The Old has been made Obsolete

REVISITED WORK

By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8: 13, NIV)

God did not come down on Earth just to say hello, there was a greater mission to rescue mankind from his sins. Jesus came down to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and as such he is seated in the heavenly tabernacle as the High Priest. Let us just appreciate and be thankful that it is Christ who represents us in Gods heavenly tabernacle, for this week is a week of praise for the sacrifice God made just to reunite with us again.

Today we are going to explore what is meant by the term High Priest and how this relates to the new covenant.

We have a magnificent King-Priest who ministers for us at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 8:1, TPT)

Defining Key Terms

  • “Covenant’

A binding contract between two parties based on an unconditional love, sealed by blood. Only broken by death

  • Obsolete

No longer in use, Outdated, no longer relevant

  • High Priest

An individual consecrated by God to offer gifts and sacrifices on behalf of God’s people

  • Tabernacle

A tent-like shelter in which the ark of the covenant resided

Deeper Exploration

By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. (Hebrew 8:13)

There is so much to unpack in Hebrews 8, but I pray that God may guide us in our understanding of these passages. So as you may have seen we know that a covenant is a law-abiding contract sealed in this case under the jurisdiction of Gods Kingdom.  However, a covenant goes slightly beyond a contract as not only is it binding, it is bound for life and sealed by blood, and death alone relegates it obsolete. Failure to follow a covenant results in retribution. The nearest example of a covenant that we have today would be a marriage, an agreement between two people who already know and love each other and this covenant is a binding declaration of their decision to remain in that unconditional love with one another.

Therefore when we are told in (Hebrews 8) that the first covenant has been made obsolete, we know that there has been a death of sort that has led to this separation, for a covenant can only be made useless if there is death between one of the parties concerned. As such we can understand that there was a need to create a new covenant, one that would never be made obsolete.

In every covenant, there must be a ‘man’ representative, like how we have a Prime Minister, President or Monarch to represent an entire nation when making laws or negotiating within the UN or with other nations. Our first representative was Adam, as by default of being the first man; he represented all men, therefore, his success’ were ours and so were his failures. As such, when he ate of the infamous fruit there was retribution of sort, that retribution was the bond between Adam and God been broken.

The entire purpose of the bible is to show Gods loving nature and his great plan to reunite man with Himself. So we see God making a promise with Abraham, to make him the Father of many nations and make a people with whom the connection that once was broken to be mended once again. The problem is Abrahams future generation (The Israelites) were an imperfect group, there were so many ungodly things that they carried (physically and spiritually) that made it difficult to mend the bridge. So Gods plan through Moses was to cover man and make man pure again to re-mend the bridge, this was done through the sacrificing of a pure animal whose ‘pure blood ’ would in turn cover man’s transgressions.

Remember, how we mentioned that a covenant is blood sealed, ‘since the life of every creature is its blood’ (Leviticus 17:14), therefore, symbolising the bond for life. However, Adams fall meant that mankind was dying and the life-giving spirit that was supposed to be residing in the blood of man was not there and needed an animal sacrifice to represent a better blood seal then mans. Through the covering of man’s impurity could the bridge (though this covering was rather weak as it could only last a year at a time(Exodus 30:10)) between man and God be maintained.

There needed to be a representative(s) to stand before God and make such a sacrifice on behalf of the Israelites, who were too impure on their own to stand before God. That person needed to be the one who could make the blood sacrifice resealing the covenant every year, kind of like how we renew our Netflix or mobile subscriptions every now and then. These representatives were known as Priests from the lineage of Levite, for whom an individual would give their sacrificial offering and the priest would enter into the first room of the tabernacle and perform the sacrifice. However, it was only the High Priest who could enter into the second room, the Holy of Holiest, and never without blood offering for himself and the people

The Tabernacle ( Exodus 25, Hebrews 9:1-10)

Also known as the sanctuary, was a tent structure where God resided amongst the Israelites. The tabernacle was divided into Three sections. The first known as the outer court where anyone 
could access and where sacrifices were cut, the second was a room known as ‘The Holy Place’ and the third another room ‘The Holy of Holiest',which was separated from the first room by a veil 
curtain

Within the Holy place, there was a lampstand, a table, a box of incense and showbread (bread or cake which was always present on the table). What do you think these items symbolised and what 
was the purpose of having these items there?
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Within the Holy of Holiest was a box that contained a written copy of the 10 commandments on 
stone, Aaron’s rod that budded and a gold jar containing the manna. The room also contained a mercy seat. The Ark of the Covenant represents God and the mercy seat represented Gods mercy 
towards his people and his willingness to forgive their transgressions. Why do you think God 
chose to be represented through the items inside the covenant?
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… The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the holy of holiest had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing. This is a symbol for the present [and the time before Christ], during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper’s conscience. They are physical regulations and only deal with food, drink, and various washings imposed’ (Hebrews 9: 7-10).

Now, this is where we now bring Jesus Christ into the equation. Jesus Christ in choosing to follow Gods will and die for our sins became the ‘High Priest’ who was both the sacrificial offering (the pure animal) and the one to make the sacrifice (the High Priest) for the entire nation of Israel taking Aarons place(Exodus 30) and the one to represent all mankind replacing Adam. Jesus died as a human with all mankind’s sins, as a representative of all mankind, mankind too died with Christ, therefore, ending the original covenant; as a covenant can only be broken if one party dies. His blood (his life) which he sacrificed for us thus covered us ( not temporarily but eternally making sure that it would no longer become obsolete) and made us pure before God allowing us to enter into the presence of God.

Now covered in Jesus’ blood we can enter into the tabernacle having been made ‘Priests’ (Revelations 1:6), and not just that we can now enter into the Holy of Holiest because the veil that separated the two rooms was torn into two.

  • Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom’ (Matthew 27:51)
  • ‘Then the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom’ (Mark 15:38)
  • ‘The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle’ (Luke 23:45)

Now God’s presence no longer remains in the physical structure of the tabernacle, but within heaven where Jesus Christ attends to the presence of Go with the  ‘The true tabernacle’, ‘[for the acts on Earth] serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things’ (Hebrew 8: 2, 5). Therefore, the tabernacle mentioned in Exodus serves as a representation of what is in heaven. We can now freely enter into Gods presence in heaven here on Earth because of Christ.

What is made more extraordinary is that Jesus came from the line of Judah a line not consecrated for Priesthood (Hebrews 7:14) and yet he became the High priest with us gentiles who too are not from the lineage of Levi or any of the other tribes of Israel.

Soon all men will no longer make temporary sacrificial offerings but accept Christ as their Lord and eternal saviour.

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A hungry young Christ focused girl wanting to explore the bible and help others on their walk with God.

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