March 12, 2020
Last night we studied Hebrews 7:22-28, looking at what makes the New Covenant “new,” and furthermore, what the New Covenant reality is for us as Christians. Before getting into Hebrews together, we reviewed the term Covenant – a term we see frequently in the OT. God’s covenants are promises that He makes to mankind, and reciprocal promises that are made back to God from mankind. In this way, they are a partnership, sealed with an oath. Like a marriage covenant, these covenants are meant to be everlasting. BUT, God’s people, because of the effects of sin, fail to uphold their end of the covenant in and throughout the whole Old Testament. God, in His grace, knows that their hearts are fickle, so he provides a way for them to enter back into covenant relationship with himself – through animal sacrifice.
Hebrews 7:22-28 tells us all about how, under the Old Covenant, many priests would offer many sacrifices for sin. The problem was, these priests were sinful too. They had to offer sacrifice for their own sins. The sacrifices that they offered were not sufficient to cover sin eternally, so they continually offered them up to God. The author of Hebrews connects the fact that, under the New Covenant, Jesus is a new and perfect priest. One who lives forever, and who offers up one sacrifice – Himself – for sin, for all time! Hebrews 9:11-16 tells us that Jesus steps into the Holy of Holy’s – the place that only the High Priest was allowed to go, once per year – and “purifies all sinners’ consciences from dead works to serve the living God.” We see evidence of this in the fact that, after Jesus’ death on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn in two (Matt. 27:51).
There are so many applicable truths this means for us as New Covenant Christians. The one that we talked about last night in particular was that we now, because Jesus stands as our priest forever, have CONFIDENCE to draw near the throne of God! God’s holiness and His glory is no longer a terrifying thing that would kill us on contact… it’s now a wonderful thing that we, as Christians, can rejoice in! We have access to the Living God by faith in His son!
Here’s some questions to discuss with your students that pertain to last night:
- How do you know that faith in Jesus saves you?
- How does Hebrews 7:22-28 assure you that, once you have faith in Jesus, you’re eternally secure?
- Jesus says that the act of taking communion is a reminder of the New Covenant (in Matt. 26:28). How is communion a reminder of the new covenant?
- Read Philippians 3:20 together. How does your understanding that you are a “citizen of heaven” change the way that you live now?