The Weekend Word
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
- All who enter this covenant will know God.
- It won’t just be the privileged who know God.
- All who are a part of the covenant will know God
- In this new covenant – how will all know the Lord? By the Holy Spirit!
- This isn’t just a knowledge of the Lord
- 1 Sam 2:12-13 “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,…”
12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
- Sin will be forgiven – was it not forgiven in the OT?
- Read 2 Cor 5:18-21 – How God has made reconciliation and remembers our sin no more. Sin is taken care of and is no longer the issue.
- In the OT you had to go back year after year to be forgiven again and again.
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
- Remember earlier we spoke of game changers
- The “NEW” is definitely a game changer
- New priesthood – new covenant
- Hebrews written in the mid 60’s – what was rolling down the pipe?
- Soon to come, the Jewish Wars and the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.
The Earthly Holy Place – READ v 1-5 together before the commentary.
1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.
- The first covenant required sacrifice … so it required a place for this sacrifice.
- A place of holiness – the sacred tent.
- The 1st covenant was established with its due regulations for worship and its holy place.
- Holy Place = John 1:14; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- Here in John 1:14, these words carry my thoughts back to the Book of Exodus, specifically to the scene of God’s Tabernacle in the desert. Here’s what I mean: (1) First, the English word translated “dwelt” is the Greek word “eskenosen” which means, “to encamp”; “to pitch a tent”; “to tabernacle”. God encamped among His people in a human body. In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle (“The Tent”) was the point of contact between God and man. In the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth—the incarnate Son of God—is the point of contact between God and man.
2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence, It is called the Holy Place.
- He will now go through and give the geography of the tabernacle – v 1-5
- The splendor and beauty of being in the presence of God. In v 5 he stops and says he won’t go into detail – heaven is far superior.
- First section = more than one section
- Lampstand = the 7 branched lampstand // Solomon’s temple had 10 lampstands.
- The table = need a place to set the bread.
- The bread = 12 loaves made – each made from 2/10ths of an ephod of fine flour
- The Bread of the Presence = the Real Presence? The Lord’s Supper?
3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place,
- This is the Holy of Holies
- Think about this – most of the Hebrews never saw much of the tabernacle – only the priests were allowed in the 1st section and only the High Priest the 2nd
4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.
- Altar – I think this holds the censor of incense – some discussion if the author had the location correct – in or outside of the tent curtain.
- The Ark of the Covenant – a wooden box covered with gold
- Inside the Urn with the Manna – Ex 16:33-34
- Aaron’s staff that budded – Num 17:1-11
- The 10 commandment tablets –
5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
- The Mercy Seat = the lid
- Once a year the sacrificial blood was brought in and sprinkled on the Mercy Seat.
- The blood was accepted but it was not sufficient for salvation as it had to be repeated the following year.
- OK, he says – enough about that.
Next week, we will hear from the writer as he moves from the description of the sanctuary to the ritual.
God always works with His own through covenant.
If this isn’t the New Covenant, then what covenant is being described here?
I believe it is the New Covenant…just asking…
and that prompts me to ask, is the better covenant of Hebrews 8:6 the New Covenant or is there yet another covenant coming?
and if i say to myself “covenant – schmuvanent” am i sinning? i am not a teacher, so should i care?
Thanks for the lesson MLD.
okay, no one wants to answer my impudent question regarding covenants…
do i as a redeemed gentile dog need to understand covenants or do i focus on the kingdom and proper worship? i’m looking at Hebrews 12:28 (not trying to get ahead of the lesson plan, just came up in another study) and thinking, if i have received a “kingdom that cannot be shaken” or moved, …?… shouldn’t this Kingdom be my focus? how finely tuned does my understanding of covenants need to be?
There is only one covenant that was made by the blood of Christ. Jesus calls it the new covenant. Paul calls it the new covenant (quoting Luke). The author of Hebrews calls it the new covenant (quoting Jeremiah). Jeremiah calls it the new covenant.
It is clear from reading the Gospels, Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Hebrews that the new covenant is in effect, for Jews and Gentiles alike. Paul refers to himself as a minister of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.
There is no other covenant to come. The new covenant is eternal (see the benediction at the end of Hebrews. It is for the Church (neither Jew, nor Greek….). There is no other covenant needed, because the new covenant incorporates all of humanity and is based on grace (i.e., Christ’s doing, not ours). In other words nothing is lacking in the new covenant, which would make another covenant necessary.
Is the understanding of covenants important? It is very important to me, for several reasons: (1) Christological – If Jesus is making a covenant prophesied hundreds of years earlier by Jeremiah as coming from the Lord, then who does that make Jesus? (2) If Paul says that all of the promises of God find their “yes” in Christ, then I want to know what these promises are. (3) How can I understand the Old Testament and how it fits together with the New Testament (Testament = Covenant) without understanding the various covenants?
hmm.. testament is synonymous with covenant; old testament/covenant and new testament/covenant … can we then say, that the history of man climaxed at the cross? the Kingdom is begun, that which was promised before is now? this Kingdom is now a new and final promise in motion?
thank you, Jean … thinking, thinking, thinking
“can we then say, that the history of man climaxed at the cross?”
I would not make this about man, but about a Man. But looking at the cross from a big picture perspective, we might say that at the cross there was the apocalyptic clash of two ages. The age of the letter and the age of the Spirit (or the age of the Law and the age of the Gospel).
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
If the cross marked the beginning of the end of the age of the Law (by which “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes”), then His resurrection might be seen as the marker of the beginning of the age of the Gospel (by which sin, death and the devil were defeated).
no, Jean, i respectfully disagree… at least on one level, from his creation this saga has been centered on man – from the fall to the ultimate end of the story as prophesied… two of the main characters, the villain and the hero, Satan and God the Son, are, i believe the reason for the story, however. doesn’t that make us an interesting vehicle for the playing out of the drama?
Responding to your #9, I linked an article this afternoon to Michael’s article “You Follow Me!”. In that article, I read something that resonates with what you wrote in your #6 and #9. Here is the relevant thought:
“The theology of the cross involves not only the cross itself, as the locus of the event that has determined human history. It involves also the Word that conveys that event and its benefits to God’s people. The word of the cross is folly to the perishing; this word is God’s power for those whom he saves through it. Luther believed that when God speaks, reality results. The cross and the Word that delivers it have created a new reality within God’s fallen creation: a new reality for Satan (since God nailed the law’s accusations to the cross and rendered them illegible by soaking them in Christ’s blood); a new reality for death (since it was laid to eternal rest in Christ’s grave); a new reality for sinners (since they were buried, too, in Christ’s tomb and raised to new life through the death and resurrection of the Crucified One).
To force Luther’s observations from the foot of the cross into four convenient categories for easier consideration, it can be said that he saw from the vantage point of the cross 1) who God really is, 2) what the human reaction to God must be, 3) what the human condition apart from God is and how God has acted to alter that condition, and 4) what kind of life trust in Christ brings to his disciples.” Robert Kolb, Luther on the Theology of the Cross, p. 449.
Jean, thank you for going along this trail of thought with/for me…
i don’t think we are disagreeing, even if our focuses differ… for man, from his creation, his fall and on down through history, the cross is the main event… God’s righteousness and justice came together in victory to make a way for us to escape – the miracles of love and grace – a subject in itself