I read these chapters a few days ago, and got to thinking what to write about. I thought that it would be a fairly boring post, as most people who read this are probably already Believers, so what is the point of telling Christians what Jesus has done for them? Surely we all know this? The problem is that I think that most of us underestimate what Jesus did for us. Read Hebrews 8 and 9 and then take a look at my thoughts below.
Take a look at verse 6. But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. Far better promises. We all love the stories from the Old Testament, we read them to our kids to show them what God has done. Do we believe for the same today? According to this, we have even better promises to look forward to, however most people are still looking back to what God has done. What is He doing now through you? Do you have faith for what He wants to do through you? If not, I encourage you to start believing!
Verse 12. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. This brings me to one of my pet irritations. I often have to bite my tongue when people use phrases like ‘sinner, saved by grace’. As far as I am concerned I WAS a sinner, now I am saved by grace, my sins are forgiven (and forgotten) by God. I therefore am no longer a sinner, because I am saved by grace. You can only be one, which one are you? Now I understand what people are trying to say, but that is only because they underestimate what Jesus did for them. Before you argue with me on this, read my post entitled ‘Sinner in Need of Grace or Righteous?‘.
Verse 13. When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear. Here is a tough question, which covenant are you living in? You see the Old Testament was showing us just how sinful we are without Jesus. It shows us how high the bar is, and that we can’t make it on our own. It shows us what is required to be seen as righteous by God. It is impossible. It shows us what Jesus has saved us from, it shows us the power of God’s grace. The question is simple, are you living in that grace, or are you still living in the Old Covenant? We put so much emphasis on sin, and not doing it. Earning God’s love and forgiveness, doing the right thing. Now there is nothing wrong with rooting sin from our lives and doing the right thing, in fact I will recommend it, but that will not earn us God’s love and forgiveness. If we believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord, and have confessed it with our mouths, we are saved! That is the only way to ‘earn’ God’s love and forgiveness. Accept it as freely as it was given. Why do we still try to earn it? Why do we still feel condemned when we don’t get it right? Do we really understand what Jesus has done for us, what He has freed us from?
I’m going to leave you with a passage from chapter 9. Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
We are free, thanks to Jesus, let’s start living like it. Yes, remove sin from your life. Yes, seek first God’s Kingdom. Yes, do the right thing. Just remember, that we do these things because of what God has ALREADY done for us, not for what He WILL do for us. God’s grace and forgiveness is reliant on what Jesus has already done for us, not what we can offer Him.