Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
There is a new covenant. It is in effect, through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection. This is the message of Hebrews 9:11-15. It is difficult to mistake. There is a new covenant and it is one which is clearly and specifically of eternal effect (v. 15).
We are used to thinking in terms which are a little simplistic, that God’s decrees are all essentially the same in all their important elements. By this line of reasoning, we conclude that all God’s decrees are going to be eternal and unchanging. Yet this doesn’t work. It is clear that it doesn’t work that way. God makes a promise to Israel that if they obey His commands He will bless them. They disobey. He chastises them and then blesses them anyway. He establishes David with an eternal kingdom and a throne in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is quite safe for many years. Eventually the Babylonians sack Jerusalem. Christians then argue that Jesus, the promised child of Abraham and of David, takes up his throne at Jerusalem, though it is a cross-shaped throne just outside the city.
In fact, God’s decrees are not always eternal. But here we are told that the covenant is one that won’t pass away. It secures eternal redemption v. 12). Christ’s offering of himself does free us from the bondage of earthly covenants, ushering in his new covenant.
What hope can we gain from this idea? Perhaps you haven’t noticed it, but our world has a tendency to fall apart. Yes, I know, often things go along quite well. At other times we are confronted with weakness. There’s sickness, poverty, hunger, and strife all around us. We can and do make some significant strides to reduce the effects of this fallen state, but it keeps on showing us we live in a fallen world. There’s no ending it, at least not by means available to us.
Our passage from Hebrews shows us that salvation is of the Lord, not of our own devices. We don’t look to actions we can do or a covenant we could initiate in order to purify our world. We don’t try to create a clear conscience by our own good deeds. We look to the Lord and His good deeds. He is the one who can purify our consciences so we can stand before God unafraid.
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