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The transition to the New Covenant completes the Gospel.  The transition from the Old to the New Covenant is the great transition in the Bible.  It is why there are two Testaments, a Hebrew Old and a Greek New Testament.  The Old Testament, or the Law, “was given through Moses” while the New Testament, the fulness of grace and truth, “were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).   The difference in the experience of the Gospel between the Old and New Covenants is as wide as heaven and earth.  The Old Covenant provided and “earthly sanctuary” (9:1).  The New Covenant provides believers with face-to-face fellowship with God in heaven (9:24).

 

Covenants include provisions and stipulations.  The most common application of the word ‘covenant’ is a will when a person dies, as in the phrase, “last will and testament.”  In 9:15 – 17, the writer compares the New Covenant to a will, since it involves the transfer of the incredible riches of the Son of God as an inheritance to believers upon the atoning death of the Son.  The provisions and stipulations of the New Covenant are incredibly favorable.  The provisions include ownership of everything in heaven and earth, since Christ created and owns all of these things (1:2 – 3).  The stipulations are merely that one put his faith in and love the LORD Jesus Christ as a manifestation of his spiritual regeneration.  Comparatively, the provisions and stipulations of the Old Covenant were unfavorable.  The provision was the temporary outward cleansing of animal blood (9:13), with the stipulation that the worshipper observe the Law of Moses perfectly (2:2; 10:28).  The favorability of the provisions and stipulations of the New v. the Old Covenant is so marked that it is no surprise that the writer calls the New Covenant “better” (8:6).

 

The New Covenant provides three main “better” things.  The first is a superior payment.  The redemption payment of Christ’s blood has the power to make a believer clean on the inside as well as the outside (8:10).  It has much greater cleansing power than animal blood (9:14).  It also has much greater potency.  Under the Old Covenant, a worshipper had to bring animal blood frequently (9:25), whereas under the New Covenant, the sacrifice of Christ perfected all believers for all time in one sacrifice (10:14).  There is also a superior place.  Animal blood only had currency on earth – it was not acceptable in heaven.  In contrast, the blood of Christ has the currency and potency to bring the believer all the way into heaven.  With Christ’s sacrifice, God opened up His heavenly home to all believers (9:8) for the first time.  Paul says “absent from the body,” “at home with the LORD” (2 Corinthians 5:8), a phrase not heard in the Old Testament.  The New Covenant also provides a superior High Priest.  The Old Testament priests were sinful and weak, and dealt in inferior currency (7:28).  Jesus, our High Priest, is completely righteous and completely perfects spiritually and physically all who follow Him, so that the writer claims that Jesus even cleanses heaven with His blood (9:23)!

Jesus paid it all: Heavenly Home and Eternal Fellowship!