The Hebrew writer speaks of Christ and what faith in Him should mean when he writes, "Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:14). Referring to Christ as our high priest not only speaks about what Christ accomplished for us through His sacrifice and shed blood, but also of the new covenant which Jesus, of necessity, is mediator. Christ declared this when He instituted the Lord’s Supper, teaching His disciples, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).

Why was it necessary for there to be a change of covenants with the coming of Christ, from the Law of Moses to the gospel? There was a different sacrifice offered for forgiveness of sins, from the blood of animals to the blood of the Son of God. Without the death of Christ, all those animal sacrifices would have been completely ineffective, "For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). It took the sacrifice of one tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15), for redemption to be offered (Hebrews 10:9-10).

There was also a change in priesthood for this sacrifice to be offered. Priests under the Law of Moses could not offer themselves for the sins of the people, as they were sinners as well. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest would offer a bull first for his sins, and then offer a goat for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16). As our high priest, He offers His own blood to cleanse us of our sins. "For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

One cannot overlook the significance of this. The Law of Moses was fulfilled through Christ and was taken away, nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). To try and live by the old covenant is futile, as it is no longer in force. To try and add elements from it to the new covenant, the gospel, creates another gospel that cannot save (Galatians 1:6-9). Paul reminded the Galatians, who were trying to do that, "Ye are severed from Christ, ye would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4). One either lives by the Law of Moses or the gospel, not both, and only the gospel can save. To appeal to the Old Testament for doctrinal practices today is no different than what the Judiazers were doing in the churches of Galatia to fall from grace. Why forfeit the hope of eternal life found in Christ and His covenant for that which was to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24)?

Robert Johnson
Longview, TX

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

"Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: "Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." "As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."