A Theological Evaluation of the Role of Christ
Text: Matthew 26 : 1 - 30
The author of Hebrews devoted a major portion of his epistle to evaluate and appreciate the role of Jesus in the context of the New Covenant. Let us, in wisdom, take time to ponder over what the author discovered in his epistle written to the Hebrews. Let us look at just four things that must be highlighted:-
1. Jesus – The Better Surety (Guarantee)
How can we be sure about the significance of the new and better Covenant? The author insisted on a great truth when he wrote the following text. Jesus Himself is the Guarantee or Surety of the better covenant.
“By so much more Jesus has become
a surety of a better covenant.”
2. Jesus – The High Priest in the New Covenant
In the Old Covenant, Israel enjoyed the ministry of the Levitical priesthood. In the New Covenant, Jesus is the great High Priest.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, who has
passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold fast our confession.”
Who appointed Jesus as the High Priest? We are informed about His appointment in the following text.
“And no man takes this honour to himself,
but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest,
but it was He who said to Him:
‘You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.’
As He also says in another place:
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.'”
HEBREWS 5:4-6 (Cf. HEBREWS 7:16-17,22)
3. Jesus – The Mediator of the New Covenant
In the New Covenant, Jesus plays a critical role. He is our High Priest and thus He plays the pivotal role of being our Mediator.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry,
inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant,
which was established on better promises.”
The author of Hebrews went on to explain further what he meant when he wrote about Jesus being the Mediator of a better covenant.
“And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant,
by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions
under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive
the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
a) “By means of death”
This text is an important clue as to the significance of what Jesus said as He spoke to His disciples about His death. It was going to take His death to bring about redemption of transgressions.
b) “Those who are called”
This term was no longer a reference to the children of Israel. It was a reference to all and sundry. The New Covenant was extended to all who were “called”. Jesus issued the call to salvation to everybody He met. To the Jews, the Samaritans and even the Gentiles. To all who exhibited faith in Him He extended a warm welcome into the kingdom of heaven.
c) “The promise of the eternal inheritance”
This phrase is first and foremost a reference to salvation. However, there is more. It is also a reference to the myriad of blessings that attend to the heirs of salvation!
4. The Single Sacrifice of Jesus
In the old Covenant, sacrifices had to be made again and again. The sacrifices were at best of great symbolic significance. It had no power to take away sins at all.
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats
could take away sins.”
Jesus came to be the Passover Lamb and more! He needed only to make but one sacrifice – that would be sufficient for all time.
“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God…
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are
HEBREWS 10:12, 14
IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME
The death of Jesus has far greater significance than most realize. The simple words Jesus used in the institution of The Lord’s Supper held great and profound truths. Let us never disdain or take for granted the death of the Lord Jesus Christ!