November 12, 2009
8:1 NOW THE main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic [God] in heaven, [Ps 110:1.]
1. The most important thing that the apostle has discussed so far is Jesus sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2. This proves that he is higher than all the high priests that ever existed.
3. The sacrifice that he offered was sufficient and accepted by God.
4. He, like the Jewish high priest, did not leave the holy of holies after offering the atonement, but stays at the throne of God as a continual priest, permanently offering his sacrificed body to God.
a. Jesus has all power in heaven and earth and is able to save and defend all that come to God through Him.
2 As officiating Priest, a Minister in the holy places and in the true tabernacle which is erected not by man but by the Lord.
1. The Jewish priest was the servant of the public, transacting business of the people with God.
2. Jesus is also the same kind of public officer, both as Priest and Mediator he transacts the business of the whole human race with God.
a. He performs the holy things in the true tabernacle, Heaven, of which the Jewish tabernacle was a type.
3. The Jewish tabernacle was man’s work, made under God’s direction; the true tabernacle the work of God alone.
4. Also the tabernacle was a type of the human nature of Christ.
a. As the divine presence dwelt in the tabernacle, so the fullness of the Godhead, dwelt in Christ.
b. Jn 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days
c. Jesus human body was the work of God, and it didn’t come by way of natural generation.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer up gifts and sacrifices; so it is essential for this [High Priest] to have some offering to make also.
1. The high priest is ordained, set apart for this special work.
2. Gifts: (Gr. Doora, or doron) Eucharistic offerings: these acknowledged God’s benevolence to his people by providing for their support.
3. Sacrifices: (Gr. Thusia) the necessity of atonement for sin.
4. Christ, the High priest, must make atoning sacrifices to God: His being at the right hand of the throne shows that He has offered and continues to offer such an atonement.
4 If then He were still living on earth, He would not be a priest at all, for there are [already priests] who offer the gifts in accordance with the Law.
1. As the Jewish temple was standing when this letter was written, the temple service was continuing to be performed by the legal priests, the descendants of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi.
2. If Christ had still been on earth, He could not have performed the office of a priest, because He was of the tribe of Judah, the tribe to which the office of the priesthood did not pertain.
3. Because there were priests offering gifts when this letter was written, it is additional proof that this letter was written before the destruction of Jerusalem.
4. Why is just “gifts” (Gr. Doora) used here and not “sacrifices”?
a. The Septuagint never used this word to express a bloody sacrifice.
b. It used the word “zebach” which signifies an animal offered to God in sacrifice.
5[But these offer] service [merely] as a pattern and as a foreshadowing of [what has its true existence and reality in] the heavenly sanctuary. For when Moses was about to erect the tabernacle, he was warned by God, saying, See to it that you make it all [exactly] according to the copy (the model) which was shown to you on the mountain. [Ex 25:40.]
1. The whole Levitical service was a representation and shadow of heavenly things.
2. According to the pattern: according to the type, plan, or form.
3. Were these architectural plans? Engineering plans?
6 But as it now is, He [Christ] has acquired a [priestly] ministry which is as much superior and more excellent [than the old] as the covenant (the agreement) of which He is the Mediator (the Arbiter, Agent) is superior and more excellent, [because] it is enacted and rests upon more important (sublimer, higher, and nobler) promises.
1. Jesus’ office of priesthood is more excellent than the Levitical, because the covenant is better and established on better promises.
2. The old covenant referred to earthly things, the new covenant to heavenly.
3. The old covenant had promises of secular good; the new of secular, spiritual, and eternal blessings.
4. Christianity is preferable to Judaism, and Christ is preferable to Moses.
7 For if that first covenant had been without defect, there would have been no room for another one or an attempt to institute another one.
1. If the first covenant had made provision for and actually pardoned conferred purity, gave title to eternal life, there would not have been a need for a second.
