Hebrews 10:8, 9

“When he said above, ‘You have neither desired no taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Behold, I have come to do you will.’ He does away with the first in order to establish the second.”

I think these two verses are best viewed as one. The writer repeats his previous quotes and gives a brief explanation of where he is going with them. The first phrase is connected to the law. That is, after all, the premise of this book. There was a law, and the Jews lived by it, but Jesus came and did away with the law and brought a new law, which was totally different. All the things the writer has been sharing in his book are connected to the old law, the old covenant, which came through Moses. He has slowly been comparing them with the new law, the new covenant which came through Christ. In each and every way, he has shown the new covenant to be superior (better). It’s why Hebrews is called the “better” book.

The coming of the Messiah (Christ) was to remove the old covenant and replace it with the new and final one. Everything before the Christ was useful for learning, but after the Christ came, the new covenant was for obeying. The fact that some Christians were trying to go back to certain aspects of the old covenant was totally unacceptable, and so the Hebrews writer undertook an explanation of why that was so. Two things stand out in verse nine. First, the old covenant was done away with. The law was terminated. The Ten Commandments were no longer the law of the land or the people of God. Many even today have trouble with that, but the New Testament plainly states that in several places, not only in this verse. Second, Christ replaced the old covenant with a new one. God told the people who witnessed the baptism of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, hear him!”

Task for Today. Pretend you were on the banks of the Jordan when the voice came from heaven. You had been listening to the law, the prophets, the rabbis. God speaks from heaven and says, listen to my Son. What are you going to do? Listen to the old law which brought death or the new one that brings life. Put aside any and all of the old law and totally allow the new one to be written in your heart.

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