July 1, 2008

Keep this question at the forefront of your mind:
“How much more then ought we?”

Too often I hear that the old covenant was physical and carnal, but the new is spiritual and pure. True enough, but how does that phrase cause you to live? Sadly, most are disarmed and few are empowered by this. Yes, we are a generation of priests; yes, I am the temple of God; yes, Jesus is both our Sacrifice and High Priest in heaven’s tabernacle. But do not “spiritualize” these truths, deceiving yourself that the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek is somehow less than the priesthood of Aaron’s order. Do not think that the heavenly city of God is more easily approachable than the burning mountain of Sinai. And do not misunderstand God’s mercy; He does not overlook or excuse sin now, just as He did not before the cross. Do not confuse the new law spoken by Jesus to be more lenient than the old law spoken by angels.

Yes, Jesus’ sacrifice was better than that of what would have been endless animal sacrifices, but this does not mean that our priestly calling is less rigorous or demanding than what was required of the Levitical priesthood. Our cleanliness and strict attention to detail is more important now than it was for Aaron’s sons (cp. Lev. 10:1-3). The duties expected of us are more effective than those performed in the earthly temple, for we minister in the tabernacle of heaven with better sacrifices. And servants are surely not as bold as sons, yet sons ought to be more zealous for the law of their Father’s house than are His mere servants.

This is far from a yoke of oppression, for grace abounds all the more for those born again into His family (Rom. 5:18-21), that we would be able to shoulder the yoke that Jesus carries with us (Matt. 11:27-30). Grace is the unmerited divine strength to continue walking faithfully in holiness; it is not, as so many teach today, the Lord refraining from exacting punishment for sins committed, for God says, “Vengeance is Mine to recompense, and I will judge My people” (Heb. 10:30-31). If Moses was faithful in the old covenant by the power of the blood of goats, how much more then ought we be faithful who are in the new covenant by the power of Christ’s own blood?

Yes, we are sons of God; yes, we are in Christ; yes, we have access to the throne of grace by the blood of Jesus. But our free entrance into the Holiest of All in heaven is not without a period of waiting and careful preparation, just as Aaron was commanded. We still must diligently calm the winds in order to enter into the Sabbath rest of God (Heb. 3:7-4:16). Even now we are to go on to perfectness (Heb. 6:1), ever reaching to lay hold of the promises of the age to come. For when God found fault with the people of promise while they were yet under the old covenant, He promised to make with them a new and better covenant. However, were God to find fault with us now, there remains no other sacrifice for sins, for Christ was appointed to die only once.

How much more then ought we regard the blood of Jesus than they did of goats? How much more then ought we draw near to God through the veil of Jesus’ flesh than they did through the veil made of fine woven linen? How much more then ought we serve in the heavenly tabernacle made by God than they in the earthly tabernacle of goats’ hair? For if Aaron and his sons served in the shadow, then we who are the sons of God serve in the physical. And if the Levites were prevented by death, then we of Melchizedek’s order are enabled by the power of an endless life. To symbolize away such profound truths would be to make your life devoid of priestliness. There really is a temple in heaven where God’s throne resides, and we really enter into that throne room much in the same way that the Levitical priests daily entered the temple on earth. We cannot be casual or presumptuous about such weighty matters. For if those who offered profane sacrifices died by God’s consuming fiery presence under Moses’ law, how much more then ought we give worthy offerings, paying the more earnest heed to Jesus’ law? Therein lies true and abiding priestliness.


2 Responses to “theBETTERcovenant”

  1. […] representative of his kingdom’s principles, but is a resident of that kingdom! As I wrote before, for one to “spiritualize” such weighty, foundational, and concrete truths would cause […]

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