JESUS CHRIST offers us a BETTER HOPE and a BETTER COVENANT
December 15 Bible Reading: Hebrews Chapters 7-9
"By so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:22-25)
In the Bible, a covenant involves much more than a contract or a simple agreement between two parties. While a contract has an end date and is governed by stipulations, a covenant is a permanent arrangement that cannot be broken. God entered into covenants with many individuals in the Old Testament. For example: with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15); with Noah (8:21–22; 2 Pet. 3:7, 15); with Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3); with Israel (Deut. 29:1–30:20); and with David (2 Sam. 7:12–16; 22:51).
The agreement with Israel was especially significant, because it established a special relationship between God and the Israelites as a fulfillment to His earlier covenant with Abraham. Abraham’s descendants (the Israelites) were made His “chosen people” through whom He would bring blessing and hope to the rest of the world. However, because the Israelites misused this covenant time and again due to repeated transgressions, further provision in this covenant was necessary for the Israelites as well as for the rest of humanity. That’s why God promised a new and better covenant through the prophet Jeremiah (see Jer. 31:31–34) through which God would write His Law on human hearts. This suggested a new level of obedience and a new and intimate knowledge of God!
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, thus became the surety as well as the guarantee of a new and better covenant - an unconditional agreement of grace - from God. By His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus provided a righteous basis on which God can fulfill the terms of the covenant. His endless priesthood is also vitally linked with the unfailing fulfillment of the terms of the covenant. Today, we can enjoy some of the blessings of the New Covenant but its complete fulfillment will not be realized until Israel is restored and redeemed nationally!
In all ways, Jesus Christ offers for us a better hope and a better covenant, and His priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood because it was established by an oath (see Psalms 110:4). The superiority of Jesus Christ is revealed in the book of Hebrews in the following ways:
- Jesus is a permanent priest who is no longer vulnerable to death (7:23–25)
- Jesus always makes intercession for us (7:25)
- Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens (7:26).
- Jesus has offered the one, final sacrifice for sins on our behalf—Himself (7:27)
- Jesus offers to us a better hope than the Law (7:18–20, 22)
- Jesus offers to us better (unconditional) promises (8:10, 12)
- Jesus offers to us obedience from a willing heart and mind, not by compulsion (8:10)
- Jesus offers a personal revelation to us about our future with Him (8:11)