By Jessie Moser
Today's Scripture: Hebrews 8:1-13
Central Thought: What a great new covenant: The God of the universe wants to know us-all of us.
God gave Moses directions for building His sanctuary. The instructions Moses carried out when he came down from the mountain were meant to be a prototype to help the people understand what was happening in His heavenly sanctuary. The NIV says in Hebrews 8:5 that the earthly sanctuary was a 'copy and shadow” of what is in heaven.
The first time the sanctuary (or tabernacle) with all its 'copies and shadows” of Jesus was explained to me, it made me so excited to share the Gospel with my Jewish friends. 'Look,” I said, 'Jesus is the lamb that was sacrificed. See the lamp stand—He said He is the Light of the World. Remember the show bread? Jesus said He was the Bread of Life. And then there was the veil that the priest had to go behind once a year. After Jesus' death, the veil was rent in two; because of Jesus and His perfect blood sacrifice we can all go before the Father anytime. I wanted my friends to be as excited as I was—His salvation was and is meant for everyone.
The new covenant is much better than the old covenant that Moses first introduced. Hebrews tells us that Jesus, the great high priest, now dwells eternally in a heavenly sanctuary. His blood made a way for the forgiveness of sins. God's laws are no longer meant to be written on stone—they're to be written on our hearts and minds. God made this possible by restoring himself to His people—to all people.
God expresses His desire for fellowship with us: 'I will be their God, and they will be my people” (verse 10). The new covenant gives us freedom because it is available to everyone: 'They will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (verse 11). The best and most merciful part of this Scripture reading is, 'I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (verse 12). Some people try to work out their own salvation through their own hard work; but no one can do that. Although we all fail quite often, God is loving and full of compassion and mercy. The Bible tells me so.
Devotional Prayer: Father, thank You for being faithful to Your people—Abraham's descendents, the Jewish people. Thank You for bringing salvation to all people through Abraham and David. May the Holy Spirit turn the hearts of all mankind to accept Your gift of salvation as they embrace Your Son, Jesus, as Savior.
Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 16:43-17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9