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Hebrews 8 : Jesus is our chief priest who makes a better agreement from God possible

v1 The most important thing that we are saying is this. We do have this kind of *chief *priest. He has sat down at the right side of where God sits as king in *heaven. God is the greatest ruler, with all authority. v2 Our *chief *priest works in the Most *Holy Room that is inside the true special *tent. That *tent is in *heaven. The *Lord himself made that special *tent. No man built it.

v3 It is the duty of every *chief *priest to offer gifts and *sacrifices to God. So our *chief *priest must also have something to offer. v4 If he was living on earth, then he would not be a *priest. There are already *priests here who offer gifts to God. They obey the rules that God gave to Moses. v5 But the place where these *priests work is only like a copy and a shadow of things in *heaven. Many years ago, Moses was ready to make a special *tent for God. So God spoke to him: ‘Be careful to make everything just like the plan’, God told him. ‘I showed you the plan on the mountain’, God said.

Verse 5 Many years ago, God met with Moses on a mountain called Sinai. God told Moses to make a special *tent and many other things. (See Exodus 24:15-18; 25:40; 26:30.)

v6 But now God has given Jesus much greater work as a *priest. His work is greater than the work that those *priests do on earth. Jesus has made it possible for God to agree a new and much better thing with his people. It is much better because it began with much better promises. v7 If there had been nothing wrong with that first *agreement, then nobody would have needed a second *agreement. v8 But God did find something wrong with it. So he spoke like this to the people:

  ‘A new time is coming, the *Lord says.

  A time is coming when I will agree a new thing

with *Israel’s people and with Judah’s people.

  v9 It will not be like the things

that I agreed with their grandfathers.

  I led their grandfathers out of the country called Egypt.

I led them like someone who takes another person’s hand.

  But they did not continue to obey

the things that I had agreed with them.

  So I turned away from them, the *Lord says.

  v10 I will tell you what I will agree with *Israel’s people.

It will happen in the days that will come, the *Lord says.

  I will put my rules into their minds.

I will write my rules deep inside them.

  I will be their God

and they will be my people.

  v11 None of them will ever have to teach their brothers how to know me.

None of them will need to say to anyone else, “You should know the *Lord.”

  Everyone will know me, even the least important people.

And the most important people will know me too.

  v12 They have done wrong things,

but I will *forgive them.

  I will not continue to remember

what they have done wrong, the *Lord says.’

[Jeremiah 31:31-34]

v13 God speaks about a ‘new’ thing that he will agree with his people. So he has caused the things that he agreed with his people a long time ago to become old. And nobody can go on using something that has become too old. It will soon come to an end.

Verses 6-13 The old *agreement that God made with his people included many rules. If the people obeyed all those rules, then their lives would be happy. (See, for example, Deuteronomy 5:32-33 and 8:1.) But the people could not obey all the rules. Those rules could not really make them right with God. The rules could not make them become new people. The rules could not make them really love God. So they needed a better *agreement, that could really make them different. Jesus has made that new *agreement possible for us. We can be really right with God and we can know him because of Jesus.

Verse 8 Judah was one of Jacob’s 12 sons. (Jacob is another name for *Israel.) At the time when Jeremiah spoke these words from God, Judah’s people were separate from the other people of *Israel.


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