The End of the Old Covenant

The Old Testament and the New Covenant   Part 2

Taking off from yesterday, remember that the Old Testament is largely a description of the old covenant.  From Exodus chapter 19 to the end of the Old Testament (technically until the death of Jesus), the Jews lived under the old covenant arrangement.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament paints a clear picture of the contrast between the two covenants; the old and the new.  Over several chapters, the author unpacks the idea that the new covenant brought to us by Jesus is better than the old because …

Jesus brings a better hope (Hebrews 6:19-7:19),

Jesus is a better priest (Hebrews 7:21-8:2),

Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant (Hebrews 8:4-13),

Jesus is a better sacrifice (Hebrews 9:11-28),

Jesus is a better offering for sin (Hebrews 10:1-16), and

Jesus’ new covenant is built on better promises (Hebrews chapter 11).

The author summarizes the fate of the old covenant in this way, “But now Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.  For finding fault with them God says, ‘Behold days are coming when I will effect a new covenant’ … When God said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete.  But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”  (Hebrews 8:6-8,13).

“God made the first covenant [the old covenant] obsolete.”  What do you think about this concluding thought?  What do you think about the finality of the old covenant being declared obsolete?  Not only is the new covenant superior to the old (from the list above), but the old has actually gone away.

I like the paraphrase of The Message Bible for verse 13, “By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and His people, God put the old plan on the shelf.  And there it stays, gathering dust.”  That is quite a visual of the end of the old covenant.

Do you agree with that conclusion?  How does this make you feel about the old covenant?  How does this make you feel about the Old Testament?  Before you go too far down this road, let’s come back tomorrow and look at a comparison of the two covenants from the apostle Paul.

One thought on “The End of the Old Covenant”

  1. One thing that comes to mind is a state requirement to post the ten commandments in classrooms.

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