(If you want to know more about the holy place and the holy of holies in the temple, read Hebrews 9:1-10.)
The author of Hebrews repeatedly takes his readers back to a place they know well – the covenant that God entered into with Moses. The readers know this well, because the message has been impressed upon them since childhood.
However, it seems as if the readers have not yet bought into the new contract completely. Therefore, the new covenant is announced again and again in the letter to the Hebrews: 11 But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”-the true Holy Place-once and for all.
I wonder whether we always understand how fundamentally different and bigger this new contract is that God has entered into with people? In the first contract people played a big part. People had to comply with strict rules, which wasn’t always easy. These rules and laws helped people to fulfill their part of the contract. Unfortunately, they weren’t very successful with this and were always going off in the wrong direction.
Part of the contract was also the appointment of priests. They not only helped to ensure that all the rules and regulations were complied with, but were also responsible for making sacrifices to God in order to pay for the people’s sins.
The contract or covenant between God and people placed a heavy burden on the people. In a way, they were deprived of their freedom and the yoke of this covenant was extremely heavy. And the covenant had many loopholes as well.
It was time for a new covenant. In this new covenant God almost completely eliminated the people’s role. Instead of earthly priests, God appointed Jesus as High Priest. The work done by Jesus does not have to be repeated.
Jesus made one sacrifice. That one sacrifice was sufficient for the sins of all people, because it was Jesus’ body. It was Jesus’ blood. It was Jesus who had to die. And that was enough.
Jesus is not here on earth working in a temple’s holy place or holy of holies. No, He is in heaven, sitting next to God. This makes the new covenant so much more valuable and puts it in a completely different class.
I know we’ve heard this message many times recently. But it is necessary to repeat it, because then we understand so much better how enormous the contract is that God has entered into with us. When we better understand it, we are driven to align our lives with the contract and do our part.
Let us go and live as saved people out there. Let us go and tell others about this through the way that we treat them. Let our way of life pull others closer so that they can also buy into the new contract.
Do you understand the new contract?
What does it do to you?
How can you go and live it out there today?
Father, thank you now sounds too small, but thank you for tearing up the old contract and putting this new, much better one on the table. I am speechless and amazed by Your goodness and that You never stop reaching out to people. Please help me live this contract in my life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.