What is the “New Covenant” and why does it matter? Hebrews 8

From my reading in Hebrews 8 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

A covenant is “the verbal content of an agreement between two persons specifying reciprocal benefits and responsibilities.” 

Before Jesus God established an “Old Covenant” with the nation of Israel. This covenant involved priests offering sacrifices for sins committed. When Jesus came he established a “New Covenant”. We no longer have to sacrifice animals because he is the perfect sacrifice.

“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

Through Jesus we have a better covenant.

The new covenant provides a way to know God in a closer way. God’s law will be in our minds, and on our hearts. The new covenant provides a way for us to really know God.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Hebrews 8:10

Because of the new covenant we can know God personally and receive the forgiveness of all of our sins.

“And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:11–12

With Jesus as our high priest we can celebrate this new covenant.

What other benefits of new covenant can you think of?

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What Is A Covenant? – Mark 14:1-26

From my reading in Mark 14:1-26 in the One Year New Testament.

At the first “Lord’s Supper” Jesus mentions how his blood confirms the covenant between God and people.

“This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.” Mark 14:24

The Louw Nida Lexicon defines the term covenant here…

“to make a solemn agreement involving reciprocal benefits and responsibilities—‘to make a covenant, to covenant together, making of a covenant.”

A covenant it is an agreement between two parties promising commitment.

Marriage is a great human example of covenant.  Marriage is a promise of commitment and faithfulness between two people.

What is the Difference Between the Old and New Covenant?

Jesus’ blood was a symbol a “new covenant” between God and people. Pastor Mark Driscoll said this about the difference in the Old and New Covenant.

One noted theologian on the law said that the New Testament “clearly teaches that Christians are no longer under the law covenant instituted under Moses.” This is why, when the Bible speaks of the “old covenant” in comparison to the “new covenant,” it is showing us that we are no longer under the law and obligated to it. He goes on to explain, “Romans 10:4 asserts that Christ is the end of the law. . . . Christ is the goal to which the law points; and when the goal is reached, the law also comes to an end.” The entire book of Hebrews is in large part devoted to explaining how Jesus has brought an end to the old covenant law, which is why we do not need a high priest, temple, sacrificial system, and the like. Jesus is our High Priest, the presence of God, and the payment for sin.”

In summary the Old covenant required many ceremonial sacrifices and practices that are no longer needed because in the new covenant Jesus himself is the ultimate and only necessary sacrifice!

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