Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 9

Whose blood made the first covenant definite?

Hebrews 9:18

The author of Hebrews has explained how important a death is in order to make a covenant definite (Hebrews 9:14-17). A covenant means a peace agreement. Especially, it means the promises that established the relationship between God and his people.

Christís death was essential for the new covenant. It is his death that makes a Christianís relationship with God definite.

But before that, God had already made a covenant. He made that covenant with the people in Israel who came from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We can see that Christ had not died at that time. But still, that covenant was certain and definite. So we might ask whose death made that first covenant definite.

The answer is that everything in the new covenant is the reality. Christ really died to establish it. He offered his blood in the real holy place, where God is really present in heaven. He really is our great chief priest.

But the things in the old covenant were copies that teach the reality. The holy place on earth was a copy of the one in heaven (Hebrews 9:23). Israelís priests copied the duties that Christ would do in reality.

Christís death was necessary, even for the first covenant. But Christ had not yet died, so the priests used the blood of animals instead. The blood of the animals was a copy of Christís death.

By means of all these copies, the people could see (understand) the work that Christ would do. And so they could put their faith (active belief and trust) in him.

But now that Christ has died, the reality is here. And God has spoken to us in a clearer and more definite way than ever before (Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 2:1-4).

Next part: Each person must join in Godís covenant (Hebrews 9:19)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.