Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 6-7, Hebrews 8
Here in Hebrews 8, the writer makes clear that the main point of his letter has been the new covenant. The priests of the old covenant never sat down, but rather offered sacrifice after sacrifice because those sacrifices were never able to solve man’s sin problem. The work to atone for sin could never be done with the blood of bulls and goats. When Jesus Christ came and offered Himself as the Lamb of God, He then sat down because His work was finished. Atonement was complete and the price of sin had been completely paid. Our text makes it clear that the reason Jesus Christ came was because the old covenant had a fault; therefore the Lord said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” (vs. 8) The new covenant was not going to be an external example of the price of sin, but rather an internal reality of a personal relationship with God. “…I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” (vs. 10) Under the Old Covenant obedience was primarily out of fear of punishment; however, under the new it is to be out of adoring love and grateful worship. Formerly God’s law was given on stone tablets and was to be written on wrists and foreheads and doorposts as reminders (Deut. 6:8-10). Even when the old law was given, of course, it was intended to reach His people’s hearts (Deut. 6:6). However, in the New Covenant true worship is internal, not external, it is real, not ritual. Unfortunately, I fear that we ritualize worship today. Too many Christians put on their church clothes, walk piously to their foreordained seating, participate in the well organized order of service, and walk out of church convinced of their worship. God teaches us that worship is a constant state of admitting an accurate perception of ourselves and an accurate evaluation of the position of Christ in our lives. When we see Christ in His right place, we will have a proper view of ourselves. Elevating Christ to His right place demands that we depend upon Him for every area of our life and livelihood. We nurture the relationship because we see the absolute need for it. We are incomplete without it. How sad that many Christians live as if the Bible is not necessary, the communion with the Holy Spirit is optional, and the application of Bible truths as merely outward. The new covenant teaches me that real Christianity is lived from the inside out. If it is true on the inside, it will be manifested outwardly. However, how frustrating to try to live the purpose of the new covenant by merely participating in the outward requirements of the old covenant. May we allow the reality of the new covenant to be evidenced in our daily lives.
• Lord, please help me to better understand what I have in you. You paid for all my sin and gave to me the Holy Spirit to guide me every day.
• Lord, thank you for the Bible that teaches me about you and your program. I am so thankful that I do not need to merely follow a ritual, but that I have a relationship with you. Thank you for the privilege to walk with you and talk with you every day.
• Lord, please help me to live honestly before men. That what they see on the outside will be an accurate reflection of who I am on the inside. I know that I have nothing good, but you are changing me into your image and I am so very grateful for the privilege to let people see you in me.