Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 8:1-9:5
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 8:1, 2
Verses 1, 2: Here’s the main point the author of Hebrews wants his Jewish readers to hear. Remember he’s appealing to those who to various degrees are abandoning Jesus with the intention of returning to historic Judaism. He wants them to see that Jesus did not initiate a new religion. He is the foundation and fulfillment of all true Judaism. Israel’s entire religious past was waiting for Him to arrive. The tabernacle and the Levitical priests were never meant to be an end in themselves, they were merely “a copy and shadow” (v 5) of God’s true high priest ministering in the “tabernacle” of heaven. He is trying to show them from Scripture that there was always the anticipation that something greater would arrive, and that Jesus is the fulfillment of that hope. He’s not just an angel or another prophet calling Israel to obey the Law of Moses. He is the divine Son of God (Heb 1:1-14) whose death is the one true sacrifice able to atone for the sins of the world (Heb 9:11-14; 10:4), and He is the supreme high priest who has ascended into heaven where He presents that sacrifice before the Father (Heb 4:14-16; 7:24-28; 9:11-14, 24-28). Jesus is also the Messiah which David prophesied would sit at the Father’s right hand and to whom all creation will one day submit (Ps 110:1; Heb 1:13). So to abandon Him is to abandon true Judaism and the God of Israel.

Monday: Hebrews 8:3-5
Verse 3: Jesus is now God’s high priest serving in the tabernacle of heaven, and like all high priests He must present an offering to atone for sin. The Levitical high priests brought the blood of bulls and goats (Heb 9:12, 13, 25; 10:4), but Jesus brings His own blood (Heb 7:27; 9:14, 28; 10:10, 19, 20). Verses 4, 5: When He was a man on earth Jesus did not meet the genealogical requirements to be a priest in the tabernacle of Moses because He was born into the tribe of Judah, not Levi (Heb 7:13, 14). But the tabernacle Moses built was just a copy of the heavenly one God showed him on Mt. Sinai (Heb 10:1). The existence of a higher tabernacle in heaven is revealed by God’s command to Moses when He said, “See… that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” In other words, Moses’ tabernacle was merely an earthly model representing heavenly realities.

Tuesday: Hebrews 8:6-8
Verses 6, 7: Not only is God’s throneroom a far greater “tabernacle” than the tabernacle on earth, but Jesus’ priesthood is on a far higher level than Aaron’s because His priesthood provides a covenant which actually brings people near to God (Heb 7:25) as opposed to the one into which Israel entered at Mt. Sinai (Ex 24:1-8). This makes Him the “mediator (go between) of a better covenant” which has become God’s new law based on “better promises” such as those found in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (also: Eze 11:17-20; 36:25-28; 37:11-14; Joel 2:23-29; Zec 12:10). Verse 8: God wouldn’t have promised a new covenant if there weren’t something wrong with the Mosaic covenant (Heb 10:1, 2, 4), but when we read Jeremiah’s words the reason the change was needed becomes clear.

Wednesday: Hebrews 8:8-10
Verses 8, 9: The author needs to do no more than quote Jeremiah 31:31-34 to prove that God considered the Mosaic covenant a failure and had promised to send something radically new. He promised His people a greater covenant which would replace the old and accomplish what the old could not do. In the Hebrew text God’s verdict on Israel’s ability to keep their covenant is even clearer than in the Septuagintal version used here by the author. Instead of “… for they did not continue in my covenant and I disregarded them…” (LXX, Jer 38:32), Jeremiah wrote, “…My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord” (Jer 31:32). Verse 10: After admitting the failure of the covenant at Sinai, God next explains why the new covenant will succeed. First, He said He would no longer rely on an external code of conduct to make people holy. Instead He would perform a miracle in each one to transform their minds and hearts. Through the prophet Ezekiel He revealed that He would accomplish this by placing His Spirit within each believer (Eze 36:26, 27).

Thursday: Hebrews 8:10, 11
Verse 10 (continued): The statement, “I will be their God and they shall be my people” has special meaning. It is repeatedly employed in the Bible to affirm God’s covenant relationship with Israel (Ge 17:7; Ex 6:7; Lev 26:12; Isa 51:16; Jer 7:23; 24:7; 30:22; 32:38; Eze 36:28; Hos 2:23; Zec 13:9). For Him to say to someone, “You are My people” means they will be blessed with the blessings given to those who faithfully obey Him. Verse 11: Second, God said the new covenant would bring every person it touched into full personal relationship with Himself. There wouldn’t be those who know Him teaching those who don’t because He will have entered into each heart to write His laws there. Every believer will know Him because His Spirit will
dwell in each (Jn 6:45; 1Co 2:10-16; 1Th 4:9; 1Jn 2:20, 27).

Friday: Hebrews 8:12, 13
Verse 12: Third, God said His new covenant would release His mercy toward their violations of His law and rebellious actions to such a complete degree that no judgment against them would be left, as though He could not remember what they had done. Of course, God knows all things, but the point of this statement is to say there will be no trace of lingering judgment and no possibility old sins will be brought back to confront us again. The forgiveness will be total and permanent. Verse 13: When God speaks something it becomes a reality (Ro 4:17), so from the time He first mentioned a new covenant the Mosaic covenant began to dwindle away. Then when the gospel arrives in a person’s heart the old vanishes completely. The two cannot exist side-by-side in the same heart (Fausset, Andrew Robert, Jameison, Fausset, Brown, on Hebrews 8:13, Vol. 3, Eerdmans reprint 1982).

Saturday: Hebrews 9:1-5
Verses 1-5: The author of Hebrews reminds his Jewish readers of the layout of the ancient tabernacle and, of course, the Temple which later replaced it even though all of these details would have been very familiar to them. They didn’t need to be told there was an outer court containing a lampstand and a table of sacred bread, or that there was an inner court called the Holy of Holies which lay behind a curtain, or that a golden altar of incense was near the Ark of the Covenant, or that the Ark itself with it’s golden lid and kneeling cherubim were found in the inner chamber. They knew from childhood that some of the manna that fed people of the Exodus had been placed in the Ark along with Aaron’s rod that budded (Nu 17:8-11) and the two stone tablets on which God Himself had written the Ten Commandments (Dt 10:1-5). So the only reason he is rehearsing such familiar subjects to Jews who were raised on this information is to show them a prophetic truth which lay hidden there.

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