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Monthly Archives / November 2019

  • Nov 17 / 2019
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ

Hebrews 9:1-14 (Pastor Heo)

Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle

1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

The Blood of Christ

11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!


Only the blood of Christ can clean our consciences.

God instructed the Israelites to build a structure – the tabernacle – which could be disassembled and travel with the people to the Promised Land, Canaan. This became the place that God lived among them.

At that time, the people had to travel to the temple – in Jerusalem – but before that temple was built, this tabernacle traveled with the people – as a representation of God’s presence and availability.

This building was the CENTER of their moving, living, working, breathing – likewise, Christ is the CENTER of our lives.

v. 1-5 explanation of the tabernacle – it is a symbol of the reality that is in heaven (Christ)

“1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.”

This tabernacle is a symbol of the reality of Christ. ALL parts point to Jesus Christ.

In the study of this tabernacle:

A. Size

100 cubits long x 50 cubits wide = 1 cubit (50 cm) – from elbow to the end of the second finger in an adult man – my cubit is 48 cm.

So about 50m x 25m.

There was only ONE gate – only one way in to see God. This was a symbol of the entrance of salvation / life. Jesus says, “I am the Gate. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but I’m the Gate; I’ve come to give you eternal life.”

“Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name under heaven, given to men by which we may be saved.”

John “I am the Gate” x2

1. Bronze altar =

Burnt sacrifice – burnt offerings of killed animals.

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins who takes away the sins of the world.

2. Bronze Laver =

Wash basin – the priests cleanse their hands and feet before their duty. It symbolized their need for spiritual purity.

We also need daily purification / sanctification.

“If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you. But if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:7-9

“The blood of Jesus purifies me from all sin.”

B. Outer Room =

Only priests could enter, and there are 3 things present there.

  1. Table of showbread
  2. Aaron’s staff
  3. Pot of manna

3. Table of Showbread =

All the time, 12 loaves of bread displayed on the table – each one representing one tribe of Israel. Once a week on the Sabbath, that bread was changed to new bread, and the old bread was eaten by the priests on duty.

This is a symbol of spiritual nourishment: God provides for his people.

Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry / will never go thirsty.”

4. Golden Lampstand =

7 candles symbolizing “perfection” spiritually

Morning and evening, the priests burned candles. It’s a symbol of enlightenment, light, guidance in the world.

Jesus, “I’m the Light of the World. Whoever comes to me shall never walk in darkness.”

John’s gospel “In the beginning was the light, the light of men, it shined in darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

5. Altar of Incense =

Burned incense continually

Symbol of acceptable prayer of believers and continual access to God. How can we access God now? Through prayer.

We can approach the throne of grace with confidence because this symbolizes Jesus interceding for us as mediator.

Timothy “There is one mediator between God and man – the man Jesus Christ who gave his life as a ransom for all men.”

Incense = vapor going to heaven, like this our faithful prayers go to heaven.

C. Second Room =

The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) – only the High Priest could enter that place ONCE per year on the Day of Atonement

In this room there is only ONE thing: The Ark of the Covenant

6. The Ark of the Covenant =

A symbol of God’s promise with his people (법궤).

It was overlaid with pure gold, and inside were three things:

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. Aaron’s budded staff
  3. Pot (gold jar) of manna

The cover (called “The Mercy Seat”) was covered with cherubim (angels).

  1. Mercy Seat
  2. Atoning Sacrifice
  3. Propitiation (for our sins)

In that box: the most important thing: The Ten Commandments.

Before the Ten Commandments, everyone was recognized as sinners. The Commandments were like a spiritual mirror. With these Commandments, all people were recognized as sinners – and so the sins of the people were IN that box, and covered with the Mercy Seat.

The High Priest entered that place only ONE time per year ONLY with blood of lambs or goats, and sprinkled that blood on the top of the Mercy Seat (thus its name).

Through the sprinkling of blood on top of the Mercy Seat, God did not see the sins that were contained inside that box. This is a symbol of Christ.

  • 1 John “Jesus Christ is our atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.”
  • Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  • Romans 3:24 “But all can be justified freely through his grace through Jesus Christ.”

God gives the forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus, by his grace.

v. 6-10

“6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”

“…the time of the new order” = Jesus Christ – the better covenant

You know in this tabernacle, there is always a barrier to God.

