1: Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2: A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3: For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4: For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6: But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8: For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13: In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayed and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
And so the writer wants to summaries up until this point, what he has been saying in this letter. We have a high priest – Christ Jesus. He has been set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. He is a minister of the sanctuary - of the true sanctuary which the Lord pitched and not man. (The writer is not saying that in heaven there is a tabernacle like that which was pitched on earth in Israel’s wanderings what he is saying is that the Tabernacle on earth was a sort of picture of what Christ is doing as the High Priest for his people in heaven.) The work of a priest was to offer gifts and sacrifices and so Christ has to have something to offer. If he were an earthly priest he would not even qualify to be a priest because he would be disqualified according to the law. However the human priests were but a type of the heavenly ministry of Christ. When Moses was commanded to build the Tabernacle he was told to build it according to what he saw as the pattern in the heaven. Christ has obtained a ministry that excels the Levitical priesthood, because he is the mediator of a superior covenant which is based on better promises. If the Old Covenant with Israel had been adequate then there would have been no need for a Second Covenant. There was a fault with the Old Covenant (because it operated only in the area of the flesh) God has said, that he will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will be very different to the old covenant which l made with the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt. They didn’t keep my covenant and l had no respect for them. The covenant l will make with them will be like this – I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be to them a God and they will be to be a people. There will be no more need for men to teach his neighbour, because everyman will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and iniquities l will remember no more. This covenant with both houses of Israel is the hope of Israel. It is a covenant of law and a covenant of mercy and forgiveness. The new covenant will replace the old, which even now is decaying and becoming ancient and is it ready to vanish away completely. The old covenant will cease when Christ returns to his people - the Hebrews and then he will bring them all both the living and the resurrected into a new covenant. The OT saints did not have the new covenant but those who lived righteously before the Lord will be raised from the dead to live in the enjoyment the new covenant – in the Kingdom.