Today we turn to Hebrews 8 vs.7 – 13 to the 'better covenant' the one that brings us closer to God v 10 that lasts for eternity v 13.
The old covenant was flawed as we saw in the previous study in that the people of Israel acknowledged the Covenant given through Moses but they could not keep it.
They did their sacrificing religiously annually but it did not stop them from returning to their sin afterwards, the five sacrifices of Leviticus were in constant use.
The Burnt offering Leviticus 1 had to be without blemish v 3 and was consumed by fire v 17 this was a sweet savour offered in gratitude for the mercy shown by the Living God to the one offering it.
The Meal or meat offering Leviticus 2 was full of thanks to God for the pardon that He gave to the one offering it, signifying forgiveness and restoration of relationship.
Then the Peace offering Leviticus 3 was offered because of the sense of distance between the one offering it and God, it was a sweet savour to the Lord
The significance of v 2 is very telling, the identity of the one offering it with the sacrifice, 'he shall lay his hands on the head of the offering'.
The Sin offering Leviticus 4 the 'sin through ignorance' v 2 against God including the priests v 3 the troubled conscience is only cleansed through sacrifice v 4.
The Trespass offering Leviticus 5 v 6 – 6 v 13 there is no such thing as little sins and big sins in the sight of God, all rebellion against His word necessitates repentance.
The sacrifice whether a lamb v 6 or a bird v 7 or for the poor a handful of flour v 12 sacrifice to cover sin must be made.
Each of these five offerings were brought with repentance of sin to God the sinner needing forgiveness brought the offerings themselves.
These five offerings were meant to bring sinners back to God but the flaw was they only pointed to past sin they could not stop the offerers sinning again and again.
So the annual sacrificing continued not in a turning back to God but in a religious way that was flawed but they pointed to the greater sacrifice that was to be made that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He has obtained a far greater ministry Hebrews 8 v 6 He is the mediator between God and mankind, not just the Israelite.
We note the 'better promises' v 6 they are basic to the Christian life, when confession of sin is made through the Lord Jesus Christ forgiveness is applied by God.
Then we begin to live a life that is completely different because God writes His word that we must keep on our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
The word is to drop from our head into our heart, the Old Covenant was recited regularly in Jewish homes as it is in many today but that was from memory not from the heart.
It did not stop them sinning the moment that they finished their recitation.
The New Covenant is based on the word of God becoming part of our life affecting every part of us and not just our head knowledge.
In v 9 God leads the people out of Egypt but within a very short period of time they are rebelling against Him, they wanted freedom but they wanted to please themselves as well.
We must not run away from the truth that many a soul has seen the need to confess their sin but then returns to the old way of things afterwards.
Gods New Covenant is not an insurance policy to be signed by the Lord Jesus but it is a Covenant that God makes with repentant sinners who turn from the old to take on the new way of life.
The 'better promises' are a declaration of intent, they are a public announcement given by the Creator God to the whole world that His is both able and willing to pardon repentant sinners.
People who not only acknowledge their sin but actually repent and turn from it, their rebellion ceases when the Lord Jesus blots out their sin through His sacrifice.
The moment our sin is confessed and repented of it is blotted out of existence as if it never happened therefore we should not want to return to rebellion again.
We should take notice that the promises are not negotiable as a secured pledge but they are graciously received as a gift from the Living God who we had sinned against.
The gift of forgiveness is followed by the gift of Gods word and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit who has now come to dwell in our heart.
We should notice the 'I will' here in v 10 the Living God enlightens us and also envelopes us so that Satan, the world and the flesh cannot separate us from our heavenly Father.
The Lord stands between us and our enemy, He stands the conqueror over all seeing that He is our supreme Mediator and Defender.
What a mighty promise we have here to ponder over, the Living God intimately involved in our life so that we can conquer the flesh life and all its claims.
We do not have to give in any more, we can walk in harmony and unity with the Living God so that life is not a struggle but a spring board into eternal life.
The truth of v 11 is startling as it points to a truth that as yet we only know in part even in the church where many only operate on lip service to God.
The day is approaching when all flesh will acknowledge the Living God, 'they shall know' that is experimental knowledge, God being exalted over all people.
The Old Covenant is finished as the New Covenant is revealed, signed and sealed by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
His offering was once and for all there is no need for yearly offerings because the once and for all time sacrifice on Calvary of the Son of God is sufficient for eternity.
The covering of the blood of Christ's sacrifice covers our unrighteousness, sins and iniquities 8 v 12 not giving us license to do that but to liberate us not to do them.
The old flesh life dies hard putting up a great fight against the holy life that we are called into as we put on the new man or way of living.
In place of the three facets of the old life 'unrighteousness' points to what is not conformable to what is right in Gods sight.
'Sins' brings us to face the many occasions that we miss the mark of Gods standard of living, the flesh gaining victory over the spirit.
'Iniquity' is the practical living contrary to Gods will and purposes outlined in His word that we should be living by, hence the need to read mark and obey the word of God.
We now turn in Hebrews 9 to view the consequences of the New Covenant promises, there is mastery for the observant and obedient soul in the Lord Jesus Christ who has entered the heavenly place to stand before the Throne of the Living God on our behalf.
He has opened the way for us to go boldly but humbly to the Throne of Grace where our heavenly Father dispenses grace, mercy and love in superabundance.
Here is something the Old Jewish Covenant could never do, they saw the Lord only at a distance the New Covenant brings us right into His presence.
What a mighty privilege we Christians have, to be able to commune with our heavenly Father on a personal basis.
Drawing near with a true heart and faith we enter the courts of the Living God with praise and thanksgiving to bow at His footstool in the heavenly place.
As we enter that Holy of Holies we stand in awe dropping on our face before the Lamb of God who standing there allows us access to the Throne of God.
We quickly see the wounds of the Lamb of God, the marks pointing to Calvary and the supreme sacrifice that He made to ransom us and to bring us back to the Creator God.
In the light of the promise made to us we should be seeking such occasions to ascend to the Throne, to soar in the Spirit to worship the Triune God.
We have the privilege of walking on earth as His ambassadors and disciples, we should be walking in the path of righteousness continually, seeking to display all the characteristics of our beloved Saviour and Lord as we do so.