The Old Testament Covenant initially began with the Ten Commandments. God, however, built laws around them and added others. They enveloped three major categories; moral, social, and food laws totaling somewhere around 613.
When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:13
I’m sure you’ve heard a phrase like this. “We used to do this, but we don’t do it anymore” Or maybe one like this, “I wonder whatever happened to the way we used to …”
As a pastor, I’ve heard phrases like those much more than I care to remember. Methods change, styles change, and so do traditions. Sometimes, we’re not ready to make changes.
In the infant days of desktop computers, technology rapidly progressed. Do you remember how expensive those early computers were?
Once you bought one, before you got it out of the box, it was already obsolete. It still had plenty of use but companies had already come up with better and faster models.
“Obsolete” is a very interesting word. In Hebrews, it is translated from a word meaning outdated or out of date. And it can also mean something better, newer, or more perfected/modern is at hand.
The Updated Old Testament Covenant Updated
Hebrews 9 mentions how the old way of worshiping and entering into the presence of God became obsolete.
That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. Hebrews 9:1
There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room was called the Holy Place. And the second room was called the Most Holy Place. Hebrews 9:2-3
The law permitted only the Priests and the High Priest to enter these rooms. And they needed to follow God’s requirements.
The priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. Hebrews 9:6-7
What could have possibly replaced the Old Testament Covenant after hundreds of years? How did it become outdated? The writer of Hebrews went on to tell us.
For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies —physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established. Hebrews 9:10
How Does This Affect Us?
So, how does the information here apply to us? After some observation, people become confused or mixed up. They think the entire Old Testament is obsolete.
The fact is, only the Old Covenant in the Old Testament has been updated. The rest of that Testament is still intact. Look at what Jesus said.
Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. Matthew 5:17
Some think they can pick and choose what they want and don’t want in the Old Testament. But that’s contrary to what Jesus had to say.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear. Not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. Matthew 5:18
The New Covenant doesn’t involve the shedding of the blood of an animal anymore. The shed blood of our Savior Jesus Christ updated that practice.
What about the principles of the Old Testament, or as Paul said, our schoolmaster? They all fall under the commandments of the New Covenant. They are love God and love each other.
Check out this related post called Why Is The New Covenant Better.
Lord, thank you for updating the Old Testament Covenant with the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. Help us to keep the principles of the Old Testament in the proper perspective.
Take the time to read all of Hebrews 8.
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