Hebrews also teaches us that Jesus is a better covenant. In the old covenant, sacrificial blood was required to be spilled to satisfy His wrath, in order to commune with sinful people. Animal sacrifices were annually required to atone for sin prior to Jesus’ death. Then, the body of Christ became the ultimate offering. He was the Lamb of God who took away our sin, beginning a new covenant of grace.
Jesus is better. Because of this, the author of Hebrews implored the early church to draw near to God with confidence. The high priest entered the most holy place in fear and trepidation, with bells on and a rope tied to his ankle, so that if he saw God or was not presented perfectly, and died because of it, he could be dragged out. We, on the other hand, do not have to fear God’s presence because God’s wrath has been satisfied in the sacrificial blood of Jesus. We can hold fast to the confidence we have in Jesus, to the new and better covenant.
Even so, I tend to hold on more tightly to the things of this world than to God and his promises. I often miss the gifts of peace and hope that his new covenant offers. I fear God’s plan because it may threaten my own comfort. I tell God I trust him and want his glory with my words while my heart holds fast to my own desires. The truth is, I’m no different than my daughter at Christmas— excited and preoccupied by these things... and all the while missing the real gift.
What are you holding more closely than the promises of God?
God is saying to us today, ”I am better.”
We can be assured that God’s glory is ultimately for our good. As believers, we can endure because Christ endured. If we confess and surrender these lesser gifts and idols of our hearts, we become free to live in the peace and hope that Jesus offers us through his death.
May we lay down our ambitions and trust the assurance we have in Christ: this world is not our home - Jesus is better.