Hebrews 9:20

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

…saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Hebrews 9:20

This continues what was stated in the previous verse. The author explained what rites were accomplished in the cutting of the covenant at Sinai, and now he shows what words accompanied the rite of sprinkling. It is speaking of Moses’ ratification of the Old Covenant. Moses was given specific directions about every single thing he was to do and how he was to do it. When he did something, he did it speaking as an appointed instrument, subordinate to the One who appointed him. As it says, “which God has commanded.”

The fact that God directed all things to be done, and that He also commanded the people within the covenant itself, shows that the covenant is one between a Superior and subordinates. The people agreed to accept the leadership of the Lord, and to do those things which He determined should be done. This then was ratified in the blood of covenant-victim. However, there is a difference between what occurred at Sinai, and what occurred in Christ.

When Jesus gave the New Covenant, it was on His own authority: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).

This is similar to when prophets of old spoke or acted –

“When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.” 2 Kings 4:32, 33

Elisa prayed to the Lord for restoration of the dead. However, Jesus spoke and acted under His own authority –

“Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.” Luke 7:14, 15

Life application: The supremacy of Christ is a concept which has been and will continue to be analyzed in the book of Hebrews, sometimes subtly as in the verse looked at in this commentary. Jesus is “greater than” in all ways because He is the incarnation of the LORD Jehovah. The Old Testament conceals Him; the New reveals Him. Don’t miss the mark by worshiping a false Christ found in a false gospel, such as the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” of today do. Theirs is an ancient heresy going back to a man named Arius which has continued to infect right doctrine throughout the ages. Further, when verses speak of keeping the Lord’s commandments (such a 1 John 2:3, 4), it is referring to the commands of the Lord within the New Covenant context. It cannot be speaking of the Law of Moses, because that law is obsolete and set aside. This is an even older heresy put forth by Judaizers, which is warned about in Paul’s New Testament epistles, especially Galatians. Be aware of the deceit of such false doctrines. Worshiping incorrectly because of belief in a false Christ can only end in death and condemnation.

Lord God, You have set us free from the bondage of our sin and from the bondage of the law which highlights our sin, through the blood of Christ. We can worship You in a way never possible before because of what Jesus did first. Help us to always hold fast to the glorious truth of the gospel which brings freedom from bondage, and also full fellowship with You. Help us to always walk in the light of Christ our Lord. Amen.

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