Read: Hebrews 8

Not long ago football enthusiasts pondered the strengths and weaknesses of those individuals who were entering the NFL draft. Quite honestly I don’t follow the event that much. But I was intrigued by a common question that TV sports analysts asked one another. After a team would select a specific player, the host would say to the members of his panel, “Ok, guys, just how good IS this player?” And that question would lead to a litany of statistics that would escalate or alleviate concerns over the value of any given draft pick.

If you read through Hebrews 8 several times you might sense the echo of a similar question. You may recall that the audience that received the Letter to the Hebrews appears to be some unidentified group of people who were having second thoughts about their Christian faith. Apparently they were having doubts about Christianity because of persecution. We don’t know if they were fairly new converts or a group of discouraged leaders. But according to Hebrews 12:4 they had not yet shed any blood in their efforts to persevere. So the writer encourages them to remain faithful to Jesus. In the middle of the Book of Hebrews he introduces evidence-upon-evidence about the person and work of Jesus Christ. His purpose was to convince his readers (including you) that perseverance in the midst of hardships is a very reasonable response to make. 

Our chapter for this week, Hebrews 8, is directly connected to the concluding words of Hebrews 7:28. We are reminded that God appointed Jesus to be our eternal, High Priest. The word “perfected” not only refers to His sinless nature, but it also implies that He has fulfilled the promise of God to send a high priest in the form of Melchizedek. We sometimes read that word “perfected” as if it means that Jesus grew into a sinless state. But it is better to understand the concept in terms of “fulfilling” the promises of God the Father completely.

So read Hebrews 8 again and listen for a question that is “whispered” in the background. It might be your own inquiry or one coming from our first-century counterparts. Someone is asking, “So just how great is this Jesus, our High Priest?” The chapter unfolds into two basic parts: (1) a description of the location and ministry of Jesus (8:1-6), and (2) the disclosure that Jesus is the mediator of the promised New Covenant, first introduced in Jeremiah 31 (8:7-13). My guess is that you might read the chapter and assume that it has nothing to do with you and your own struggles in life. But before you dismiss this text, ponder what the Holy Spirit wants to say to you? Be sure to ask, “Just how great (and significant) is Jesus, our High Priest?” And what’s the answer? JESUS IS SUCH A GREAT HIGH PRIEST, THAT HE HAS MADE US HIS NEW COVENANT PEOPLE. 

You and I don’t deserve that honor. But by faith in Christ, that’s what we are. We are New Covenant citizens! And what does that mean in terms of our everyday experiences on this side of heaven? What does it mean with respect to the care of your soul? Consider the following:
  • As New Covenant citizens we have a well-positioned advocate who is always interceding on our behalf (7:25 & 8:1-2). His ministry is superior to any human minister that we might have (8:6). 
  • As members of the New Covenant we also have a spiritual tutor, one who teaches us what it means to know God (8:10-11). 
  • As New Covenant citizens we also have a relationship with God that cannot be broken. God’s new covenant assures us that He will be merciful and forgiving, no matter how great our sinful acts might be (8:12). 

So how great is King Jesus? He’s absolutely perfect! And in His priestly perfection He has made us New Covenant citizens. So before you even consider abandoning your faith because life is too difficult, consider Jesus. Remind yourself afresh that He is your King, and you are called to be His faithful, persevering citizen.

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