Reading for Monday, July 30: Hebrews 8
In Hebrews 8, the Hebrew writer continues to teach about Jesus’ role as our high priest. He contrasts the old covenant — represented by Melchizedek and the Levitical order — with the new covenant initiated by the blood of Jesus. The people of God once offered sacrifices on earth, “gifts according to the law” (v4). But now, “the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises,” (v6). This renders the old covenant “obsolete” (v13), no longer useful for approaching God.
To further flesh out his point, the writer turns to Jeremiah 31. God promises a new covenant “not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.” Instead, this covenant will be embodied differently: “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” No more will there be a need for teaching, “for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” And best of all: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”