Introduction: We are bombarded all the time with “new and improved”
products. Offers for better deals come flying at us through the
radio, television and newspapers. Did you know that in the Bible we
find an offer of a new deal? A new and improved promise from God?
Let’s jump into our study of the book of Hebrews and find out about
this new offer!
- Superior Deal
- The first five verses of Hebrews 8 tell us that Jesus and
the sanctuary in Heaven are superior to the High Priest
and sanctuary service of the Old Testament. Read Hebrews
8:6. Is there also a contrast between Jesus’ ministry and
the ministry of the High Priest in the earthly sanctuary?
- If you say, “Yes,” what is it? (Jesus is working with
“new stuff.” He has a new, superior ministry. He
mediates a new, superior covenant. The new covenant
has “better promises.”)
- We have previously learned that a “covenant” is
like an agreement or a will. To simplify things,
let’s just call the new covenant the new “deal.”
- Who is the recipient of the “better promises” under
the new deal?
- Does this mean we are getting a better deal?
- If you see an advertisement for a “new and improved”
product, what is your first question? (How is it
- What are these better promises in this new,
better deal with God? How is it improved?
- Read Hebrews 8:7. Why did we get a better deal? (The old
deal was faulty.)
- Who decided that something was wrong with the old
deal? (It must have been God who made that decision.
That is the implication.)
- Read Hebrews 8:8-9. We now learn that the “fault,” the
problem, under the old deal was with us. We did not obey.
If humans did not obey God under the old deal, and that
was the problem with it, why not say that humans were
faulty, and not the old deal? Why does the old deal get
blamed instead of humans? (Verse 8 does say that God found
fault with humans. But verse 7 told us the old deal was
- What does this finding of fault say about God’s
attitude towards us? (It shows a heavenly Father who
is generous to us and wants us to be saved. Even
though humans failed to obey, God says “The old deal
was faulty, let’s improve the deal.”)
- Better Promises
- Read Hebrews 8:10. Remember, I asked you before about the
better promises, the better deal with God? Are these the
better promises? (Yes. This seems to be the explanation of
the improvement in the deal.)
- What, according to verse 10, is God’s first goal for
this new, improved deal? (God’s first goal is for us
to put His laws in our minds.)
- What does it mean to “put [God’s law] in our
minds? Is this some sort of injection? (It
seems to mean that we will understand God’s
laws. We will better understand what is required
of us to walk with God.)
- When dealing with your children or your
employees, how important is it for them to
understand the rules and the reasons for the
rules that apply to them?
- If the law is the same Ten Commandments, then
how are we getting a new deal in the
understanding department? (This points to the
centrality of our superior High Priest, Jesus.
When He came to earth, and lived and died in our
place, He clarified our understanding of the
importance and the purpose of His law. It was
not just animals which were getting killed over
the law, it was God Himself who died. This shows
us the extreme importance of the law to God’s
system of government.)
- Look again at Hebrews 8:10. What is God’s second goal for
this new, improved deal? (To write His law on our hearts.)
- What do you think that means? (We will want to obey.)
- Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 6:6 and read it.
Deuteronomy 5 contains a recitation of the Ten
Commandments. Deuteronomy 6:6 refers back to the Ten
Commandments. Thus, we see that God’s original goal
was for the Ten Commandments to be in our hearts. How
is the deal now improved to accomplish the original
goal of putting the law in our hearts? (Again, the
answer is Jesus. When we see that God died a painful
death for us, when we see the importance of the law
to God’s system of government and our welfare, it
changes our attitude about obedience. It shows us
these are not just arbitrary rules.)
- So far we have seen that Jesus is at the center of the new
covenant, the new deal, between God and humans. Since we
believe that God knows the beginning from the end, why did
He handle things this way? Why give us a faulty deal that
He knew we could not obey, and then later improve the deal
with better promises?
- Why not just offer the better deal from the
- Last week we learned that the Old Testament sanctuary
service was a prophecy about Jesus. How can you fit the
idea that this was God’s plan all along with the
conclusion that the “old deal” was faulty and the “new
deal” has better promises?
- Is it logical to say God created a deal He knew was
faulty so He could improve it later?
- Can you reconcile this Hebrew’s argument (old deal
was faulty, new deal is better) with themes from the
rest of the Bible? (We would not have realized the
hopelessness of our situation without the old deal.
The classic rebellion of humans is to believe that we
are smart enough to get along fine without God. We
see this theme many times in the Bible. We see this
in the theory of evolution, we see this in “works-based” theology, we see this in the belief that
mainly uneducated, easily led people are Christians.
The Old Testament experience shows that without Jesus
we will surely die in our sins. Just as the Old
Testament sanctuary service was a prophecy about what
God would do to save us, it was also a teaching tool
about our need of Christ. The “old deal” taught us
lessons about ourselves and lessons about God.)
- No Teachers?
- Read Hebrews 8:11. Does this mean you should never
consult GoBible.org again? You can skip Sabbath school?
Skip Sunday school? Skip the sermon? Ignore your pastor?
(The Old Testament idea was that the priest-class taught
the unwashed masses. Under the new covenant, when the law
is in our hearts and our minds, the Holy Spirit speaks
directly to each one of us. Jesus’ mediation is direct.
The Holy Spirit works directly with us with no “middle
man” required. Thus, humans can help each other
understand God, but God Himself is now the teacher. Since
this text is quoting from Jeremiah 31:34, this is also a
secondary prophecy about our situation in Heaven.)
- The Better Result
- Read Hebrews 8:12. When Jesus is our High Priest acting on
our behalf in heaven, what is the result? (We not only
have our sins forgiven, but God promises to no longer
remember our sins! The blood of animals cannot cleanse us
- Read Hebrews 8:13. Has the Old Testament sanctuary service
- If so, how? (The temple itself was destroyed by the
Romans in 70 A.D.)
- What impact does that destruction have upon the
credibility of the claim that Jesus is now our
High Priest in Heaven? (This is yet further
proof that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Soon
after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the entire
sanctuary service that pointed to Him was
destroyed. It was destroyed because it was now
“obsolete and aging.”)
- Friend, God offers you a better deal. Will you acknowledge
your sinfulness and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf
in satisfaction of the requirements of God’s law? It is a
fantastic deal and a limited time offer. Why not repent
and accept today?
- Next week: Jesus and the Sanctuary.