“But now has He obtained a more excellent Ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established upon better Promises.” 

Hebrews 8:6

Prior to His Coming and since His Return to Heaven, everything still points to Him.

Progressive revelation.

That’s basically what was going on in the Old Testament, from the time of God’s covering Adam and Eve with “coats of skin” (Gen. 3:21) to John the Baptist’s announcement of “Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29, 36).

In reality, everything in the Old Testament. . .from the ark which saved Noah and his family from certain death in the Flood. . .to the Tabernacle in the wilderness. . .to the Levitical sacrificial system and priesthood. . .pointed to God’s coming “Anointed One” (the Messiah/ Christ).

That’s why today’s Manna reminds us of how “He has now obtained a more excellent Ministry and is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established upon better Promises.”

This wasn’t to say the Old Testament way of doing things wasn’t effective or prescribed by God—for they were.  However, again, they were “precursors” or “forerunners” that pointed to Jesus, Who would be the eternal Epitome and “Sum Total” (Heb. 8:1a) of it all.

Just as a picture, taken by a very expensive camera, can capture in living color and intricate details the features of its subject, so did the Old Testament figures (priests, sacrificial system, Tabernacle/Temple, etc.) give us an “example” (Grk. “hupodeigma”—“exhibit for imitation or warning, specimen, exemplify, etc.”). . .“shadow ”. . .or “picture” of things to come (v.5a; 10:1).  But, they’re still a “picture” and not “the real thing.”

Thus, EVERYTHING used in the Tabernacle or Temple—the acacia wood, the gold, the bronze, etc.—were earthly “pictures” of the eternal Christ or “true Minister of the true Sanctuary” (Heb. 8:2).  Likewise, the Aaronic priesthood and Levitical sacrificial system were “pictures” (shadowy ones at best) of the “Anointed One” and His eternal, enduring Priesthood and Sacrifice.

Theirs was “progressive revelation;” but in Christ we have full-blown Reality as “the Mystery is revealed” (Eph. 1:3-12).  Hallelujah!  That’s why His is “a more excellent (Grk. ‘diaphoros’—‘surpassing, better, of more value, etc.’) Ministry” and He’s a “better Mediator (Grk. ‘mesites’—‘go-between, reconciler, intercessor, etc.’).”  It’s because His is “a better Covenant (Grace vs. Law), established upon better Promises (Himself, God’s ‘Amen’—II Cor. 1:18-20).”  Glory!!

Truly, the “Old” gave way to the “New” when Jesus came.  And, it still happens today when one becomes a “new creation” (II Cor. 5:17).  May we also point others to Him today, telling them that even now we cannot fully “see” the Reality that awaits (I Cor. 2:9, 14; 13:12).  But, one of these days the “veil” will be lifted and how wonderful that Reality shall be (I Jn. 3:2).

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 19, 2011

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