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Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background. Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background.

Daily Devotional | The Flaw in the Law


Recently, I installed a new ceiling light with an exhaust fan in our home. When I flipped the switch, the light turned on but not the fan. My first thought was that there was a problem with the fan. But I soon learned the defect was my own. I had crossed the wires.

Hebrews 8 continues its comparison of the ministry of Christ with the Law and draws a similar conclusion. The author observed there was something “wrong” with the first covenant God made with Israel through Moses (v. 7). But what is the flaw in the Law? It turns out that it is us. The law was given to Israel as a revelation from God, but it cannot be in us apart from Jesus Christ.

This internal dimension was the essence of the new covenant predicted in Jeremiah 31:31–34 and made a reality by Jesus Christ (vv. 8–12). Jeremiah said the new covenant would differ from the one given to Israel after the Exodus (vv. 8–9). It would have the power to work from the inside out. Instead of imposing His will in the form of external laws and commands, God promises “to put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts” (v. 10). This involves more than remembering what God commanded. It is an internal knowledge of God rooted in forgiveness (vv. 11–12).

The old covenant set the standard and made demands. The new provides the means to comply by offering forgiveness and the righteousness of Christ as a gift to those who believe. The old covenant tells us we have sinned. The new covenant turns sinners into saints and assures us that our wickedness and sins have been wiped away. The new covenant came to us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He “made the first one obsolete” (v. 13).

Go Deeper

Describe the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. Why was the new covenant necessary?

Pray with Us: Dear God, we confess we are sinners, and yet, Your new covenant turns sinners into saints. What a privilege and responsibility to live in the light of Christ’s forgiveness! Holy Spirit, deepen our understanding of this profound truth.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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