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Insight #339 – The New Is So Much Better

Contrasting the Old and New Testaments/Covenants is much more than an exercise in correct Bible interpretation. The New is a glorious reality that is far better than the Old.

The Testator Is Far Better

The New Covenant/Testament is all about – and by – and because of – Jesus Christ. Jesus, of course, is “worthy of more glory than Moses” (Heb. 3:3). Jesus is even “much better than the angels” (Heb. 1:4). “God also highly exalted him [Jesus], and gave to him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). It’s because Jesus is better that “He is also the mediator of a better covenant” (Heb. 8:6).

So Much Better for Us Gentiles

How wonderful for all us Gentiles that today there is a New Covenant. While the Old was in force, we Gentiles were “separate from Christ… having no hope and without God in the world.” How awful! But the text continues: “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:11-13). Now that is “Good News” for all Gentiles as well as Jews.

Better Places for Worship

When a Samaritan woman was confronted with her hedonistic lifestyle, she changed the subject by asking Jesus about the correct place to worship. Jesus replied, “The hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:21-23). God’s people no longer make pilgrimages three times a year to the temple in Jerusalem. Rather, “You [Christians] are a temple of God” (1 Cor. 3:16). Amazing! So, we worship wherever we are – individually and collectively.  

From Impossible to Possible

The OT was a diagnostic tool: it exposed the problem, but it didn’t cure it. “By the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). “What the law couldn’t do… God did, sending his own Son” (Rom. 8:3). “It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins… [but Jesus] offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:4, 12). Hallelujah!

Why the Old?

Why didn’t God just start with the New? As we just considered, via the Old, God was proving to us that we are lost and can’t save ourselves. Add to that the need for numerous fulfilled prophecies so we could have a strong basis for believing in Jesus. It requires many years in advance to make really powerful prophecies. No other religion in the world has such prophetic proof of its leader!

Many other reasons could be mentioned (including those seen in the first Insight of this series: #337). The takeaway from all the reasons is that God never intended the Old to be an end in itself. Rather, He deemed the Old as necessary to pave the way for the New. “The law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ… we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal. 3:24-25).

Praise God!

Praise God, we now have a much better covenant through Jesus Christ. The New Covenant/Testament far surpasses the Old in every way. Praise Him for His wonderful love showered upon us through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord!