the people. But these documents have seen an assault in recent years, and have been twisted to meet the demands of those who would see changes to these sacred documents. The original intent of many of the provisions are lost to modern philosophy. True covenants do not change over time. But they can be broken or ignored by the people they are made to, or between. For this reason, covenants are shied away from in our current society.
Nevertheless, covenants play an important part in our lives, and they are particularly powerful in a biblical sense. In fact, biblical covenants are not just between God and His people. Hey are between God and all of mankind. A biblical covenant is a binding agreement God and man, and God always keeps His promises. He never lies, and He never fails. So, His covenants are still in place today and always will be. In the days before Jesus, there were four such covenants – today there are five.
The covenant between God and Noah is the first such covenant. In Genesis 8:21-22, God says He will never again destroy the whole earth with a flood, and that springtime and harvest, summer and winter, will always be. Who can argue that this covenant hasn’t been kept? In Genesis 17, God says he will make a covenant with Abraham, and he will make a great nation of Abraham. His nation will be blessed, and all who come against it will be cursed. The result is a physical nation called Israel, but there is also another side to this covenant. Abraham was justified by faith, and Paul make the case in Galatians 3:7, where he shows that the children of faith are also the children of Abraham and part of the same covenant. The Mosaic covenant spans Exodus through Deuteronomy, headlined by the Ten Commandments. These laws that God gave to His people are guidelines even for our society today. Although they seem archaic to many, they still govern a large part of the worlds’ population and present ways to deal with problems in our society that have lasted through the centuries. The main statement in the covenant is found in Deuteronomy 27 and 28, where God shows the blessings that will come upon the people if they follow this covenant and the curses that will result if they don’t. We can see the proof of these chapters today. The Davidic covenant was one of leadership for the nation of Israel. The king would always be in the line of David, just as the blessing was to the line of Abraham. This covenant remains still true today, as our King and Savior is Jesus Christ, of the line of David. He will reign forever on the throne in heaven, so there will be no end to the Davidic Covenant.
All of these covenants were a shadow of what God was going to do when He sent His son to die for us on the cross. Jesus ushered in a new and better covenant, one that would encompass all of mankind and provide the grace and mercy of God to everyone. We could spend hours, even days, explaining how all these things done in the Old Testament point to Jesus. He sacrificial system, the priesthood, the wilderness tabernacle. All of these were symbols of Jesus and the covenant that He brought with Him. Moses was told to make sure He followed the pattern God showed Him when building the tabernacle for a reason. Very book in the Bible has the “scarlet thread” showing the blood of Jesus. All of the Old Testament points to Him. Here is a saying that goes like this; The Old Testament is Jesus concealed. The New Testament is Jesus revealed.” Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. When He shared communion with His disciples, he talked about this new covenant. The covenant he brought was prophesied Jeramiah 31:31-34. In my next post, we will see what this New Covenant is. Stay tuned!