  1. Ordinary people = to the Gate (not inside)
  2. Levites = into the courtyard
  3. Priests = into the Holy Place
  4. High Priest (one person) = the Most Holy Place

Jesus took ALL these barriers away and became our peace and reconciliation – between Jews and Gentiles, man and woman, slave and free, high and low.

Gal 3:28 “There are no Jews, Gentiles, no slave, free, no male, female in Christ. Jesus has made the TWO to become ONE and has destroyed all barriers between God and man.”

Conclusion: We can apply and enjoy this in our own lives – we must believe, accept, enjoy.

Conclusion: Only the BLOOD of Christ can make our consciences clear.

Is your conscience clear?

v. 9 “This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.”

v. 11-14

“11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Conclusion verse: “how much more!”

This is the contrast between v. 13 & 14

“How much more, then , will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus himself never changes, so he is able to change everything.

  • He didn’t enter the earthly sanctuary, but the heavenly one.
  • He didn’t enter with the blood of animals, but his own.
  • He didn’t sacrifice for his own sins, but all our sins.
  • He didn’t enter the sanctuary repeatedly, but dwelt there repeatedly – where he IS, is the sanctuary.

In 4 ways, Jesus sacrifice of himself is totally different from the ceremonial system of the first covenant.

  1. Voluntary (animals lives were taken from them) – He laid his life down for his friends – now he calls you “friend”
  2. Spontaneous (animals were the product of LAW) – Jesus’ sacrifice was the product of LOVE
  3. Rational (animal victims did not know what it was doing – why it was there, what was happening to it) – Jesus, from first to last KNEW what / why he was doing it – and he died with his eyes wide open – he knew everything (rational)
  4. Spiritual / moral / loving (animals = mechanical sacrifice, like an assembly line, robots, etc) – but for Christ, all things at Calvary were not ceremonially prescribed, not mechanical – but his sacrifice was made through the Holy Spirit (eternal Spirit)

v. 14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to od, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus’ sacrifice was not the mechanism of Law, but all three members of the Trinity were involved.

  1. Jesus the Son offered himself
  2. through the eternal Spirit
  3. to the Father God
    • to the surpassing greatness of God compared to the blood of animals.
  • v. 13 = Did the blood of animals have an effect? Yes, some effect – outwardly, temporarily, ceremonially, they were cleansed.
  • The point? IF the blood of animals had SOME effect, then HOW MUCH MORE the blood of Christ, who is God?

If you understand and accept this, you should respond “Amen!” (Do not check my English)

If you understand this message from the movement and touch of the Holy Spirit, you should respond “Amen! I have a clean conscience!”

Forgiveness: has two sides:

  1. God’s side: his demand for holiness is satisfied fully by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross
  2. Man’s side: our guilty consciences are scrubbed clean – there is no reason to feel defeated by guilty consciences – because he satisfies his requirements for holiness and wipes our “criminal record” (sins) clean – they are “NO MORE.”

If, let me give you one serious, practical question: Are you bothered by guilt today? At least there are two reasons:

  1. You have not understood that God can make your conscience clean – you must accept, believe, and enjoy this fact as real. God can make our consciences clean simply because of what Jesus did on the cross
  2. You have not yet received the gift of God through Christ because you have not asked. Accept your own inability to clean your own conscience and ask him to come in and do it for you.

Do you have any bad record in your history? He can cleanse ALL your conscience – there is no sin too great that he cannot forgive.

When Jesus comes into your life, he will change it.

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come.”

Jesus changes everything in our lives.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Again, a Better Covenant

Hebrews 8:1-13, Jeremiah 31:31-34

The High Priest of a New Covenant

1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.


Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD ,

“when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

32 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they broke my covenant,

though I was a husband to them, “

declares the LORD .

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house 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.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘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.”


“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

Amen – this is God’s promise given to us.

We do have such a High Priest – what kind?

v. 1-2

“1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.”

The point is: we do have such a high priest. The summary of the message is: Our Lord, High Priest, is superior to everything in the OT priesthood.

Last week = he is holy, blameless, sinless, stainless, 100% pure. Then, he never needs to offer sacrifice day after day, year after year for his own sins – and then for the sins of others. But Jesus sacrificed directly for our sins once for all with his own blood on the cross.

  • That’s why he’s the last and lasting High Priest;
  • the last and lasting sacrifice for our sins.

