Verse of the Day Devotion: Hebrews 8:13
“When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” – Hebrews 8:13
When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He set up a covenant with His people which was called the Mosaic covenant, because it was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The roots of this Old Covenant actually can be traced back to Abraham, the forefather of Israel. It was a conditional agreement that God made with the Israelites via Moses. Under the Old Covenant the people were required to keep the Law and then God would protect and bless them. And every year, the High Priest was to enter the Holy of Holies. Where God’s presence dwells, and to make a sacrifice, first for their own sins, and then the sins of the people. The main idea of the Old Covenant was to keep the Law, and then offering a sacrifice if they fail to, for the sin of not obeying.
In the New Covenant, we have one sacrifice that will address all our sins, and the sins of all mankind. No need for any daily or yearly sacrifice, but one sacrifice, already made by Jesus the Christ. And since He was perfect, with no sin, there is no need for Him, our High Priest, to offer a sacrifice for Himself. His death pays the penalty for all of our sins if we accept the work done for us through Christ dying on the cross and the rising from the dead.
And the new covenant is one where, as John wrote, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15. Our love for Christ should be such that we desire with all of our being to obey Him. As a Pastor friend of mine said many times, “It is not that we have to, it is that we get to.” I have carried this word for a long time. We should go to church not because we have to, but because we get to. We should help our neighbor not because we have to, but because we get to. We should study His word not because we have to, but because we get to. This is a totally different idea than the Old Covenant. We should be a servant of God because we desire to, we have a passion to, and that we would do anything to please Him. If we only serve Him because we are simply following rules and do not desire or have a passion to, how different are we then the Jews who simply followed the law because they believed they had to?
I want to encourage us all to develop such a relationship with God that, regarding our service and worship of Him, our “have to” turns into “get to”. It is then that our life will be filled with more peace and joy then ever before.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.