But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
The mediator of a better covenant. Jesus is God’s representative to humanity, and our representative to God.
A better covenant. The new covenant is better than the old for it does not rely on the imperfect obedience of unreliable people. In the new covenant, God the Father guarantees one side and God the Son guarantees the other. Jesus the faithful high priest was obedient unto death and his perfect obedience results in righteousness for all who put their faith in him.
“FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS,
AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
I will put my laws into their minds. The law that God writes on our hearts and minds is not to the knowledge of right and wrong, nor is it the law of Moses. The only laws that God writes on our hearts are his royal laws of love and faith (John 10:34, Rom. 3:27). God pours out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). He teaches us to trust him and he empowers us to love others (1 John 4:19).
Yet there is an even deeper meaning to these laws that God writes on our hearts. Jeremiah the prophet said that those who had the new law written on their hearts would know the Lord and would no longer need others to teach them (Jer. 31:33-34). He was referring to the indwelling Spirit (a.k.a. the law of the Spirit of life) and the believer’s union with Christ. One with the Lord you have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), and his indwelling Spirit teaches you all things (John 14:26). The law of the Lord written into your members is your Father’s spiritual DNA. It is the seed of God birthed in you by the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus himself. Jesus is the new law written, by God, in your heart and mind.
Further reading: “What is the law written on our hearts?”
“FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”
(a) Merciful. He is the God of all grace (1 Pet. 5:10) and the Father of all mercies (2 Cor. 1:3).
(b) Merciful to their iniquities. Mercy is how grace appears to the sinful. Just as we are saved by grace (Eph. 2:5), we are saved by mercy (Tit. 3:5). Just as we are forgiven by grace (Eph. 1:7), we are forgiven by mercy (Matt. 18:33, Luke 1:77-78, Heb. 8:12). See entry for Mercy.
(c) Remember their sins no more. If the old covenant was characterized by the marking of sins (Jer. 14:10, Hos. 7:2, 8:13, 9:9), the new covenant is characterized by the remission or dismissal of sins. Unconditional love implies unconditional forgiveness. Because of his great love for us, God remembers our sins no more, just as the prophets foretold (Is. 43:25, Jer. 31:34).
When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
Obsolete. The old covenant ended at the cross (Heb. 9:16), but as far as far as the unbelieving Jews were concerned temple worship continued as before.
Further reading: “When did the old covenant end?”
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