Question: He is sitting down at the right hand of God – then what is he doing there in heaven? 4 things.

1. He is being with us

(working with us, sharing what we are doing). He is happy, ready, available all the time to share in our sufferings, difficulties, hardships in this world. He is READY.

“Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.” He promised this. “I’m in you, with you, beside you.”

Because he’s in heaven it is possible.

2. He is interceding (praying) for us

Romans 8:34 “Christ Jesus, who died, more than that who was raised again from the dead sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.”

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for you.”

3. He is an architect

He was once a carpenter, and son of a carpenter. In heaven, he is building our beautiful mansions for us in heaven.

John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I finish, I will return to take you with me to be where I am.”

He’s still “under construction” – and when he finishes, he will come back and take us with him.

His sitting in heaven is a guarantee of us also sitting together with him in heaven with the Father

Where is your body now? On earth? But your reality is that you are already in heaven with him.

Eph 2:6 “God raised you with Jesus Christ and seated you with Jesus in the heavenly kingdom.”

Verb tense: not future, but past – it is DONE – our spiritual reality is already in heaven with Jesus Christ.

v. 3-5

“3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.””

During his 33 years of life on earth, Jesus was never called a “priest.” He never did the function of a priest in an earthly tabernacle or synagogue – because there were already priests. And, he was not a Levite, but from the tribe of Judah. Also, the earthly temple is only a copy and shadow of the real one – in heaven. A priest needs a sanctuary in which he ministers – but Jesus’ sanctuary is in heaven.

Moses in the OT, made a sanctuary according to the commands of God. (v. 5 ‘Moses was warned to make everything according to the pattern shown on the mountain.’)

Did you see the OT tabernacle? Inside, there were no chairs – what does this mean? It means, the work of the priest was never finished, complete, perfect.

Yet, all the time it says, “Jesus sat down.” This is spiritually symbolic – it means that his ministry on earth is finished. He shouted “It is finished!” His work on earth as a public ministry is totally complete – sufficient, more than enough.

But in the OT covenant and tabernacle, there were no chairs, so the work of the human priests was never complete. Each completed sacrifice was only a reminder that animal sacrifice never completely washed away and cleansed human sins. This act had to be repeated day-by-day, year-by-year, until Jesus died on the cross THAT DAY.

J the Baptist declared, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’

v. 6-7

“6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.”

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better”

  • Better Hope
  • Better Covenant
  • Better High Priest
  • Better Sacrifice
  • Better Promises
  • Better Possessions
  • Better Country
  • Better Resurrection

We read 13 verses and the word “covenant” appears 7 times. “Better covenant” = “new covenant.”

In the old covenant, God forgave sins when people brought animals to the priests. The agreement between God and man was sealed with the blood of the animals, but the sins could only be forgiven by God. This is why they were repeated day-by-day, year-by-year. But Jesus established a new covenant – and under this new covenant, he should die in the place of sinners.

One day, while they were eating, Jesus established this covenant with his disciples:

He took the bread, thanked God, gave it to them and said, “Eat this is my body.” He took the cup and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood, poured out on the cross for many for the forgiveness of sins. This is a new covenant.” He established a new covenant (better covenant).

We read Jeremiah 31 – and we can see that the prophets of the OT looked forward to this new covenant that would fulfill the OT covenant. And J the Baptist said, “This is the Lamb of God…” So we never need to struggle with the guilt of past sins because we have complete forgiveness in Christ.

God’s presence is much more real to us – the emotional quality of our lives is better, and the mission from God for our lives is much better (greater) than before. Whatever you job is, if you are IN Christ, your job is a calling from God – that God uses to advance his work in this world. Everything shows the need for redemption and salvation. Everywhere, God displays the possibility. We are a part of this great movement of the new covenant.

v. 8-12 are a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – this is the longest quotation of the OT in the NT. It contains the prophetic announcement and definition of the new covenant which was to be totally different from the Mosaic covenant.

v. 8-12

“8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.””

Last verse: v. 13

“13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

v. 8-12 = quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – the longest in the whole Bible.

We know what a covenant is like. For example, old covenant and new covenant. Also between human beings there are covenants: marriage for example. The basic idea = agreement – dependence on conditions upon which they mutually agree.

David’s covenant with Jonathan for example.

If either party breaks the covenant, that covenant becomes null and void. But this new covenant is totally different. In the new covenant, the basic idea is not an agreement between God and man, but God’s absolute will motivated by his love for the forgiveness of sins and redemption of human beings.

