God’s Presence is what you are searching for. When you sit in His Presence, you are the most complete and satisfied. Everything in your life pales when you sit at your Lord’s feet. Do you realize that God yearns for your presence?
Before Christ, man had a system of worship which was led by priests who followed the law of God. You can learn about this old system in the Old Testament. Today’s study lesson on Hebrews 8 teaches you how Jesus becomes the new system of worship. He opens all the barriers that hinder man from coming into the presence of God. Go ahead and read Hebrews 8.
In Hebrews 7, you studied how Jesus is your forever pastor. You learned a bit about the old system with earthly priests, as well as the new system that was enacted when Christ resurrected from the dead. Hebrews 8 is a continuation of what the new system means. It’s a system now based on grace which is rooted in unconditional love.
The author of Hebrews gives you a main point in verse 1. Jesus, the High Priest, sits down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. Stop and think about how majestic God is. Don’t move on until your soul is awakened to this truth. Allow the Holy Spirit to move within you. What is Jesus doing in heaven, see verse 2? What is so special about the heavenly Tabernacle?
This proves that faith is about God, and you are to worship in His Presence.
In verses 3-5, you learn of the old way of following God. It was through an earthly priest, and gifts and blood sacrifices were needed to atone for man’s sins. What warning did God give in verse 5?
Following God in the Old Testament was tedious and messy. God required much from man. It wasn’t because He was a task master who enjoyed cracking the whip on people. No, it was because man’s sin was black as night. Man’s sin is selfish, evil, and opposite of who God is. He had to separate Himself from man, thus, Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden. Since then, every generation has been separated from God.
Here’s a snippet from my book, God Hears My Heart, pages 52-53, on why God had to do what He did: “How painfully difficult it must have been for God to usher out His beloved ones to a place that would cause a separation between Him and His children. But as we know all too well, there are consequences for being disobedient. God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden. While you may see this as rather harsh, God has to be who He is. He will always remain true to His character. As you walk closer and closer with God, you will become thankful for this attribute. His committed to His creation.” My friend, God is committed to you. Don’t ever forget that.
Let’s praise the Lord with verse 6! The author transitions you to know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is your forever pastor, reigning in the heavenly realms. What do you learn from verse 6? Ok, let’s praise the Lord some more for this wonderful truth!
“Jesus is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God.”6
A covenant is a binding agreement between two parties. There was a first covenant which was the Old Testament. Why did God make a second covenant, see verse 7-8? How does God describe the first covenant, see verses 8-9?
You learn from these verses that you are to remain faithful to God, for He is faithful with you. If you turn your back on God, He will turn His back on you. What makes God so majestic and mighty is that He could have ended the first covenant and said, “Heck with it. My people are not worth the trouble they cause Me.” In His gracious, boundless, amazing love, He offers man a new covenant. What is different with His new covenant, see verses 10-12? Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 too.
The new covenant, because of Christ’s sacrifice, is personal and intimate. God resides in repentant, broken hearts that seek Him. You can find Him for He has placed His laws within your heart and mind. God has made Himself available to whoever calls out to Him; see Psalm 145:18, Psalm 91:15, and Isaiah 65:24. You see unity between God and His child who follows His Son, as well as forgiveness from sins.
God gives you no excuse to not follow Jesus.
In verse 13, you learn that the new covenant makes the old covenant obsolete. This means that it wasn’t eternal. There was an expiration date set to it. In Christ, there is no expiration date. Jesus Christ will take you into eternity with Him.
You are forever in God’s presence when you follow His Son.
I asked you earlier to not move past verse 1 until the Holy Spirit moves within you. Are you wanting to worship Christ the way God intends you to worship? He is waiting for you.