Hebrews 8: 1-13
1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
We have such a perfect High priest who is seated at the right hand of God, the Father in heaven. Because of the priestly work of Jesus on the cross, we can now come boldly before the throne of God. Jesus is a minister of the true heavenly tabernacle that is not based on the law.
4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, in as much as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
If Jesus was on earth He would not be a priest because He was not a Levi. The earthly tabernacle of Moses was a foreshadow of the real heavenly tabernacle of God. Moses had to build the earthly tabernacle according to God’s precise instructions. Jesus’ priestly ministry is based on the new covenant and is superior to the Aaronic Levitical priestly ministry based on the old covenant.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.
Because the first covenant was imperfect and inadequate, God had to replace it with a second covenant. The author quoted, Jeremiah 31: 31-32, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord”.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The author quoted Jeremiah 31: 33-34, This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel, after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. ‘’For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” He also quoted Ezekiel 36: 26- 27, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
The old covenant was external, based on laws, ceremony, rules, rituals, regulations, stipulations, and obedience, which the Jews could not keep. The new covenant was internal, based on grace. God will do a spiritual heart transplant, replacing our old heart of stone with a new heart of flesh. He will give us a new heart and deposit His Holy Spirit into us. The Holy Spirit in us will enable us to obey His law. God will deposit His law into our minds and write it onto our hearts. God had been so merciful, so gracious, and so good to us. Once you realise the mercy and goodness of God, you will have no choice but to know Him. The new covenant made the old covenant obsolete. This was why the author of Hebrews implored the first-century Jewish Christian not to drift back to Judaism.