This week’s R2R distinctive
Worship (Psalm 95:1-7): I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.
We continue to look at the priesthood of Jesus Christ who is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The writer to the Hebrews brings into sharp contrast the ways of the Old Covenant vs. the much better New Covenant.
If we played a word identification game and I asked you to name the first word that comes to your mind when I say “the Law,” many of you would probably point to the Ten Commandments and the legal institution God created at Mt. Sinai. Yet, surprisingly, the writer to the Hebrews does not focus on this aspect of the Law. Instead, he draws our attention to the priesthood and the tabernacle, the place of worship under the Old Covenant.
In Hebrews 9, the writer gives us a detailed look at an Old Covenant worship service. At the center of this worship was the tabernacle, or tent. We see the Aaronic Priesthood in all of its glory, yet impotent when it comes to the most essential aspect of worship–drawing near to God. Everything about the tabernacle is in place to separate sinful man from a Holy God. Only Jesus can bridge that awful divide.
This is the immense privilege we have under the New Covenant. No longer are we separated from God. When Jesus declared it “finished” on the cross, the curtain separating man from God was torn in two as Jesus stood in our place and the Father declared us righteous because of the sacrificial death of Jesus. As our “take home truth” reminds us, “the Old Covenant was only a shadow of the heavenly temple and was unable to redeem mankind, whereas the New Covenant is based on the heavenly temple and is able to accomplish inward redemption.”–Chris Eller