Church of Christ
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25) Hebrews - Chapter 8:6-13
But now hath He obtained a ministry. While on earth He ministered (Acts 10:38): Jesus of Nazareth went about
doing good (Philippians 2:5-11). This is not a contrast with His earthly ministry, but with the Levitical ministry. The
context proves it (Hebrews 8:6-7).
The more excellent - It was a ministry "more excellent" than that of the Levitical priests. His ministry is that ministry
in heaven. The way that it is more excellent is seen in this verse, it has better promises.
He is also the mediator of a better covenant. A mediator is one who intervenes or goes between two parties. Moses
was a mediator (Exodus 20:19-21 and 24, Galatians 3:19-20).
We have one and only one mediator (1st Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, one mediator also between God and
men, himself man, Christ Jesus."
The high priest served on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16) - hath been enacted upon better promises
(Deuteronomy 11:26, Deuteronomy 20:9-20). Observe the promises of the tithe in Malachi. The better promises of
the new, new home (John 14:1-6), new body (1st Corinthians 15), eternal life (John 3:16), absolute forgiveness of
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second (Galatians 3:21),
"If there had been a law given which could make alive, verily righteousness would have been of the law." (Romans
3:20), "For through the law cometh the knowledge of sin." Many verses speak of the purity and righteousness of
the law, but it was perfect insofar as its purpose was to bring men to Christ. Its purpose being limited, a second was
The promises were largely physical in the old covenant for finding fault with them. Finding fault with the people?
Yes! Why? Because they had not kept the law. Finding fault with the covenant? Yes, Romans 8:3: "For what the
law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh," (Galatians 3:21).
Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant. What was this? The prophecy was given
after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 31:31). Notice the order of the covenants: Genesis
12:1-3 to Abraham, repeated in Genesis 13:14-17, Genesis 15:1-6 and 18-21. This looked to the covenant with
Israel, then to all men. It looked to the covenant with all men, Gentiles also. Then the Mosaic covenant is referred
to. This covenant was physical, but Christ's is spiritual. After the old had been tried, God prophesied of a new one
(Genesis 17:1-8, Genesis 22:15-18) with the house of Israel. Israel means "praise with God." Notice to whom the
term is applied - Jacob (Genesis 32:28), to all his descendants collectively (Exodus 4:22), to the ten tribes that
revolted from Rehoboam (1st Kings), to all believers in Christ (Romans 9:6).
Judah means "praise". Why is Judah singled out? Because the tribe of Judah followed Rehoboam; thus all the
Hebrews are to be included. The tribe of Benjamin and some from the tribes of Simeon and Dan followed
Rehoboam. The gathering of the Jews will be into one body, under the new covenant.
Abraham's children had been divided; only Christ could unite (Genesis 12:19-20). Too many are seeking a
restoration of the Jews in Palestine. The restoration will be under Christ. God is not interested in the place where
the Jew's body is, but the condition of his heart. If he is Christian, he can live anywhere.
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them out by the hand to lead them
forth out of the land of Egypt. That was the Abrahamic promise fulfilled to make them a mighty nation.
The covenant with Moses had a very important carnal side. God moved them out of law and order from Egypt; now
they must have a new law. The Mosaic covenant is largely carnal, in that it is a system of law that was given to
make a nation. The day of this covenant is done and another covenant is established that is unlike the old one.
For they continued not in My covenant. God promised them an abundance of everything, provided they would
serve Him. They failed to keep their side. The wilderness experience is one time they failed. The sinfulness that
led to the Babylonian captivity is another example.
He treated them as unfaithful people. He was Lord to them, so He could treat them as such. As Lord He could
reject them. Since they did not abide faithful, God was free to let sin take its course with them.
After those days. The time element should be noted here. After the days of Israel's rebellion is noted in verse 9,
God was free to make a new covenant, since Israel was so unfaithful.
1) They departed from God while Moses was in the mount.
2) They departed from God instead of conquering the land.
3) They departed from God and were carried away into captivity.
In the light of Jewish history, God was under no obligation to continue the old covenant.
The old was engraved on stones, skins - These people were born into a Jewish environment and were to be
obedient as a member of the nation. The old was written on stone; two tables (Exodus 34:1 and 28, Deuteronomy
4:1-5, 2nd Corinthians 3:17).
With the new covenant you cannot be a part of it unless you know in your mind what it is.
a) With the old it was accomplished by birth, and then teaching.
b) With the new law, it is accomplished by teaching and birth, "born again" - John 3:5.
The Christian has a born-again experience by which the Word lives in his heart. He belongs to God, not because of
a fleshly birth which he could do nothing about, but because of a decision of life. The verse does not expressly
deny the Old Testament characters did not have the law in their hearts, but the procedure is contrasted.
And they shall not teach every man his fellow citizen and every man his brother.
Under the old, you were a member and had to be taught, but under the new you are taught, and thus you become a
a) The Jews had these multitudes of laws, and it was necessary for them to be taught constantly in order for
the Jew to live up to them.
b) The new is spiritual, you were already obedient
c) In the old you were a part of it by virtue of physical birth, but in the new you choose, and therefore know. No
one ignorant of Jehovah can possibly become a member of the new covenant. See Hebrews 11:6 - "He that
cometh unto God", John 1:13 - "Born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
How could He call something "new" without implying something old? As the new is substituted, it must be that the
former has come to an end. When the dispensation of Moses was gone, so were the ceremonies to cease.