Overview: Hebrews 8:6-10:18 shows how Christ’s priesthood is superior to the priesthoods he succeeded and how the New (2nd) Covenant is superior to the Old (1st) Covenant.
Chapter eight verses seven through thirteen: In verse seven we find what the church claims to be undeniable “proof” that the Law (1st covenant) had a “fault.” Church consensus holds that because of that fault the Almighty “nailed it to the cross.” In terms of its effect on the spiritual life of professing Christendom, this statement is equal to another of Satan’s famous “truths”–that one can sin and “… not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). This in spite of the fact that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
Back to the subject at hand: Did the first covenant God made with Israel have a “fault” that caused Him to “nail it to the cross” then to establish a second covenant? The whole of professing Christendom responds with a resounding “Yes.” But what does God say? Let us find out by not stopping at verse 7 as is the common practice. Let us rather “Study to show your(our)self approved by God” (2 Tim. 2:15). And let us conduct our study as He prescribes: “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little (Isa. 28:9,10). And let us do so with a heart open to His Truth, which is how Jesus characterizes His Word (Jn. 17:17). If one studies the Bible with an open mind/heart one will learn an interesting fact about that first covenant–IT HAD NO “FAULT.”
To learn this fact for himself the Truth-seeker will turn to Deuteronomy 5:1-22 where we find Moses reminding the children of Israel about the day God made His first covenant with them by speaking the Ten Commandments from atop Mt. Sinai, also called Mt. Horeb. Having finished reciting the commandments Moses noted in verse 22 that: “… He (god) added no more.” The Law was perfect and needed nothing added to it–IT DID NOT HAVE A “FAULT.” King David made this clear in Psalm 19:7: “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” How could a “perfect” Law that, if believed and obeyed would save the soul, harbor a “fault?” But something was definitely wrong with that first covenant because God says through Paul in Hebrews 8:7 that if that first covenant had been faultless there would have been no need for a second covenant. In spite of God having “… added no more” to the first covenant because it was “perfect,” we find Him saying that it had a “fault” (imperfection) and therefore had to be replaced. The ultimate question becomes, WHAT WAS THE FAULT IN THE FIRST COVENANT? As is the Lord’s custom, He answers the question for those who seek His Truth by diligently studying His Word in order to find it.
In Galatians 3:19 we find the Apostle Paul telling the church that God added a law to that first (perfect) Law (covenant) “because of transgressions (sins).” The added law prescribed the shedding of animal blood that would cover the people’s sins. Why was this necessary? Because the Israelites refused to obey the first covenant God had made with them–the Ten Commandment Law. The added (sacrificial) law would be in effect until “the Seed (Jesus) should come” to earth to serve as a final blood sacrifice for sins. Because the Israelites sinned (broke the first covenant)–the Ten Commandment Law (1 Jn. 3:4)–the Lord instituted the sacrifice of animals to serve as a temporary covering for Israel’s sins until He sent the Word to earth (Jn. 1:1-4, 14) to shed His human blood one time for all time. At that time He would do away with the sacrificial law by “nailing it to the cross.”
God, through His Word, has established the fact that the first covenant had no “fault.” He then tells us that the first covenant had a fault so terrible that it had to be replaced by another covenant. Again, WHAT WAS THE FAULT OF THE FIRST COVENANT? Verses 8-13 tell us in language so plain that any Truth- seeker can understand it. As we will see, however, the problem is not in understanding, the problem is in believing. L.J.