2. The first did not give these things, therefore a second was necessary.
8 However, He finds fault with them [showing its inadequacy] when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
1. The Interlinear says: “finding fault for them”
2. God, in order to show that the first covenant was inefficient, said to the Israelites etc.
3. House of Israel & Judah: with all the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob.
4. This is the promise of the conversion of the Jews to Christianity, both of the lost tribes and of those who are known to exist in Asiatic and European countries.
9 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help and relieve them and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in My agreement with them, and so I withdrew My favor and disregarded them, says the Lord.
1. The old covenant is only temporal and earthly in itself, though it pointed out spiritual & eternal things.
2. The New Covenant is totally different from this and the Jews should have been prepared to expect it as the Prophet Jeremiah clearly foretold it. (Jer 31:31-34)
3. This Greek word for covenant is “diatheekee” can often mean religion itself, and its various precepts.
a. The old covenant generally stated: on God’s side, “I will be your God; on the Israelites’ side, We will be thy people.
b. This covenant they broke, served other gods, and neglected the precepts of that holy religion which God had delivered to them.
4. “I turned away from them: Because the Lord took no further care of them, their enemies carried them away into captivity.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
1. Under this new covenant, God will influence “His” people, “Christians” with the principles of law, truth, and holiness, etc.; Their understanding shall be fully enlightened to comprehend them. (The promised Holy Spirit)
2. All their affections, passions, and appetites, shall be purified and filled with holiness and love to God and man.
a. They shall willingly obey, and feel that love is the “fulfilling” of the law instead of being written on tablets of stone, they shall be written on their hearts.
3. I will be their God, and they will be my people: From God we expect light, direction, defense, support, and happiness, so God, promising to be their God, promises in effect to give them all these great and good things.
a. To be God’s people implies that they should give God their whole hearts, serve Him with all their strength, and have no other objects of worship or dependence.
b. Does this mean that if any of these conditions are broken, the covenant is rendered null and void, and the other party is absolved from his agreement????????????
11 And it will nevermore be necessary for each one to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or each one his brother, saying, Know (perceive, have knowledge of, and get acquainted by experience with) the Lord, for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them.
1. Under the old covenant, there was no public instruction; before the erection of synagogues all worship was confined at first to the tabernacle, afterward to the temple.
2. The synagogues were generally confined to the reading of the law and the prophets; and scarcely was found a public ministry for the common people until the time of John the Baptist, our Lord and his apostles.
a. The prophets were a sort of general teachers, but their ministry rarely extended through all the people.
b. There were schools of the prophets and rabbis, but there were for the instruction of select persons; therefore it was necessary that every man should do what he could, under that dispensation, to instruct his neighbor and brother.
3. Under the gospel dispensation, we find plentiful sacred writings, and by an abundant gospel ministry, these blessings are not confined to temples or palaces, but are found in every corner of the land.
4. Almost every man from the least to the greatest, has a Bible, can read it, and there is not a family that has not had the opportunity of hearing the Gospel preached & explained.
5. From the least to the greatest: The work of grace generally begins with the poor, and through these the great and the high often hear the Gospel of Christ.
12 For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more. [Jer 31:31-34.]
1. In order to be their God, as mentioned earlier, it is a requisite that their sins should be pardoned, and through the blood of Jesus redemption has been purchased.
2. Wickedness and sins shall be removed by God’s mercy and this is to be understood as His mercy in Christ Jesus.
13 When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.
1. The rabbis themselves said: “in the days of the Messiah knowledge shall be renewed in the world, and the law shall be made plain among all; as it is written, (Jer 31:33) All shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
2. Other ancient writings said: “When the days of the Messiah shall approach, even the little children in this world shall find out the hidden things of wisdom; and in that time all things shall be revealed to all men.
3. And others: “There shall be no time like this until the Messiah comes, and then the knowledge of God shall be found in every part of the world.”
4. This day, all these sayings are fulfilled; the word of God is multiplied, knowledge is increased; all the nations of the earth are receiving the book of God.
5. Men around the world-Parthians, Medes, Elamites, the dwellers in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Rome Jews, Cretes, Arabians, Americans, Indians, and Chinese-hear, in their own languages the wonderful works of God.