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Hebrews Chapter 8

The chapter opens with a summary of the epistle so far. That Jesus Christ is victorious and blameless before God, and is sat down at the right hand of God - that is, all judgement has been given to Him. (v1) That Jesus Christ is gone before to be the high priest for all believers, to minister in those things which are real in the heavens, and not in the shadows that were the old testament figures, the sacrifices and priestly duties of the levitical priesthood. (v2)

(Since Christ is the end of the law, and those things that went before are the shadows, and should be considered imperfect, whereas Christ's obedience and priesthood is wholly perfect.)

Every high priest must have something to offer for the requirements of the people, like wise Christ Himself also has something to offer up to God, not least Himself on the cross once and for all, but us as believers (His body) also. (v3) If Christ were alive, then he not being of the tribe of Levi or descended from Aaron, Christ would not be a priest, being of Judah. (v4) The priest's of Levite descent were fulfilling in their duties those imperfect representations of the true tabernacle of God, which is Christ's. (v5) (After which those old testament representations were specifically patterned.)

Jesus Christ is therefore as the true representation of those things that went before, a much better mediator of a truer covenant, being based on that which is perfect before God, rather than based on the mere representations and based on the better promises of grace. (v6) The first covenant was not faultless, because there was need for another. (v7) The people of Israel as a physical nation were to be wholly sanctified, and to expunge evil from amongst them in order to keep the people of God Holy. Since some went in unbelief, the whole body could not be sanctified, hence there was a need for another covenant. (v8)

Another covenant not according to the pattern or manner of the old, for the old is a mere shadow of the new. The people of Israel had neglected the covenant so there needed to be a better covenant based on better promises. Israel had to be reconfigured from a physical people to a spiritual people, without association of physical lineage.(v9) The spiritual covenant will be in the hearts and minds of the believers, and God will be a God to them, and they will be His people. (v10) This discerns that the new covenant people of Israel is translated into a nation of believing obedience, rather than of the letter of the law, for each believer will in believing on the true God, will know God and be ministered to by God. (v11)

God has forgiven the unrighteousness of the new spiritual Israel, and has replaced it with righteousness of His own making, forgiving their sins. (v12) This new covenant is then of a people that are Holy and blameless before God, because the believer is discerned by spiritual linkage to the house of Israel through the heavenly ministries of Christ, and not by the physical ministry of a priesthood for a covenanted nation of people that are not wholly obedient or believing. Neither did the old testament physical Israel enter into this rest, because of their unbelief. Now that the perfect heavenly ministry of Christ is come, who intercedes for our sins with grace and the ministration of the Holy Spirit, any remaining component of the old covenant is ready to pass away, now that that which it represents has come into being. (v13) There is no way for the sanctified body of Christ to suffer the unbelief or lack of holiness of the physical nation of old testament Israel.


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