BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 12, Day 3: Hebrews 8:1-9:10

Summary of passage:  Our high priest sat down at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in heaven and serves in the sanctuary set up by the Lord.  Earthly priests serve a a sanctuary here on earth that is an exact copy of that one in Heaven.  But Jesus’ ministry is superior and founded on better promises.

God has said He would make a new covenant with the people unlike the covenant He made with our forefathers.  God will put His laws in the minds and hearts of the people and the people will all know Him.  He will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.  God had made the first covenant obsolete by calling this one “new”.

The first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary.  In this tabernacle was a Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, which held the altar of incense and the ark of the covenant.  This ark held the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff, and the stone tablets of the covenant (the ten commandment tablets).

Only the high priest could enter into the inner room and only once a year and never without blood, which he offered for the sins of the people.  This showed that the way into the Most High Place (where God himself dwelled) had not yet been disclosed.  Therefore, the sacrifices were not able to clear the conscious of the worshiper.  They were only external regulations applying until the new order arrived (Jesus).

Questions:

6)  Christ’s ministry is to all on earth from heaven.

7a)  According to Webster’s a covenant is “a usually formal, solid, and binding agreement usually written under seal between two or more parties for the performance of some action.”

My Bible Dictionary lists one whole page on the different covenants but suffice it to say it’s an agreement between two or more parties.

b)  The new covenant lives in the minds and hearts of all people when they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and the Holy Spirit dwells within.  God will be our God, no longer separated from us by men.  He will forgive all our sins.

The old covenant had an intermediary (blood of the old covenant–a sacrificial animal as described in Exodus) between us and God whereby it had to be offered every time in order to be forgiven.  Jesus’ blood forever sealed God’s covenant with us, allowing God to immediately forgive us our transgressions and remember them no more.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  New Covenant

8 )  There were regulations of worship and an earthly sanctuary (the only place where God dwelt) called the Most Holy Place where only a priest with blood could enter into God’s presence once a year to atone for the people’s sins.  This was separated from the rest of the Tabernacle by a curtain.

The way for everyone into the Most High Place (or presence of God) had not yet been made (Jesus’ death).  The gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscious of the worshipper.  They were external regulations that did not affect the internal soul.

I have debated before on this blog how people who died before Christ could not enter Heaven.  They went to a special place and only entered upon Jesus’ death.  You can read about this HERE.

The Old Covenant was not complete.  Not until Jesus declared on the cross was it finished, as indicted when Jesus said, “It is finished.”  John 19:30

Conclusions:  I definitely did not like Question 6 and am unsure how it relates to the rest of the passage.  I’m unsure what BSF is asking by the word “place” so I answered the place is everywhere on earth from heaven.  I really don’t see any child (depending on the age of what a child is these days) coming up to me and asking, “What’s the place of Christ’s ministry?”  I just don’t see this.

Easy lesson for those who understand the differences between the Old and New Covenant.  Probably not so easy for those new to the Word because Hebrews compacts in 10 verses the majority of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (not easy books to understand with all the regulations).

But if you understand this bit in Hebrews you have a good grasp of the major problems with the Old Covenant.

This site lists the differences between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.  Very informative.  Scroll down to the bottom.

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/5808.htm

My favorite is #9.  How before the covenant was written on tablets of stone and now it is written on our hearts.  It’s much more personal, much more intimate, much more powerful and effective.  God’s true love, mercy, and grace.  Perfect!