My first car was a 1966 Corvair, a stick shift, sporty coupe. I loved that car. I paid for it with my earning from work. I was pretty proud of the fact that I could pay $700 cash for this fine vehicle. My new-to-me Corvair not only got me from home to work to college to church, I had great fun driving this cool car in between. And it was red! (I like red!)
After a few years and quite a few breakdowns because of an oil problem with the engine construction, the collapse of an axle causing a wheel to fall off, with a variety of other problems we had to stop driving it, park it and figure out what to do next. But it was red and still looked really cool! But it no longer worked for us.
By this time married with two kids, we had to change from this sporty, broken-down old coupe that no longer got us from point A to point B successfully, to a newer, more modern version of getting around town. The old model gathered rust from lack of care. The new model did exactly what we needed most. We went from good to better. We were careful to take good care of what God provided for us.
So, God made a covenant with His people. What God wanted from the covenant was a relationship with His people. “I will be your God; you will be My people” was and is said many times throughout God’s Word. Their part was obedience to God. But because His people didn’t obey, the covenant didn’t fulfill what God desired most from His people—a relationship. Our Hebrews passage reiterates this fact. God said, “the old plan I set up with their ancestors when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn’t keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go.” Because of God’s love, mercy and grace, however, God had a New Plan in place, ready to go, that would be exactly what was needed to save all people from themselves and their sins. This New Plan put the Old Plan on the shelf. The New Plan was Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The New Plan was simple and uncomplicated. This Plan, designed from the beginning of Creation, with His Son, Jesus was set in motion at just the right time and place. This plan was driven by God’s love for us and His longing to be in relationship with us. God began with a good plan for his people that became a better plan in Jesus. It is still up to us to believe, accept, repent, follow and obey—that is our part of the Promise of eternal relationship with God through His Son. Isn’t it obvious what God wants? Don’t complicate the Perfect Plan! Keep it simple—“believe and be saved”.
“This time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts.”
“They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.” –God
Hebrews 8, The Message
A New Plan with Israel
1-2 In essence, we have just such a high priest: authoritative right alongside God, conducting worship in the one true sanctuary built by God.
3-5 The assigned task of a high priest is to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and it’s no different with the priesthood of Jesus. If he were limited to earth, he wouldn’t even be a priest. We wouldn’t need him since there are plenty of priests who offer the gifts designated in the law. These priests provide only a hint of what goes on in the true sanctuary of heaven, which Moses caught a glimpse of as he was about to set up the tent-shrine. It was then that God said, “Be careful to do it exactly as you saw it on the Mountain.”
6-13 But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he’s working from a far better plan. If the first plan—the old covenant—had worked out, a second wouldn’t have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said,
Heads up! The days are coming
when I’ll set up a new plan
for dealing with Israel and Judah.
I’ll throw out the old plan
I set up with their ancestors
when I led them by the hand out of Egypt.
They didn’t keep their part of the bargain,
so I looked away and let it go.
This new plan I’m making with Israel
isn’t going to be written on paper,
isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I’m writing out the plan in them,
carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I’ll be their God,
they’ll be my people.
They won’t go to school to learn about me,
or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
They’ll all get to know me firsthand,
the little and the big, the small and the great.
They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.
Thank you for the new Plan that sets us free to have a pure, holy relationship with You that grows sweeter each day. Your love is amazing, so deep and wide, so unlimited and relentless, so gentle and kind, all because of you wanting to be with us! How can we refuse someone who loves us this much? I do not know! I do know Whom I have believed and will continue to believe. Continue to transform me to be more and more in every way like you, dear Jesus. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!