Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant, ” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away (NKJV).
The writer of Hebrews is making a powerful point about the only means of sacrifice that God now accepts. I fear that far too many of us have a fascination with the obsolete in our spiritual lives. Can you imagine going down to your local car dealership and requesting a test drive but with this caveat...."I only want to test drive cars that have an 8-track player in them"? I realize some of my twenty-something and younger readers may not be familiar with the glory days of 8-track cassettes, but I'm sure you still get the point. Or how about going down to the local Best Buy (or insert your fave electronics store here) and asking for a PC that runs on BASIC language commands (remember those old Texas Instruments computers)? Very few of us demand that our next purchase of a laptop come equipped with Windows 95 (please- no quips from you Mac users- I still love you though!).
Back to a serious note: The intended audience for the letter of Hebrews was weighing a tremendous choice. They had already endured one round of persecution (see Heb 10:32-34) and apparently were facing another bout with it. The choice set before them was this: to endure suffering in the present time, with the knowledge that a far greater realm of glory and deliverance lie just ahead......or......return to an obsolete system that would alleviate present persecution, but would have everlasting consequences and punishment. To you and I, the decision seems so simple- why return to an obsolete system of sacrifices which were only the type and shadow and never the substance?
But every generation faces such a challenge. For you and I, it may not be a return to a system of temple sacrifices and ritual cleansings but it may be a return to our former lifestyle. Human nature is to remember "the good ole days" with great fondness. The Israelites cried for deliverance from Pharaoah and God answered. But it wasn't very long after their miraculous rescue from bondage, that they were crying for the "good ole days" again. What seemed so bitter and cruel at the time, seemed a little more sweet in the face of the trials in the wilderness. What Satan does not want you and I to realize, is that his system is obsolete. While the world is still operating at a functional level- it is going to vanish away in its present form. Right now the wicked prosper, the faithful are tempted, evil men seem to live life on easy street, true Christians endure hardships. But the Bible promises a new heaven and a new earth where the first will be last, and the last will be first. Injustice will be eliminated, and those who have been faithful in a few things, will become ruler over many.
Be encouraged today as you face the trials of life. No matter how lovely and attractive the world and the devil makes the alternative look- remember that the whole system of the world is obsolete and will one day vanish. Let's not be like Esau who sold his birthright for a meal but afterward regretted it. Let's value the investment we've made in an eternal Kingdom which shall never pass away or become obsolete.
Until next time......