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Hebrews 8:6 & meaning...

He 

has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which on better promises has been given as law.

Hebrews 8:6

Context

Therefore it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses was warned by God when he was about to make the tabernacle, for he said, “See, you shall make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.” 

Hebrews 8 [6.] But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which on better promises has been given as law. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 

Hebrews 8 [8.] For finding fault with them, he said,

“Behold, the days come”, says the Lord,

    “that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers,

    in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;


Meaning:

At the heart of Hebrews 8:6 lies the contrast between the Old Covenant established under the Mosaic Law and the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus Christ. The verse begins by affirming that Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry compared to the Levitical priesthood of the Old Covenant. This ministry is not merely superior in degree but fundamentally different in nature, as Jesus serves as the mediator of a better covenant.

  • A More Excellent Ministry:

The phrase "a more excellent ministry" emphasizes the surpassing greatness of Jesus Christ's ministry compared to that of the Levitical priests. Unlike the temporary and imperfect sacrifices offered under the Old Covenant, Jesus offers Himself as the perfect and eternal sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:11-14). His ministry brings about true reconciliation between God and humanity, offering forgiveness of sins and access to the Father for all who believe in Him (Hebrews 10:19-22).

  • The Mediator of a Better Covenant:

Jesus Christ serves as the mediator of a better covenant—the New Covenant—which surpasses the Old Covenant in every respect. While the Old Covenant was based on the law and focused on external rituals and sacrifices, the New Covenant is founded on grace and characterized by internal transformation (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Through His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus ratified the New Covenant, securing salvation and eternal life for all who put their trust in Him (Hebrews 9:15).

  • Better Promises:

The New Covenant is established on better promises than the Old Covenant. While the Old Covenant promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28), the New Covenant promises forgiveness of sins, intimate relationship with God, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:33; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 2:25). These promises are not conditional on human performance but are secured by the finished work of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:10).


Cross References:

Jeremiah 31:31-34: This passage in Jeremiah prophesies the coming of the New Covenant, emphasizing its contrast with the Old Covenant and highlighting its internal transformation through the writing of God's law on the hearts of His people.

Hebrews 9:15: Speaks of Jesus as the mediator of the New Covenant, emphasizing the eternal inheritance that believers receive through His death and the redemption of transgressions under the first covenant.

Ephesians 1:7: Highlights the riches of God's grace lavished upon believers through the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ, echoing the better promises of the New Covenant.


Hebrews 8:6 invites us to marvel at the incomparable ministry of Jesus Christ and the unparalleled blessings of the New Covenant. It calls us to embrace the fullness of God's grace and to live in the reality of our identity as recipients of His unmerited favor. As we meditate on this verse, may we be filled with gratitude for the privilege of living under the New Covenant and the immeasurable love of our Savior who mediates it on our behalf.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible