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Covenant Clash: From Shadow to Reality, Part 1

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Through Jesus, the New Covenant opens the door to a powerfully personal relationship with God (Hebrews 8).

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INTRODUCTION
come in wearing clothes that clash really bad....
come in wearing clothes that clash really bad....
I had a difficult time deciding what to wear today. I love my zip up tie — it is convenient, and nice looking. But I am really into the retro look, so I had to wear my classic brown pin-stripe jacket(though it is a little snug). Then I got to thinking about how close to summer we are — what better way to celebrate than a Hawaiian shirt? And, because I am patriotic and want to celebrate our military — camouflage pants say it all, don’t you think? Finally, I thought I would wear these boots because things are getting really deep in here.
Seriously, what’s wrong with my outfit? Each piece of clothing has value…can be legitimately worn, right? What’s that? They clash, you say? You know, you might be right. Honestly, I should have provided sunglasses and Pepto Bismol before I made my entrance.
Remove outer layer of clothing while continuing to talk
Sometimes things clash: clothes, food combinations, the Titans, husbands & wives, siblings, political parties, people with different belief systems.
Today’s message is “Covenant Clash: From Shadow to Reality, Part 1”
The author of Hebrews makes a powerful case for the fact that the Old Covenant (The Law) and the New Covenant clash — in a way…when you try to implement both at the same time, things don’t work — it gets confusing
Hebrews 8:13 NIV
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth....but not technology. Gradually, things began to develop. Here’s what we know: the old ways of doing things seemed sufficient at the time...but they couldn’t keep up with what we have today. However, it would be foolish to think that i-phones were invented in one day, poof. Communications technology must be traced all the way back to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Samuel Morse (look it up).
(Old folks) “In my day we did things the right way.”
Whippersnappers, “Get with it gramps…keep up with the times.”
Often the reality is that the old ways were great…but they can’t keep up with the needs of today. They did provide a foundation…a framework for what would come. And the new ways are amazing — look at technology. But i-phones didn’t just appear out of thin air…they must be traced all the way back to Alexander Graham Bell and Samuel Morse (look it up).
If you insisted on using old technology in the world we live in, it would clash with modern technology, — it’s obsolete. It is the same with the Old and New Covenants.
Hebrews 10:1 NIV
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
One of the main themes of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus is now our high priest. Under the Old Covenant, the tribe of Levi made up the priesthood. In the old system, Jesus wouldn’t qualify to be a priest because He was from the tribe of Judah. The Levites were men that would die. Jesus lives forever, our perfect high priest and Savior.
Hebrews 10:1
The author of Hebrews explains that Jesus meets our need because He is holy and pure…high and exalted. He is not like the other priests — they had to offer sacrifices day after day..for their own sins and for the sins of the people. But now Jesus is our priest — perfect and eternal.
Hebrews 8:1–2 NIV
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.
Hebrews 8:
BIG IDEA
MAIN TEXT
MAIN TEXT
BIG IDEA
Hebrews 8:6–13 NIV
But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
BIG IDEA
Through Jesus, the New Covenant opens the door to true freedom and joy through a personal relationship with God
How is New covenant better than the Old Covenant?

New Covenant…Better Promises

New Covenant…Better Promises

Hebrews 8:6 The Message
But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he’s working from a far better plan.
Exposition: The book of Hebrews was directed toward a mainly Jewish audience. It was written a few years before the he destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. After this happened, the Old system of the Law discontinued — no more blood sacrifices or burnt offerings — remember, that system was only shadow of the New Covenant in Christ.
…better promises
A better covenant relationship
Christ, as the mediator of this new covenant, has provided a way for us to have a infinitely better relationship with God — it is beyond our human understanding
Why didn’t the old covenant work....why was it flawed?
It was not flawed…the peoples’ hearts were hard
The author then quotes God’s message from the prophet Jeremiah (31)
Hebrews 8:7–8 NIV
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It wasn’t…it was the people (Isreal)
The author quotes God’s message from the prophet Jeremiah (31)
Hebrews 8:9 NIV
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
…better promises
A Solution for the incomplete nature of the Old Covenant
The old ceremonial laws and rituals were replaced by what Christ accomplished
Through His death, burial, resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit to His people
It wasn’t that God gave Moses bad commands on Mount Sinai…no, the people had bad hearts
The Old Covenant revealed God’s forgiveness and patience; it called for faith; it promised God’s love
What was the problem with the Old Covenant?
John Piper pointed out a few things about this
For the most part, these principles didn’t get into the peoples’ hearts
Their response was mainly external rather than internal
Obedience based on will-power instead of reliance on the Spirit
Ritualistic rather than personal
God had lessons he meant to teach in the Old Testament and they involved enduring generations of stubbornness and hard-heartedness until the time the new covenant should come. But now it comes with Jesus Christ, the Mediator of a new covenant — John Piper
Deuteronomy 29:4 NIV
But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.
God had lessons he meant to teach in the Old Testament and they involved enduring generations of stubbornness and hard-heartedness until the time the new covenant should come. But now it comes with Jesus Christ, the Mediator of a new covenant — John Piper
Look at the promises declared by God
Look at the promises declared by God
Hebrews 8:10–11 NIV
This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Hebr
Application
Are you trying to have a relationship with Christ based on your own will-power to be good enough?
That will never work…Jesus’ gave us a better way
The Cross, the resurrection, and the gift of the Holy Spirit
Not based on your own achievements, sacrifices, or will-power, but based upon His grace and the New and complete Covenant He established
Not based on your own achievements, sacrifices, or will-power, but based upon His grace and the New and complete Covenant He established
The New Covenant is not only better than the Old Covenant, it is an unquestionable necessity. To experience God’s mercy, grace, and love, it is essential.

