in with the old and out with the new
In our Bible study, we’re going through Hebrews, which has its ups and downs for sure (controversy around Melchizedek, God swearing against Himself in 6:13 when it’s against the 3rd commandment, or not to swear at all in Matthew 3:34, the differences between a promise and an oath, etc), but an interesting clarification occurred to me today, and I wanted to get it down on here to preserve it for later research for historical roots or existing thoughts. I am going to keep to the theory of 2 covenants with God and His people, even though there are arguments for multiple. The old covenant (AKA Old Testament) and the new covenant (AKA New Testament) being how we obtain salvation and how we are cleansed.
My thoughts were around the transition from the old covenant into the new covenant. A brief comparison between the 2 covenants can be found here. In Hebrews 8:13, depending on what translation you are reading, the old covenant is called obsolete and will decay away. Even in 8:6-7, the new covenant is called better. This right here would be the building blocks against the Jewish faith. In some articles I’ve been reading, they take the perspective of uniting the Gentiles with the Jews with the new covenant (see Ephesians 2:15 and Galatians 3:28). The key part in the Galatians verse is "…for you are all one in Christ Jesus." He is the catalyst to a new covenant.
In the first covenant, Moses uses the blood of animals to cleanse, but not grant eternal life. (It’s important to make the clarification that killing animals did not guarantee the Old Testament followers salvation.) So it was through death that we were cleansed.
Now, there is no plan for salvation explicitly stated in the Old Testament; unless you make a connection to Jesus Christ through symbolism or hidden meaning. Only in the new testament are we told what we must do for salvation: Acts 4:10-12 "It is by the name of Jesus Christ…Salvation is found through no one else…"
So, we have a covenant requiring death for cleansing, jesus being a catalyst, and a new offering of salvation as a result. So my idea was that Jesus was born into the old covenant, His blood was shed (as the Lamb of God) by the people, was put to death, and then he defeated death. If we think of things chronologically, he dies, we would then be cleansed (if we are to allow the assumption of his death being a sacrifice, although inadvertantly) When he is resurrected, what then happens to our guilt? My answer is that Jesus Christ now owns it, since it was washed away by His blood. So we have no choice now but to follow Christ since we are not clean without him holding our sin.
Just like in the economy, debts can be bought. The loophole in the old covenant is that Christ was operating under it, but had no sin, therefore no debt. So when he is capable of maintaining integrity to the first covenant in that he remains without sin, but now that he has defeated death, he can offer it to us as well under a new covenant. Basically, he bought us out of our old contract and is able to make his own terms so long as he operates by the original contract. The only mentions of eternal life in the Old Testament is in the apocolyptic Daniel, where he says the dead will raise, some to eternal life.
The unique thought here (at least in my opinion), is that Christ is not only the beginning of the new covenant, bringing eternal life to sweeten the deal, but Christ is also necessary to make the transition from Old to New. It’s not just a "God says it’s over" and bada boom bada bing. There is still a legalistic flow and logical understanding connection to be drawn, which is important in these days.3,093 views