You’re listening to the ReDescovering the Bible Online Radio Show with Sam Burton episode 50.
Welcome back. For those of you tuning in for the very first time, a special welcome to you. It’s been a long time coming. I’m Sam, I’m your host. I’m coming to you from the Camper and I’m delighted to be here.
I want to thank you for all your support the last couple months. I’m really touched by the number of you who’ve written notes of support or spoken to me about your appreciation for the podcost. That touches me so much. I just want to add, for those of you who don’t know, that I’ve had some health issues that have prevented me from updating, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it was fairly serious. It’s mostly over now and I feel great. So I’m trying again. It would really mean a great deal to me if you would continue to lift me up in your prayers.
Let’s see, where should we go to keep you updated? First, Brittan and I are still planning to head to Scotland as soon as we’ve raised enough money. For those of you interested, as some of you have indicated, you can just log onto our website, www.risegroup.us, and go to our giving page for a link to instructions.
Ok, that should catch you up on everything, so let’s get right into today’s text. If you think way back to our last time together, we’re looking at the book of Hebrews as key to understanding the old testament. We looked at how Jesus was superior to angels, to Moses and to Aaron. Today, we want to look and see that Jesus provides us a better covenant. And we’ll find that in Hebrews 8,9,10.
First, though, I think it’s interesting that the writer uses the Tabernacle, rather than the temple itself as the picture. Remember that while God himself gave instructions for the tabernacle, it was David who envisioned the temple and left instructions for it’s building. Then after it was destroyed by the Babylonians, the new temple was designed and build by Zerubbabel. They were both accepted by God, but were not authorized by him. It is this temporary structure that is said to be a picture and a shadow. Solomon’s temple was extremely ornate and in second Chronicles we read how God honored this gift from David and his son. Zerubbabel’s temple was not so lavish, yet God said that it would see God’s glory is greater ways that Solomon’s had ever seen.
Think about that, Solomon’s temple, with all it’s gold, silver, and other precious materials, had seen the glory of God in such a way that the people couldn’t for fear enter it. There was no such display at the dedication of Zerubbabel’s Temple. But God had promised a greater glory for it. The promise of Haggai 2 to be empty. That glory didn’t come when King Saul refurbished it. There was no sign of such glory. The glory came, when into that temple was carried Jesus of Nazareth, by his mother and step father. It was this temple of Zerubbabel, where Jesus cleared the money changers, it was this temple that had His footprints throughout it. When the Hebrew writer declares the superiority of Jesus to Moses, I’m certain he had this Old Testament promise in mind.
God said He was going to make a New Covenant with the Jews, and we find that New Covenant described in the book of Hebrews. That’s one of the reasons I just can’t agree with those who are looking for God to bring about a revival of the old temple and sacrificial system. Why in the world would our God want to take the Jews to a picture of heaven, when he can take them to the real deal. A new covenant with and through His Son, Jesus.
The Crucifixion of Jesus, fulfills and nullifies all of the old Covenant. Starting with the sacrifice. The Hebrew writer says clearly in Chapter 10 verse 4, that the blood of Bulls and Goats could NEVER take away sin. Bulls and goats were a messy, gory, picture of how bad sin is. Think for a minute about the millions upon millions of animals sacrificed and whose flesh was burned on the altar. Yet their blood, even the gallons of it spilled, could NEVER cover a single sin.
Jesus blood, though, covers every sin ever committed. Do you get that? Every sin you’ve ever committed and every sin you will ever commit, was covered by His once for all sacrifice. That’s good news. No, that’s great news.
God is never going to go back to a system that didn’t work. It was temporary. What Jesus did is forever.
So as we study the old testament, let’s look for signs of permanence. Let’s look for promises of Jesus. And when we find them, let’s celebrate.
This week is what’s called Holy Week. The last week of Jesus ministry. It began with his Triumphal Entry into the City of Jerusalem. And it Ended with His resurrection from the dead. In between we have his arrest, and his murder. Those things are promised in the old Testament. We will see the first promise of Him in the 3rd Chapter of Genesis. And as we weep at what our sin did to Him, we celebrate His willingness to suffer it.
The book of Hebrews uses the tabernacle, not the temple, to describe how the Gospel is superior to the Old Covenant. From the sacrifice, now instead of millions of animals and gallons of blood, we have a once for all sacrifice, to the basin of washing, which had to be used over and over to cleanse the priests, to baptism which represents our cleansing, one time we have to be washed, and only once. And finally, the tearing of the temple curtain from top to bottom showing us that Jesus sacrifice is a complete one and not the way to God is open. We no longer need priests and high priests. We all have access to the Creator of the world directly through the sacrifice of Jesus.
As we read the old testament, we must look for promises of Jesus and celebrate. That’s the only way the old Testament makes sense.
Paul wrote in first Corinthians chapter 15, that if Jesus is not raised, we are of all men most miserable. But He IS raised, and that’s the best news ever heard.
That’s all I’ve got this week. Next we’ll start the old testament. Happy Easter every one.