Hebrews 8

A Copy And Shadow Of The Heavenly Things

The writer explains that the point of the previous assertions is that Jesus is a high priest who operates from heaven in holy places that are not earthly or temporary, but eternal. Jesus does not function as a high priest in a temporary and symbolic fashion within a tent or a building constructed by man, Christ's ministry is real and everlasting. Christ could not serve in the same way as the earthly priests who offer gifts according to the law. Christ satisfies the law, is sinless, and he serves as both priest and sacrifice. The ministry of earthly priests and the obligations which accompany the old covenant relating to gifts and sacrifices served as a copy and shadow of real and true heavenly realities. Moses built a dwelling place for the Lord when he raised the tabernacle, but it was done according to the specific instructions given by the Lord. The priests who served the people could never enter directly into the eternal dwelling place of God and minister before the face of God without being killed. God designed the tabernacle as a copy and shadow pointing to a greater heavenly reality. The ministry of Christ is better, the new covenant is better, and the promises are better when compared to the old covenant. Christ is the mediator of a new covenant because the first covenant was not faultless. The law is not the problem, humanity is the problem, and the law cannot save fallen humanity. It is important to note that Scripture is viewed as authoritative by the author as they use a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34. Jeremiah looked to a new covenant that would be different from the old covenant could only point to the way; the new covenant would provide the power to walk in the way. The new covenant would bring reconciliation between Israel and Judah. The new covenant would be placed in the minds and written on the hearts of God's people instead of chiseled on tablets of stone. The new covenant provides the ability to obey God's law and not just hear it. The new covenant is universal, and everyone from the least to the greatest can know the Lord without an intermediary. The new covenant promises mercy and the complete pardon and forgiveness of sins. The new covenant is guaranteed, and eternal for God himself will initiate it and keep it perfectly. The new covenant renders the old covenant obsolete. The old covenant served its purpose, but Christ fulfilled it, and it now gives way to the new covenant, and it is already enacted on better promises. Jesus is the place where humanity and God meet, not the tabernacle or the temple. The Holy Spirit gives the believer power over sin and sanctifies the Christian. 

Things To Consider:

  • Why does it matter that Christ is ministering in heaven?
  • How is Jesus both the priest and the sacrifice?
  • Why did God give his people copies and shadows of heavenly things?
  • How does the tabernacle point to Christ?
  • What are some of the better promises of the new covenant?
  • Why is it important to understand that Jeremiah spoke of the new covenant?
  • What does this quotation teach us about studying the old testament?
  • Why was there a need for a new covenant?
  • How are our sins put out of remembrance?
  • What hope do we have because of the new covenant?