Hebrews 8:7-9, 12-13
Why a New Covenant?…
After discussing the New Covenant throughout Hebrews, the author tells us exactly why a New Covenant was made:
For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one. But he finds fault with them and says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they did not stand by my covenant and I ignored them, says the Lord… For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.” When he speaks of a “new” covenant, he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing. -Hebrews 8:7-9, 12-13 NAB
We have already covered similar ideas from the book of Hebrews, but as we faithfully make our way through this book, we need to take a deeper look at each one.
For instance, in Hebrews 7 we learned why we have a new High Priest in Jesus (click here) and that Jesus guarantees a better covenant (click here). Now, in Hebrews 8, the author tells us two exact reasons why a New Covenant was needed.
First, if the Old Covenant had been “faultless,” there would be no need for a New Covenant. The Israelites, of course, struggled to live up to this covenant, though, and God had to create a New Covenant far different than the one He created with them earlier.
Second, God will be taking forgiveness to a whole new level with the New Covenant. The author tells us, “For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more” – taking a page from Jeremiah 31:34. The idea of a New Covenant, then, was not new. The prophets had predicted it long ago.
We often look at Bible verses as little sound bites, studying them one verse at a time, but as we unwrap the larger context, we can begin to see the complete picture and beautiful message being laid out before us. In our study of Hebrews, we can see a strong connection between the Old and New Testaments. We see that our Christian faith is the next evolution of God’s relationship with mankind.
Studying certain verses from the Bible may not be as appealing as others, but by understanding the whole Bible, we begin to take our faith to another level.