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The Better Covenant

The Better Covenant

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Heb. viii.

Heb. viii.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE BETTER COVENANTBY H.CG.MOULE.D.DHeb. viii.THE Person and greatness of our High Priestare now full before the readers of theEpistle. The paragraph we enter next, after one more deliberate contemplation of Hisdignity and His qualifications, proceeds to ex- pound His relation to the better and eternalCovenant. We shall find here also messagesappropriate to our time.The first step then is a review, a summing up,a " look again " upon the true King of Eight-eousness and peace (verses 1, 2). " Such aHigh Priest we have." It is a wonderful affir-mation, not only of His existence but of Hisrelation to " us," His people. " We have " Him.He has taken His seat indeed " at the righthand of the throne of the majesty in theheavens." But this great exaltation has notremoved Him for a moment out of our posses-sion ; we have Him. He is now the great32WE HAVE 33Minister, the supreme sacerdotal Functionary,of the heavenly sanctuary, " the true taber-nacle," T% aK'i)vrj^ Trj<; a\7}6ivrj<;, the non-figura-tive reality of which the Mosaic structure wasonly the shadow ; the true scene of unveiledPresence and immortal worship, " pitched " by
Him whose face makes Heaven, and makes it allone temple. But this sublimity of our Priest's place and power does not make Him in theleast less ours ; we have Him.The words invite us to a new and deliberatelook upward, and then to a recollection deeper than ever that He is held spiritually in our very hands ; that He is a possession, nearer tous than any other.Then (verses 3 and following) the thoughtmoves towards the sacrificial and offertorialqualifications of this great and most sacredPerson. He is what He is, our High Priest,our Minister of the sanctuary above, on perfectlyvalid grounds. For He is, what every sacerdotalminister must be, an Offerer. And He is thisin a sense, in a way, congruous to His heavenly position. He has no blood of goats andcalves to present, like the priests on earth.Indeed, were He " on earth " (ver. 4), thisgreatest of all High Priests " would not even bea priest " (ovB' av rjv lepev'i), an ordinary priest.For that function, says the Writer, is already filled,334 THE BETTER COVENANT" according to the law," by the Aaronic order, towhich He never belonged and never could belong (see vii. 13, 14). It is in charge of thesacred servants (Xarpevova-cv) of the earthlysanctuary, the God-given type and shadow(ver. 5) of the realities of Heaven, but no morethan their type and shadow, partial and transient. No, His sacerdotal qualification is of another sort and a greater. What it is which " He
hath to offer" in the celestial Holiest is not yetexplicitly said ; that is reserved for the ninthchapter, to which this is but the vestibule. Butalready the Epistle emphasizes the truth that" He hath someivhat to offer," so that we mayfully realize the completeness of His high- priestly power.It may be well to pause here, and to ask whether this passage reveals that our LordJesus Christ is at this moment " offering " for us,in His heavenly life. We are all aware thatthis has been widely held and earnestly pressed,sometimes into inferences which, as far as I cansee, cannot at all be borne even by the doctrinethat He is offering for us now. In particular itis said that, if He in glory is offering for HisChurch, then His Church must, in some sense, asin a counterpart, be offering here on earth, in unionwith Him. In short, there must still be priestson earth who are ministers of " the exampleOFFERING AND OFFERER 35and shadow of heavenly things." But surely, if this Epistle makes anything clear, it makes itclear that our great Priest is the supersedingfulfilment of all such ministrations done by" men having infirmity." It is His glory, andit is ours, that He is known by us as our oneand all-suflicient Offerer and Mediator. It is precisely as such that " we have Him," in a wayto distinguish our position and privilege in amagnificent sense from that of those who neededthe sacerdotal aid of their mortal brethren.But then further, does this passage reallyintimate at all that He is offering now ? The

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