Hebrews 8:6

Thursday, 13 December 2018

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. Hebrews 8:6

The author has consistently treated subjects while demonstrating the superiority of Christ’s Person, work, and ministry over that of other comparable subjects. This has been seen, for example, in verses 1:4, 3:3, and 7:22. Once again, he has built a case for the superiority of the ministry of Christ, and of the covenant in which He operates. Having done so, he states the matter as such by beginning with, “But now.”

The words are in response to verse 8:3, which said, “For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.” However, those words were only given in support of other thoughts presented earlier. For example, he spoke specifically of the introduction of this new priesthood in 7:11-18. He then noted the concept of the “better covenant” in verse 7:22. With these thoughts introduced, he then explained them, pointing out how what Christ did was, in fact, superior. And so this verse now is making a summary statement of those facts. He has shown the fault in the Old, and now he relays the surety of the New. With this in mind, he says, “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry.”

What the line of Aaron did was at the direction of the Lord, and for the purpose of ministering for the people of Israel in a priestly fashion. In the accomplishment of this, a state of harmony between the people and the Lord should have been realized. But this never occurred. Even from the earliest days of the law, there was (and continued to be) strife between the people and the Lord.

In the case of the people failing to be obedient, it then became necessary for the high priest to mediate on the people’s behalf, petitioning for mercy. This was done through the sacrificial system, and especially on the Day of Atonement. However, as has been seen, and as will continue to be seen, this mediation was temporary and only as effective as it pointed to the coming Christ. Outside of that, it accomplished nothing permanent. However, concerning Jesus, His ministry is more excellent “inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant.”

The better nature of the covenant was explained in verses 7:20-21 (and elsewhere). It was established based on an oath, it is an eternal priesthood, and it is able to save those under it to the uttermost (among other things). Finally, the author finishes the verse with the thought that this covenant was “established on better promises.” The word translated as “established,” was introduced in verse 7:11, and now this is its second and last use in Scripture. It signifies “to ordain by law.” When Moses received the law, the Mosaic Covenant was so established. With the coming of Christ, the New Covenant is likewise so established. These are legally established covenants which convey the will of God, and the means of propitiation between God and man.

The “better promises” of the New Covenant will be specified in the coming verses, especially verses 8:8 through 8:12. With those stated, he will sum up the thought with another explicit statement concerning the replacement of the Old by the New in verse 8:13.

Life application: In the words of Hebrews, the author is clearly and precisely detailing how the New Covenant is superior to, and how it has replaced, the Old. Its High Priest and Mediator is superior in all ways. In fact, Paul says in 1 Timothy that “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” The promises on which Jesus’ ministry are based are also superior – they are on oath from God and are eternal in their scope and nature. In understanding these things, we can then understand why the author of Hebrews is writing this epistle. It is to implore the believer in Christ to not return to the Old Covenant. It is as if he is begging his people to think clearly. And so we must. Rest, O Christian, in the work of Jesus!

Lord God, the repetition of the precepts found in the New Covenant is gratefully accepted. Because of conflicting data from so many sources on what is and what is not applicable to Christian life, it is good to hear the same thought stated again and again in Your word in different ways. Thank You for solidifying our faith in Christ alone, apart from works of the law. Amen.

7 thoughts on “Hebrews 8:6

  • Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 8:46 am

    To think of Paul having to beg the people to open their eyes makes me wonder how many times they ( The Apostals) thought they were beating their heads against a wall in this effort to share the truth that is Jesus? I know for myself that the resistance to the word is growing daily and I don’t feel like I am gaining ground but loosing it when trying to share the word. Every now and then there are flashes of brilliance and it finds its way into a crack in the darkness but even these moments are becoming few and far between. The lord seems to bring us right to the edge of the cliff where sanity and the abyss of insanity come together! It’s just one step back to sanity or one step forward into the abyss of insanity? I pray the lord reaches down soon and lifts us off the edge of this cliff and brings us home!

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friends

  • Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 8:50 am

    thank you

  • Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 9:23 am

    …established on better promises
    I have read Ephesians over again the past 3 days. 1:1 starts out with the will of God. That sounds like what we read in today’s Hebrews post regarding “established”. God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. This is incredible! We are most blessed!

  • Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Look at what God established through Jesus…Eph. 2:13,15 But now in Christ Jesus you who were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for in himself to make of twain, one man, so making peace. This is what is established for us, hallelujah!

  • Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 10:27 am

    BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS! A PROMISE! Why does man put our fragility in place of the
    INTEGRITY of JESUS ?? Man breaks deals , GOD does not . Romans 3:4

  • Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 11:19 am

    “…it is good to hear the same thought stated again and again in Your word in different ways.
    Rest, O Christian, in the work of Jesus!” AMEN!

  • Friday, December 14th, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Gray and rainy here. Should get cold again tonight. Your comments have all warmed me up!


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