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Better Ministry, Better Covenant

The point of all this now appears. We have just such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the heavenly Majesty, as a minister of the holy things and of the true Tabernacle, the one set up by God rather than by humans.

Every high priest, you see, is appointed in order to offer gifts and sacrifices, which is why this one, too, must have something to offer. If he were on earth, he wouldn’t even be a priest, since there already are priests who make offerings in accordance with the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly realities, in line with what Moses was told, when he was getting ready to construct the Tabernacle: ‘take care that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain’. Now, you see, Jesus has obtained a vastly superior ministry. In the same way, he is the mediator of a better covenant, which is established on better promises.

The Promise of a New Covenant

If the first covenant had been faultless, you see, there wouldn’t have been any reason to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says:

See, says the Lord, the days are coming,
when I will complete, with the house of Israel,
with Judah’s house, also, a covenant that’s new:
not like the one which I made with their ancestors
on the day when I reached out and took them by the hand
to lead them away from the land of Egypt.
They didn’t remain, after all, in my covenant,
and (says the Lord) I ceased to care for them.
10 This is the covenant I will establish,
after those days with the house of Israel:
my laws will I place in their minds, says the Lord,
and write on their hearts; thus I shall be God
for all of them; they’ll be my people indeed.
11 No more will they need to teach their own neighbours,
or their brothers and sisters, to know me, the Lord;
for from least unto greatest, each one shall know me,
12 For I shall be merciful to their injustices
and as for their sins, I’ll forget them for ever.

13 Thus, when it speaks of a new covenant, it puts the first one out of date. And something that is out of date, and growing old, is about to disappear.