The whole approach in this new covenant comes from God – man and God cannot meet on equal terms. Man cannot bargain, cannot compromise, cannot argue about this covenant with God – because it is absolute providence / offering from God. So, all we can do is just to receive or reject it. These are are two options:

  1. Receive
  2. Reject
  • If you receive, you receive forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, salvation.
  • If you reject it you reject forgiveness, salvation, eternal life.

From v. 8-12, there are 5 characteristics of this new covenant. Let’s see them briefly.

1. It is not revolutionary – it was set in Jeremiah.

It is TRUE that God planned a new covenant BEFORE the old covenant. In God’s plan, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant – this is a mystery. In God’s heart / mind, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant. God planned to send his one and only son to the cross from the Beginning – even from the foundation of the world.

Eph 1:7 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In his love, God predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters in Jesus Christ.”

2. The New Covenant is OLDER than the Old Covenant.

In Greek: “new” = two words: neos (“new” in the point of time (order)), kainos (“new” in time AND quality – and totally different) – it looks the same, but totally different.

This “new” is kainos, not neos.

When we are in this new covenant, we are TOTALLY different people – yes, you look the same, who were once an unbeliever – but you are totally NEW – new nature, new status.

1 Cor 5:17? “If you are in Christ, you are a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

In Christ, you are not a changed person, you are a DIFFERENT person. That’s why it’s called “born again.”

3. New in scope and universality

v. 8 “”The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.”

“11No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.”

4. This new covenant involves ALL people in this world – not only Israel.

We know, in history, Israel was split into two kingdoms – 10 in the north (Israel), 2 in the south (Judah). Before this, the tribes had never come together, but with the new covenant, the two would be reunited.

Eph 2:14 “Jesus is peace of all human beings and has made the two one, and has destroyed all barriers between men.”

Symbolically, when Jesus was crucified, the curtain separating the holy place from the most holy place was torn in two and the two rooms became one room.

In the new covenant, we can be reconciled with anyone. Two enemies can be one.

Let’s continue next time.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 03 / 2019
  • Comments Off on A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

A Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:20-28 (Pastor Heo)

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect _forever_.


This is the continuation of the comparison between OT and NT priesthood.

Differences:

1. Oath: without / with oath

OT priests – from the children of Aaron (Levites), men with no physical defects could become priests before God with no oath – their appointment was based on the Law with no divine intervention.

In the case of Jesus, he became a High Priest WITH an oath.

Ps. 110:4 “4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””

This was written 600 years? before Christ – about a person / priesthood 1000 years prior.

God never lies like we do. He is Almighty God, omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with God – then why did God take an oath? This shows DOUBLE guarantee, importance, significance. This is the revelation of God’s radical plan for our salvation – this is the ultimate sovereign will of God – his last will. So, the ultimate sovereign will of God for the salvation of man = “A better covenant.”

This is another keyword in Hebrews. To understand this word, we must understand the background.

There are two testaments, two covenants in the Bible. New Testament = Better Covenant.

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better Covenant.”

This book has the word “better” the most of any other books in the New Testament – at least 11 times.

  • Last week: Better Hope
  • This week: Better Covenant

Later, Better Promise, sacrifice, possessions, country, resurrection.

This word “Covenant” is also repeated at least 16 times (the most in the NT). If we are IN Christ, our lives will become better and better – our future will become better and better IN Jesus. This is a better covenant – because the best is not yet come, the best is coming. Believe your future will become better. We can be convinced in Jesus Christ.

The background is from the Last Supper with his disciples. In the upper room, while eating, Jesus took bread and gave thanks to the Father and gave it to them and said, “Take and eat, this is my body.” Also, Jesus took the cup and gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood. This is the NEW covenant, poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.”

Originally, “covenant” = agreement between two parties – if either side failed, that covenant is broken.

  • Old Covenant was based on the Law, Justice, obedience.
    • New Covenant is based on Love, and Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross.
  • O.C. based on man’s performance before God.
    • N.C. based on God’s (Jesus’) performance on the cross.

In this better covenant, Jesus did all that God had to do to save us, and all that we must do to be saved.

