Hey Bible study friends,
This morning I awakened weary, feeling as if I could not lift my head off the pillow. Although it has been my joy and delight to spend the last few days caring for my sweet girl as she recovers from having her wisdom teeth extracted, it has been exhausting.
It would have been so easy to skip church and stay in bed, but my son asked to go to his life group at church. How could I say no? So grudgingly, I stepped into the shower and got ready.
As I entered the sanctuary, I felt a longing to be filled. Yet when worship began, my thoughts turned critical. I disliked the opening worship songs. I stood quietly, grumbling. Why didn’t I just stay home and read my Bible?
Then our pastor began to preach. His message drew me in. Verse by verse, God’s Word poured into me. My spirit began to lift.
He prayed. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
Worship began again, but this time my heart was primed and ready to praise. The words seeped deep into the marrow of my bones. The lyrics moved me….
Speaking His Name filled me to overflowing!
My spirit lifted. My strength returned. My joy restored.
In one hour, the Lord used His Word and His sweet Spirit to refresh and renew me.
Friends, are you weary today? Do you long to be refreshed, renewed, healed, restored?
There is no better way than to be in His Word. So, join me as we dig into this next lesson about our sweet Jesus. He is waiting to fill each one of us.
This Week’s Memory Verse: But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: ‘I will put My laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.’ Hebrews 8:10.
This Week’s Prayer:
Father, how I love You. Thank You for the gift of grace. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that through the promise of the New Covenant, Your Word is now etched into my heart and mind. Father, give me the deep desire to love Your Word and learn Your Word. Give me understanding to know what it means and how to use it in my life. Use it to mold my heart and make it more like Yours. Enable me to live it out in my life each and every day. Bring to mind the truths and promises I need when I need them. Give me opportunities to share it with others so they too may know the love and hope I have found within its pages. I love You and ask all this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
Assignment: Read Hebrews Chapter Eight
1. Read Hebrews 8:1 and answer the following questions.
- What do you think is the author’s main point?
- What two proofs does the author present for the superiority of Jesus?
- Read Hebrews 10:11, John 19:30, Mark 16:19, and Luke 22:69. From these verses explain what distinguishes Jesus’ priesthood from the Levitical priesthood.
2. According to Hebrews 8:2, what is Jesus doing on the throne? Share what this means in your life.
3. What distinguishes the place from where Jesus ministers and the place from where the Old Testament high priest ministered?
- Describe or draw a picture of the heavenly tabernacle as you imagine it to be from what we have studied.
- What parts of it are most meaningful to you?
4. What does the author say about Jesus in Hebrews 8:4? Why?
Jesus never stepped outside His role as Son. There is no evidence that He entered or even attempted to enter the Temple to perform the duties of a high priest. John MacArthur says it well when he wrote:
“God never mixes shadow with the substance, the type with the antitype. Jesus could not minister the old offerings, in the old, earthly sanctuary. He ministers the new offerings in the new, heavenly sanctuary – built by God, not men.”
The old Testament high priest served in a copy or shadow of the heavenly tabernacle.
5. What does Colossians 2:17 say? How does this relate to our lesson?
6. Read Hebrews 8:6, what role is Jesus given in this verse?
Jesus is our Mediator. “Mediator” derives from the Greek word mesites, which is from the Greek word mesos, an adjective denoting “middle, in the middle or midst.” Mesites as a noun means “a go-between.” Moses is often referred to as the mediator of the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, the high priest was a mediator between God and man. Now Jesus is the better mediator of a better covenant!
7. Read Hebrews 8:9-12. God had a master plan all along to reconcile His people back to Himself after the Fall. But this plan had stages. It was foreshadowed through His Word, through types, and through the prophets. In fact, Jeremiah the prophet announced this plan thousands of years earlier.
- Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:8, with whom did God make this New Covenant?
- If this New Covenant was made to Israel and Judah, how are we beneficiaries? (Read Romans 1:16-17)
8. The New Covenant started with the Jews. Jesus was born into a Jewish family. He was a Jew. Jesus’ ministered to His own people, the Jews (see Matthew 15:24). Jesus’ next step was to send out His disciples.
- Read Matthew 10:5-6. What are Jesus’ instructions? To whom were they to minister?
- Read Luke 24:46-48. What are Jesus’ next instructions and to whom did He give them?
- Read Acts 1:7-8. According to Jesus’ instructions, where was the message to go first?
- Read Acts 3:25-26. What does Peter say about this subject?
- Look again at Acts 1:7-8, where was the message to go after Jerusalem?
9. Read Hebrews 8:10 and write the verse below.
- Explain in your own words how the Old Covenant differs from the New Covenant.
- Read Ezekiel 11:19-20 and 36:26-27. How do these verses reinforce what Jeremiah and the author of Hebrews say?
10. Share ways in which you have experienced the reality of God’s law being written in your heart and mind.
11. God’s New Covenant internalizes His Law through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit that gives us the inner ability to obey God’s law and, in turn, enjoy His blessings.
- Read John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7-8, and 1 John 2:27. What do these verses teach about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
12. Read Hebrews 8:12-13.
- Give the major difference between the Old and New Testament as they address the forgiveness of sin.
- Scripture teaches thatJesus paid the penalty for our sin. Because of what He did on the cross, our sins are forgiven, to be remembered no more. “Remember” as used here derives from the Greek word zakar. It means “to think of, to bring to remembrance, to bring to mind.” God no longer holds our sin against us. They are far from His mind, never to be spoken of again. What does this truth speak to you about forgiveness and forgetting in your own life?
- Has the Lord brought someone to mind whom you need to forgive or you have forgiven but struggle with forgetting? If so, take first steps toward forgiving or forgetting. Remember as you ponder this, sweet friend, that you are ABLE through God’s grace and through the power of His Holy Spirit.
- Write down your steps, pray about them, and ask the Lord for the strength and courage to take the first step. Invite a friend to pray with you and hold you accountable. There is no greater freedom than releasing unforgiveness and forgetting wrongs done to you!! Walk in that freedom today.
This has been one of my favorite lessons. As I ended today, I thought about what I would have been thinking if I had been a Jew listening to this message. Would I have been convinced by now that Jesus was the better way?
The writer of Hebrews could not have known this, but his words at the end of Chapter Eight, stating that the First Covenant would be obsolete, were literally fulfilled within just a few years of him writing this letter. Rome destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. Without the Temple, there was no altar, no Holy Place, no Holy of Holies, no mercy seat. There was no place to minister and offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. The Old Covenant truly was obsolete!
Be sure to share your comments and questions. They are THE best part of this study for me. I love watching God work in and through our time together.
See you next week!!