ALL PROSPEROUS IN HIS MINISTRY
by J. B. Hewitt, Chesterfield
1. The Better Sanctuary, w. 1-6. More Excellent Ministry. The Superior Priest, v. 1. Possessed - “we have”; Provided by God – available; His position – seated; Place of highest honour - “right hand”; Authority - “throne”; Glory - “Majesty”, Locality - “in the heavens".
The Sanctuary Perfect, v. 2. Its character holy - “sanctuary";
A centre of divine glory - “tabernacle”; Of divine creation - “the Lord pitched".
A Sacrifice Essential, v. 3. Purpose of priesthood - “offer gifts and sacrifices”; Fulfilled when He offered Himself, 9. 13,14. This theme is developed in chapter 9.
Sphere of Priesthood, v. 4. Heavenly not earthly. Present tense infers that the temple was standing when this letter was written. Christ did not fully accomplish this purpose on earth, because He was not of the priestly tribe, 7. 13. He is fulfilling it now in heaven. The type is of Aaron, but the order is of Melchisedec.
Shadow of Heavenly Things, v. 5. The tabernacle is a copy and a shadow, yet valuable: divinely significant and important with nothing left to human imagination.
Superiority of Heavenly Minister, v. 6. His ministry was heavenly, Aaron’s was earthly; Christ’s was spiritual, not temporal or material. The better covenant is spiritual, universal, eternal and internal. Contrast this with the old covenant.
2. The BetterCovenant, w.7-13.More Embracing Covenant. A covenant is an agreement. A testament is a will, a promise to be fulfilled after death. Covenants are of two kinds, conditional and unconditional.
The first covenant, Gen. 3. 15-19, was made with Adam and Eve and was conditional.
The second covenant, Gen. 9. 8-17, was God’s covenant with Noah and was unconditional.
The Failure of the Old Covenant. It was not perfect, Exod. 24. 1-11. Faulty – it did not meet the need of man; it was lacking in power. Discontinued – place was found for the new covenant, Heb. 8. 7. Disobeyed - “finding fault with them’, 8-9. External – written on stones. Temporary – see Galatians 3. 19. Waxed old and vanished away, Heb. 8. 13.
The Fulness of the New Covenant, Described and assured, vv. 10-13. Prophetically foretold, Jer. 31. 31-34. Historically fulfilled, Luke 22. 20. Doctrinally expounded, Heb. 8. 10-13. Absolutely guaranteed, 8. 12. Revelation of love and mercy, 12. Revelation of law, 10 – present in the mind and treasured in the heart. Revelation of knowledge, n. Realisation of fellowship, 11-12. God and man reconciled.
HIS BLOOD ALL PROCURING IN ITS EFFICACY
1. The Mediator in a Better Sanctuary, vv. 1-14. The Two Ministries.
The Sanctuary Described, vv. 1-5. The articles appointed foreshadowed Christ. The “divine service”, I, was local and transitory, while the New is eternal and permanent. The type in this chapter is the day of atonement, Lev. 16; Heb. 9. 7, 24, 28. The divine presence - “ark”. The divine power - “rod that budded”. The divine provision – altar of access. Divine law - “tables".
The Service Detailed, w. 6-10. The tabernacle service was spiritually inadequate. Restriction - “once every year”, 7. Exclusion - “high priest alone”, 7. Condition - “not without blood”, 7. imperfection - “not yet made manifest”, 8. An illustration of better things; it was a symbolical representation, 9.
The Substance Divine, vv. 11-14. The glories and perfections of Christ. An abiding Priest, n. Bringing an acceptable Offering, 12. An accomplished work - “redemption”, 12. Assured people – purged, 14. It was necessary for Christ to enter in “by his own blood”, and to present Himself, vv. 12-14. Trace the New Testament references to the words “his own".
2. The Mercy of a Better Ministry, vv. 15-28. The True Minister.
His Ministry is Efficacious, w. 15-22. We rest in Him. The covenant ratified by death, 15. The need recognised, 16. Christ’s full and voluntary surrender gives validity and efficacy to the New Covenant. “The ‘Covenant’ of which Christ is Mediator is identified with the ‘Testament’ of which Christ is the Testator, and His death has brought us into the benefits of this Covenant”, F. W. Grant.
His Ministry is Effectual, w. 23-28. Representation before God – He appears for us, 24. Revelation of grace – He appeared on earth, 26. Purification of the heavens – by a better Sacrifice, 23. Completion of His work – once for all, 26. Provision of His death – bears the sins of many, 28. Examination of men – tribunal set up, 27. Manifestation of the Lord – visible coming, 28; Rev. 1. 7. This is not the rapture, 1 Thess. 4, but the appearing, the epiphany, 2 Thess. 2. 8, “brightness”.
Suggestions for Study. Chapter 8. Contrast the sanctuaries and covenants here. Consider the references to “himself” and “consider’ in this book; also all references to the Lord “sitting”, “set” and “sat” at the right hand.
Chapter 9. Meditate on the word “once” in chapters 9 and 10. Note the contrasts in this chapter, e.g., the sanctuaries, the ministries, the sacrifices, the ministers. Examine how everything in Christ and through Christ is “better’ here.
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