The Grace of Hebrews: The Everlasting Covenant (Law And Grace) – Part 1
Today we start a new blog series looking at the letter of Hebrews and examine its content on the important topic of Old Covenant Law and New Covenant Grace.
The letter of Hebrews is arguably the most in-depth book of the Bible that clearly and convincingly demonstrates the differences between living “under the law” and living “under grace.” In this blog, we will take a thorough look at the old Jewish law with its required sacrifices and how the author correlates it to the fulfillment of Jesus’ sacrifice once and for all time.
One point that the author of the book of Hebrews stresses is the word “better.” “Better” is emphasized in relation to (1) whatever Jesus did through His death and resurrection or (2) that whatever God plans to do is always better than what is already in place, even if God set it up Himself.
Look at these examples:
• Hebrews 1:4 “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
• Hebrews 7:19 “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
• Hebrews 7:22 “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
• 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.”
• Hebrews 9:23 “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”
• Hebrews 10:34 “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”
• Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
• Hebrews 11:35 “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:”
• Hebrews 11:40 “God hath provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
• Hebrews 12:24 “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.”
The book of Hebrews clearly displays the validity of the Old Covenant system of law and sacrifice. It certainly was a privilege and a blessing to be one of God’s chosen people – the nation of Israel – with Abraham as their father. To know they were chosen under the Old Covenant certainly was a special privilege. Think about it: The Creator of the universe (God) chose the Jewish nation to have a relationship with Him. No other mention of any other people or nation had this privilege.
The relationship, however, did have its limitations. Because of sin entering the world through the fall of Adam, no man could enter the presence of God and live. (See Romans 6:23 and Exodus 33:20.) Therefore, God set up a sacrificial system where only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. God set up this sacrificial system when He gave Moses the law (the Old Covenant) at Mount Sinai (Horeb).
This system remained in place until it was replaced by a “permanent” and “better” priesthood. This was fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross in our place – to satisfy the Father that all our sins and their punishments were placed on Jesus. When Jesus died, the veil concealing the Ark of the Covenant within the Holy of Holies was split in half. This symbolizes that through Jesus’ death, we now have direct access, an “open door,” to God the Father. This is God’s plan for He loves us so much and passionately desires a personal relationship with us.
Jesus did all the work. We only need to believe by faith and say, “Thank You, Lord” for His free gift of grace and salvation. We do not deserve it, but it is the Father’s deepest desire. What love! My prayer for you is that, as we study the book of Hebrews, you consistently see the finished work of Jesus on His Calvary cross – thus incorporating a New Covenant of grace.
As previously stated, we will see in the book of Hebrews how superior Jesus is compared to angels, Moses, the high priest, the sacrificial system, and the Old Covenant (the law). Therefore, Christians must enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10) and must learn to live “under grace” by keeping their eyes on Jesus – “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 10:2).
– from Are You Under Law Or Under Grace? by Bob Bennett http://www.LifeUnderGrace.com