v1-6 - The last several chapters have been all about the priestly duties of Christ, and that all gets brought to a head in today's opening verse: "the main point of what we're saying is this:" Jesus is the ultimate mediator between God and man. No other religious scheme is needed. In our modern American context, we often emphasize the personal aspect of our faith. This isn't necessarily wrong, since God does know you quite personally - He choose you before time began and created you to do good works for Him, and now He watches over you so that not a hair can fall from your head without His permission (don't worry... He's watching over you bald people also!). But we're going to get a good reminder as we go through this next section of Hebrews that although you have a personal relationship with God, you have it because He's joined you to His covenant people. God has always dealt with His people through covenants, which are solemn arrangements in which God promises to be our God, and we promise to live as His people. God established His Covenant of Grace with Abraham, and continued to expand these promises in covenants with Moses and David, just to name a couple. This next section of Hebrews is going to demonstrate how all of these Old Testament practices, which were stipulated by those early covenants, were just a "copy and shadow of what is in Heaven (v5)." Just as the previous section demonstrated that Jesus was a superior mediator (priest), the new covenant that Jesus inaugurated, that you are now a member of, is superior because it is established on better promises (v6).
v7-13 - This passage is nearly a verbatim quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 in which God promises to re-establish His covenant with His wayward, covenant-breaking people.
Old Testament Reference(s) -
It's helpful to skim the context of the passage from Jeremiah 31. Notice that these promises were made by God through Jeremiah before God's people were exiled to Babylon. God was faithful to His covenant even when His people were not, and He had a plan of redemption before He allowed them to be taken away.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: How is God described in the opening verse of this chapter?
From what you see in this chapter, what is it that the author most wants us to understand about the “new covenant”?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father who sits on the throne of Majesty in heaven (v1)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God's law will clear in your mind and written on your heart, so that He will be your God and you will be a strong member of His people (v10)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: