Reflecting Jesus

Why would anyone want to go back to the Law of Moses after tasting the salvation of Jesus? Sadly, this is something Christians in the first century struggled with, particularly those who had been raised as Jews under the Law of Moses. Even more sadly, there are Christians today who want to return to the Law of Moses and add it to what we have in Jesus. Notice what Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians.

“The law that brought death was written in words on stone. It came with God’s glory, which made Moses’ face so bright that the Israelites could not continue to look at it. But that glory later disappeared. So surely the new way that brings the Spirit has even more glory. If the law that judged people guilty of sin had glory, surely the new way that makes people right with God has much greater glory. That old law had glory, but it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of this new way. If that law which disappeared came with glory, then this new way which continues forever has much greater glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11 NCV)

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Jesus’ covenant is better

After establishing that Jesus is not only a high priest for God’s people but a better high priest, the writer of Hebrews goes on to establish that everything about Jesus being our high priest is better than what the Jews had with their high priest.

“Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have this kind of high priest. He sat down at the right side of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. He’s serving as a priest in the holy place, which is the true meeting tent that God, not any human being, set up. Every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. So it’s necessary for this high priest also to have something to offer. If he was located on earth, he wouldn’t be a priest because there are already others who offer gifts based on the Law.” (Hebrews 8:1-4 CEB)

The high priests of Israel initially served in a tent that people made, following in every detail “the pattern that I [God] showed you on the mountain” (Hebrews 8:5). Later, although not mentioned by our writer, the priests served in a temple, a building that Solomon had constructed. But our high priest serves in “the true meeting tent that God, not any human being, set up”. It is a “heavenly meeting tent” (Hebrews 8:5). It is in the presence of God himself. Continue reading “Jesus’ covenant is better”

The Rise and fall of the Levitical priesthood

In a previous article, we introduced the importance of studying the priesthood. The priesthood is a story of us, sin, forgiveness, and service. Here we wish to lay a bit of groundwork about the priesthood, and examine why something far greater was necessary.

While the Patriarchs functioned in a priestly fashion (see Genesis 8:17-20; 12:1-9; 14:18-20; Job 1:5; 42:1-9), it is Aaron and his lineage that devoted their lives to the priestly service. Continue reading “The Rise and fall of the Levitical priesthood”

The promises and their impact

Decades have passed since I made some promises to a young lady in two different languages. Those promises announced my marital commitment and intended faithfulness to my young bride. At that time, I slipped a tangible symbol of my vows upon her finger to remind her of what I had promised.

God has also made some promises and provided us with a tangible reminder of them. However, he has offered the greatest promises ever – promises offering hope, identity, peace and holiness. Furthermore, unlike us, God is always faithful to his promises. We can know and rest assured God will deliver. Continue reading “The promises and their impact”

The problem of a bad beginning

Maybe it was the fruit trees or something else, but a sweet aroma welcomed the traveler as he entered the spacious valley filled with orchards. Having heard about oranges, but never having eaten one, he stopped to inquire, “Is this an orange orchard? Might I purchase an orange?”

A chuckle preceded the reply, “The first one is my gift!” With this, a round bright orange fruit was tossed at him. Eating it, he experienced a juicy sweet sensation.

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