New Covenant…A Necessity

Exposition: Even though the Old Covenant is obsolete (a shadow of the New), the author stops to recognize some of the beauty and holiness of it
He seems indeed to linger over the sacred treasures of the past…there was, he says, something majestic and attractive in the Mosaic ordinances of worship — Westcott
I think the best way to proceed with explaining the necessity of the New Covenant is to simply read what the author of Hebrews wrote
Hebrews 9:1–5 NIV
Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
Hebrews 9:1–10 The Message
That first plan contained directions for worship, and a specially designed place of worship. A large outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and “the bread of presence” were placed in it. This was called “the Holy Place.” Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called “the Holy of Holies.” In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold-covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the covenant tablets, and the angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat. But we don’t have time to comment on these now. After this was set up, the priests went about their duties in the large tent. Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent, and then only once a year, offering a blood sacrifice for his own sins and the people’s accumulated sins. This was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can’t just walk in on God. Under this system, the gifts and sacrifices can’t really get to the heart of the matter, can’t assuage the conscience of the people, but are limited to matters of ritual and behavior. It’s essentially a temporary arrangement until a complete overhaul could be made.
Hebrews 9:6–10 NIV
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
The New Covenant is a necessity because of...
The New Covenant is a necessity because of...
Restricted Access in the Old
The Annual Day of Atonement — on that day only, the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies
The presence of the Outer Tent was a visible reminder that there was an inner tent that they were not allowed to enter
The presence of the Outer Tent was a visible reminder that there was an inner tent that they were not allowed to enter
This was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can’t just walk in on God (9:8)
Partial Cleansing in the Old
The real barrier between us and God is not just a physical one
The heavy curtain was symbolic…our problem is not just external but also internal
The Old Covenant did all it could do
It could not bring help to people where it is needed most…in their conscience
All the sacrifices in the world couldn’t help the inner hurts, wounds, and sins of a person…only temporary feeling of relief, at the most. A band-aid, not a cure
The New Covenant of Christ provides full and complete cleansing on the inside
Limited Pardon in the Old
Only sin’s of ignorance could be forgiven
Accidental, unwitting sins
No forgiveness for sins that were deliberate
People that were not straying, wandering prodigals, but rebels and willing sinners…what could be done for them?
The book of Hebrews is an amazing help those souls that suffer with a constant guilty conscience
Eternal forgiveness, God’s promises, the assurance of the New Covenant, “I will be merciful…I will forgive (Jeremiah)”
God declared it…Christ made it happen through His loving actions
The New Covenant is a necessity because...
It provides redemption, once and for all
Redemption: deliverance from sin and freedom from captivity! Made possible by someone purchasing our freedom!
The repetitive, incomplete sacrifices of the Old Covenant clash with the finality of Christ’s death on the Cross — it is a complete work!
Hebrews 10:11–14 NIV
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
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It purifies our conscience
It purifies our conscience
It purifies our conscience
Hebrews 10:22 NIV
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:22
The New Covenant is a necessity because...
It purifies our conscience
The Message of Hebrews b. It Purifies Our Conscience

The blood of Christ is God’s answer to man’s disturbed conscience. He can be cleansed and know he is forgiven. For all its sophisticated ceremonial rites, first-century Judaism knew no experience of freedom and release from the consciousness of sin.

The New Covenant is a necessity because...
It makes our service to God Holy
Not religious, dead works
It makes our service to God Holy
But service to the living God
CHALLENGE
Jesus fulfilled all the demands of the Old Covenant, in order to offer true freedom and joy to the world, through a personal relationship with God
Jesus fulfilled all the demands of the Old Covenant, in order to offer true freedom and joy to the world, through a personal relationship with God
Jesus replaced the shadows with reality
The O.T priesthood was a shadow and a copy of Heavenly things
Their actions were a shadow
The animal sacrifices were a shadow
The feast and dietary laws were a shadow
Jesus is our focus and place of worship
Jesus is our focus and place of worship
Jesus is our High priest…our Mediator and defender
Jesus is our intercessor
Jesus is our atoning sacrifice, our Passover feast, and our spiritual food
Jesus makes us pure and holy…set apart because of His grace
The worship and focus of the New Covenant is radically spiritual and personal…not ritualistic or conditional
Ours is a missionary faith - a message that is destined to be preached to all the world
Our worship is radical…for all cultures and all people that call upon the name of Jesus
Christianity is a radically spiritual, internal, personal joyful dependence on all that God is for us in Jesus
Christianity is a radically spiritual, internal, personal joyful dependence on all that God is for us in Jesus
Christianity is a radically spiritual, internal, personal joyful dependence on all that God is for us in Jesus
What does this look like in real life?
People that humbly pursue God with repentant and joyful hearts — on a daily basis
People that are excited to be members of God’s family and cherish the fellowship of worship and service — consistently
People that live out the Good News of Christ through sharing His love and truth to the world — through their words and actions
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