Hebrews 8:3-13


Chapters 8, 9 and 10 will discuss the heavenly covenant, sanctuary and sacrifice.


The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,


This verse begins the theme for the next two and a half chapters up to 10:18. 


The point of what we are saying” is literally “Now a summary over the things being said”.   The author has said all that he said to get to this topic and explain it. 


What was his point?  What is all this information pointing at?

The author is going to now explain two important things:

    1. What our high priest is offering
    2. Where our high priest is performing his duties


The seated Christ in Hebrews:

1.      1:3 – “The son is. . .After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the  right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

2.      8:1 – “We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. . . . and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.” (8:1,3)

3.      10:12 – “When this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”

4.      12:2 – “for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”

5.      PSALM 110:1 – “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”



and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.


A contrast is made between the “true” (real) and the shadow or image. 

Between God’s and man’s.



Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.


The next chapter will spend more time on this offering



If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.


Jesus was a simple layman when compared to the temple priests.

Even the Qumran community had a priest from the line of Aaron as a teacher.



They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."


“copy” is  “’upodeigma” means a pattern or a copy (also used in 9:23)     

shadow” is “skia” means a shadow or a shadowy outline, a shadowy reflection, or a shadowy suggestion.


Moses saw the actual temple in heaven

Exodus 25:9; 26:30; 27:8. 

In 25: 40 it says “which is being shown you” literally means “which you are caused to see.”


The priests serve at a sanctuary that is a shadow because the whole Levitical order is a foreshadowing of the true spiritual order.  Today this new age of the spirit is the true spiritual order being manifested.



But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.


“mediator” is “mesithV” in the papyri from the time of this writing this word is a common business term referring to am arbitrator or a go between.”


1)     Jesus is superior.

2)     New Covenant is superior.

3)     Ministry is superior.

4)     Promises are superior


“ministry” is “leitourgia” (leitourgia”) and means “service, ministry, religious or sacred service.  This is the common word used to refer to the temple service of priests.


The author has mentioned better promises. 

These promises will be drawn out of the New Covenant contract found in the Old Covenant.



For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.



But God found fault with the people and said:
   "The time is coming, declares the Lord,
      when I will make a new covenant
   with the house of Israel
      and with the house of Judah.


A promise of a new covenant within the Old Covenant indicated that something was wrong.


Jeremiah was the prophet that foretold this.


It will not be like the covenant
      I made with their forefathers
   when I took them by the hand
      to lead them out of Egypt,
   because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
      and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.


Ratification of the Old Covenant recorded in Exodus 24:1-8 (This is referred to in Heb. 9:18-20)


Jeremiah reminds his listeners of the terms of the covenant in Jeremiah 7:23


Jeremiah 24-26 explains the problem: evil hearts and stiff necks.


Jeremiah 11:6 – Jeremiah tries to call them back to their covenant.


Jeremiah watched in 621 as Josiah tried to force a revival to the covenant.  Josiah knew God.  Jeremiah knew God.  But, the people did not.


Jeremiah 31:31 God promises a new  covenant.


This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
      after that time, declares the Lord.
   I will put my laws in their minds
      and write them on their hearts.
   I will be their God,
      and they will be my people.


Promise Number One:

“I will put my laws in their minds.”


Not memorization as in Deuteronomy 6:6-9

The people planned on being obedient (Ex.24:7)

The problem was not the law but the weak flesh and sin nature as in Romans 8:3


Ezekiel 11:19-20


No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
      or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
   because they will all know me,
      from the least of them to the greatest.


Promise Number Two:

“They will all know me.”


This was a matter of personal experience

In Judges 2:10 the generation that came into the land produced a generation that did not know the Lord.


Hosea 4:1, 6 there was no knowledge of God in the land and disaster was coming.


This promise includes every member of the society knowing God.
This puts God on a one to one relationship with everyone.

No one is hearing second hand


For I will forgive their wickedness
      and will remember their sins no more."


Promise Number Three:

“I will remember their sins no more.”


Even in Exodus 34:6-10 God is merciful and forgiving.


“Remember” in Hebrew means more than to mentally recall something.  It means to follow that recall with action either good or bad.  God remembers sins and punishes them or He remembers good deeds and rewards them.


Cornelius Acts 10:4, 31

Babylon the great Rev. 16:19, 18:5



By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.


2 Corinthians 3:6, 14


Jesus had spoken of the temple being thrown down.

Stephen also had spoken of the temple’s destruction.

It has now been thirty years and these prophecies may have seemed to have faded and their literal fulfillment may have been replaced with a spiritualized understanding.


Now thirty years later the author of Hebrews breathes new life into this promise.

The Old Covenant was now obsolete.  It and its sanctuary would soon disappear.