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10 September 2019

The Mosaic Legislation Made Obsolete in the Son


The Tabernacle and Temple
The book of Hebrews is structured around a series of comparisons that demonstrate the superiority of the revelation given by God in Jesus to all the past but incomplete ones, including the legislation given at Mount Sinai. The purpose is not to denigrate Moses or the Law, but to stress the superiority of the final “Word” spoken in Jesus.
The word spoken in the Son is complete and “better than” the partial revelations given through the “prophets” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Son, “having achieved purification of sins,” sat down at God’s right hand, having been “appointed heir of all things” (Psalm 110:1). This means that the old word spoken “in the prophets” did not achieve the “purification of sins” or the installation of the Messiah to reign over the kingdom of God.
After demonstrating the superiority of the Son over angels, the Author warns that if the previous incomplete word included “just recompense” for disobedience, so we will not escape far worse punishment if we ignore the superior word that was spoken through the Son (2:1-4).
In chapters 7-10, the Author continues to demonstrate the superior revelation revealed in Jesus by contrasting the priesthood, covenant, and the sacrifice of the Son with the Aaronic priesthood, the old covenant, and the repeated animal sacrifices of the Levitical system.
The fact that God promised a future priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek,” proved that the Aaronic priesthood could not achieve the purification of sins. Under the previous priesthood, the people received the law, but a change in the priesthood means “a change of law” (7:11-12).
The old priesthood, due to human mortality, was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of priests; in contrast, the priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” is perpetual because it is based on an endless resurrected life (Hebrews 7:15-17).
Unlike the Levitical priesthood, the priest after the order of Melchizedek was installed by God’s declared word and oath (“The Lord swore and will not regret, You are a priest everlastingly”); therefore, Jesus holds the priesthood “un-transmissible.” Moreover, he became the “guarantor of a better covenant” and, therefore, is able to save to the uttermost everyone who approaches God through him, because he “lives evermore to intercede in their behalf” (Hebrews 7:19-25).
Unlike the Levitical priests, Jesus “sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,” becoming the minister of “the Real Tabernacle” rather than one assembled and pitched by man. The Levitical priesthood and its sacrificial system constitute “glimpses and shadows of the heavenly realities,” just as Moses was told to make the earthly Tabernacle, “according to the pattern he had seen in the mount” (8:1-5).
(Hebrews 8:13) – “In saying, ‘Of a new sort’, he has made obsolete the first.”
Since Jesus attained to a more distinguished ministry, he also is the mediator of a better covenant legislated upon better promises. If the “first covenant” had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second one.  However, having found fault with it, the Lord announced the coming days when “I will conclude a new covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13).
This promised new covenant is expressly stated NOT to be “according to the covenant” made at Sinai; it is not a “renewed” or modified piece of legislation but an entirely new one.  This was necessary because the old one instituted at Sinai was incapable of achieving the “purification of sins.
The new covenant enables all citizens of the kingdom to know God and establishes each believer as a member of His people; His righteous requirements having been written on their hearts. Moreover, unlike the legislation at Sinai, the new covenant does achieve the purification of sins (“I will become merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins will I remember no more”); it succeeds where the old one failed.
By establishing the promised new covenant, the Son “has made the first obsolete”; it is already in the process of disappearing (Hebrews 8:13). This means that the jurisdiction of the covenant established at Sinai has ceased to be in effect because of the superior act of the Son, Jesus Christ. Anyone who wishes to place himself under the old legislation chooses that which is now obsolete, which has demonstrated its inability to purify believers from the stain of sin.  Doing so is regression, not revelation.

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