In this better covenant, we have nothing to do for our salvation, except believe in Christ for our salvation, look to him, follow Him – he is available to all of us, just trust him for the forgiveness of sin – for joyful, satisfactory life. That is all – just believe in Christ. That’s all we can do for our salvation and forgiveness of sins in the better covenant. That’s why this is called the better covenant, the New Testament.

God bless you all with the Better Covenant.

2. Another difference: Length of service

v. 23-24

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.”

Wow.

Difference of duration between OT and NT Priests.

I don’t know the number of High Priests in human history, but a historian Josephus estimated there were 83 HP from Aaron to the destruction of the second temple in 70AD. Each served in their office, job, and should be replaced by their successor. Why? They died.

But N.C. High Priest (Jesus) lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. This means Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

What does this mean, practically in our daily lives?

The application: He is available in helping us in every area.

In our culture today, sometimes we need human lawyers, counselors, financial advisers, physicians, insurance agents, tour guides, for better life, hope, security. That is not bad, but Jesus is always available to us to become our helper, lawyer, counselor, guide, agent, in every area of life. HOW? How can we acknowledge his permanent priesthood in our daily lives? By acknowledging his Lordship, Leadership, Guidance in each and every situation. Let us do that. Because he is our permanent High Priest.

v. 25 (Memorize)

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

This means, the basis, foundation, ground (without which we cannot stand) for this complete salvation is heavenly intercession of our high priest Jesus.

Intercede: To approach, appeal, make a petition. Jesus now is making petition for us before the Father God continually.

We should not imagine that Father God is angry with us – and THAT’S why he must appeal to God to not judge us. NO. Father God, and Son Jesus are in complete agreement about our salvation.

“…no one can snatch you out of my hand. My father is greater than all, … no one can snatch you out of my father’s hand… The Father and I are ONE.” (One in giving you eternal life.)

The Trinity God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are completely united in agreement for our salvation.

Romans 5:16 “The Spirit testifies with our spirits that you are children of God.”

In the same way, the Spirit intercedes with us – sometimes we don’t know what is right, what to pray, but the Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express.

Jesus is continually interceding for us. The Trinity God is one in essence, in agreement, in sovereignty. This is a mystery of mysteries.

Once more:

v. 25

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

How can we come to God?

Draw near to Jesus = draw near to God – because Jesus is the incarnation of the invisible God. No one can add to what Jesus already did to save us. Our past, present, and future sins are completely forgiven in Christ.

Jesus has paid the price for sins “once for all.”

3. More differences: Sacrifice

v. 26-28

“26 Such a high priest _meets our need_ [Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”]–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

In the OC, a priest was merely a sinful human being – so he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins first before offering sacrifices for the people. This had to be done continually, day by day because animal sacrifice could not remove the stain of sin permanently.

In the OT, when animals were offered as sacrifices, there were 5 steps (at least):

  1. Cut into pieces
  2. Each piece washed
  3. The fat was burned
  4. The meat was boiled
  5. The blood was sprinkled

The blood is the key point in the sacrifice offering. At that time, as a shadow of Christ, God accepted the blood of animals temporarily to teach of the reality that without the shedding of blood, forgiveness of sins is impossible.

Essentials:

  1. High Priest
  2. Offering (blood)

Jesus was holy, blameless, pure, sinless, – so he never needed to offer sacrifices for himself. But he offered the sacrifice for the sins of others first, directly.

Also, he did not offer animal’s blood, but his own blood – as a sacrifice on the cross. He gave his own blood for you. He allowed his own blood to be sprinkled on the cross for the forgiveness of all sins – yours and mine.

When Jesus offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, he obliterated the penalty, price of sin. There was no more sacrifice needed for sin.

  • Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.
  • Jesus is the last and lasting sacrifice.

That’s why he has a permanent priesthood. Such a priest meets our need. This is available in every step to us today.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want… He leads me in quiet waters, he restores my soul… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… Your rod, your staff, they comfort me…”

Even though we are walking with Jesus, sometimes we Walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It doesn’t say, “I will NEVER walk through the valley” – no – it says, “EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley.”

“No fear!”

(But practically, much fear sometimes. Only IN Jesus Christ is it possible to have no fear, anxiety.)

So what should we do in this?

We say,

“I trust in Jesus alone.”

That is all we can do.

“Forgive my sins through Jesus Christ, give me eternal life through Jesus Christ.”

And we can shout “Hallelujah!”

God bless you with our permanent high priest, Jesus.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen