Sermon #34 Hebrews Notes
The Mediator of The New Covenant
Text: Hebrews 8:1-6
Subject: Christ – The Mediator of the New Covenant
Date: Tuesday Evening –
Tape # W-12a
The title of my message tonight is Christ – The Mediator of The New Covenant. Our text will be Hebrews 8:1-6.
It is of paramount importance that we understand the teaching of Holy Scripture with regard to the old and new covenants. It is not possible to understand the work of Christ as our Substitute and the saving operations of our God in grace, until we understand the distinction between works and grace, between the old covenant of the law and the new covenant of grace.
This distinction is a matter of great confusion to many in the religious world today. I have no doubt that it is a matter of some confusion to some of you. Can you imagine how confusing it must have been to those believers of the first century, especially to those who were Jews?
· The ordinances of the Levitical priesthood were still being performed; -- but God had set aside both the priesthood and the ordinances.
· Sabbath days were still meticulously observed; -- but the Lord of the Sabbath had already finished his work and entered into his rest.
· The Sun had risen; -- but the moon had not yet vanished from view. It was waning and ready to vanish, but had not yet vanished.
There was still a high priest in
· The religious, but unbelieving, Jews were (as most religious people are today) still trying to live by and worship God by the commands and ceremonies of the Mosaic law; -- but Christ, who is the End of the law, had fulfilled it and had forever abolished the legal covenant by his obedience to God as our Substitute.
· The new covenant had been established and the old forever abolished; -- but almost all the emblems of the old covenant were still standing.
That time of transition,
between the resurrection of Christ and the destruction of
The Book of Hebrews was written specifically to correct the confusion by showing the great superiority of the gospel, the superiority of the new covenant over the old, the superiority of this present gospel age to the former legal dispensation. In the seventh chapter the Holy Spirit irrefutably displayed the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over the Aaronic priesthood of the Old Testament. Let’s read Hebrews 8:1-6 together.
Hebrews 8:1-6 "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 showed 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."
Proposition: In the eighth chapter he shows us the superiority of Christ’s ministry as our High Priest over the ministry of the Aaronic priests in the Old Testament. The superiority of our Savior’s priestly ministry is here demonstrated in seven ways.
I. Our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, is a Seated Priest. – “We have such a high priest, who is set” (v. 1).
Psalms 110:1 "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
Hebrews 1:1-3 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 10:12-13 "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool."
The fact that he sat down declares that his work was done. When our Lord Jesus cried, “It is finished,” he meant, “It is finished!” – What was finished?
· All the Types and Prophecies concerning Him
· All the Commandments and Ceremonies of the Law
· All the Work of Redemption
II. Our great High Priest is seated upon the Throne of God! – “On the right hand if the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens” – (v. 1).
The fact that he is seated upon the throne of God, the throne of universal monarchy, the throne of grace, declares that he is, indeed, able to save all his people unto the uttermost, for his has been given power over all flesh for that purpose.
John 17:1-2 "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
Romans 14:9 "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."
III. All earthly priests served in the earth. Theirs was an earthly, carnal ministry. Our Lord Jesus Christ is “A minister of the true sanctuary” in heaven. – (v. 2).
The fact that he sat down declares that his work is done. The fact that he sat down on the throne of God declares that he is able to save all for whom he died, whose interests he serves as God’s High Priest. And the fact that he sat down in heaven declares that his work has been accepted. – Hallelujah!
Be sure you do not miss this. – When he sat down in heaven, our Savior sat down as our Forerunner, and our Covenant Head; and we sat down in him (Eph. 2:4-7).
Ephesians 2:4-7 "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Our great High Priest, the Son of God in human flesh ministers for us continually in the holy of holies, not on earth, but in heaven itself, in that holy place not made with hands, in the very presence of God!
Hebrews 9:24 "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."
I will say more about this in a few minutes, when we get to verses 4 and 5. For now, hold on to this thought: -- This is the superiority of our Savior’s priestly ministry. -- Our great High Priest is interceding for us in heaven (Rom. -34). That is the work of a priest. He makes intercession.
Romans 8:33-34 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
IV. Christ is himself the Sanctuary and True Tabernacle (v. 2).
Hebrews 8:2 "A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
In the worship of God, Christ is everything, and everything is spiritual (Phil. 3:3).
A. Christ is our Altar.
B. Christ is our Priest.
C. Christ is our Sacrifice.
D. Christ is our Mercy-Seat.
E. Christ is our God!
F. We worship him in spirit.
Philippians 3:3 "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
Now, look at Hebrews 8:3-5.
Hebrews 8:3-5 "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 showed to thee in the mount."
A. The Lord Jesus Christ presents the sacrifice of his own precious blood (v. 3).
The priests of the Old Testament were never allowed to come into the holy place without the proper, divinely ordained, sacrifices (Heb. 9:7, 22).
Hebrews 9:7 "But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people."
Hebrews "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
Their sacrifices could never put away one sin. It was for this reason that their sacrifices were offered over, and over, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, from one generation to another, as long as the law stood.
If Christ appears before the Majesty in the heavens as our great High Priest, he must have a sacrifice to offer, an infinitely meritorious and effectual sacrifice. The sacrifice he offered, the only sacrifice God could ever accepted for the atonement of sin, is his own blood (Heb. -12; 1 Cor. 5:7).
Hebrews 9:11-12 "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
1 Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
“Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away one stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away: --
A Sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they!”
B. Christ is a Priest with a better sacrifice and a priest in a better tabernacle, which is his own body (vv. 4-5).
Hebrews 8:4-5 "For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 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 showed to thee in the mount."
In verse 2 Christ is called the “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man”. Verses 4 and 5 talk about the tabernacle man pitched according to God's directions.
This tabernacle in the wilderness was only a typical tabernacle. God dwelled there. His glory was seen there. He granted his presence to the people, the sacrifices were brought and the people worshipped at the tabernacle.
If Christ's human nature were only earthly, he could not even be a priest, because he was not of the tribe of Levi. -- If he had died and remained on the earth, his priesthood would be of no value, because his priesthood was perfected in heaven. It was when he died, arose and appeared in glory that all other sacrifices and priesthoods ceased (Heb 10:7,10).
Hebrews 10:7-10 "Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
The true tabernacle is his body, that body in which he tabernacled among men (John ).
John "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
We see the glory of God in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:4-6). This is what was typified by the manifestation of God’s presence in the tabernacle.
2 Corinthians 4:4-6 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Through him God communes with this people. Through him sacrifices of prayer and praise are offered God. It is to him that we look for forgiveness and acceptance. His blood is the atonement for sin.
Now, look at verse 6.
Hebrews 8:6 "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."
VI. The Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest, is “the Mediator of a better covenant.”
I must be brief; but I want to be unmistakably clear. Listen carefully. Let me make just four statements about the superiority of the new covenant over the old.
A. The covenant of the Levitical priesthood was a temporary and typical one. It is now abolished forever.
B. It was a Jewish covenant, for Jews only. In Chirst there is neither Jew nor Gentile.
C. That covenant was dim, hidden in ceremonies and carnal ordinances of the law. Christ is a full and clear revelation of mercy and grace.
D. That covenant was conditional; its blessings were determined by the obedience or disobedience of the people. The covenant of grace is by grace, through faith. It is unchanging and unconditional in Christ (Rom. -28).
Romans 3:24-28 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Now, here’s the last thing revealed in our text. In the latter part of verse six, we see that…
VII. The new covenant is a covenant “established upon better promises.”
promises of that old covenant were promises concerning earthly, temporary blessings.
The blessings of an earthly inheritance in
· Eternal Forgiveness!
· Eternal Life!
· Eternal Peace!
· Eternal Glory!
In Christ, our Mediator we have a better covenant with better promises. He has reconciled us to God. Being both God and man in one glorious person, the God-Man, he lays his hand on both God and man and brings us, who were far off, to God. He made peace through the blood of his cross and satisfied the justice of God by the sacrifice of himself.
He makes us sons of God, indwells us with his Spirit and makes us priests of God. Our promises and blessings have to do with a spiritual kingdom and life, not an earthly nation and carnal benefits.
Perhaps you are thinking, “Bro. Don, why is this instruction of importance to me? How does all of this affect me?” I’m glad you asked. This is where the rubber hits the road.
John "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
Galatians 5:1-4 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
Philippians 3:3 "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
Colossians 2:8-23 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."