“The New Covenant” By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

The New Covenant

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell

Scripture Readings: Hebrews 8 and 9

Key Verses: 8:10, 13; 9:11-12

“‘For this is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’”

“When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”

“But when Christ appeared as high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

Out with the old, in with the new—when Jesus died, was resurrected, became the High Priest forever, and “sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12), a new covenant was established.

Chapter 9 compares the tabernacle of the first covenant and that of the new, saying that the inner tabernacle–the Holy of Holies where the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant was, where the high priest entered into the presence of God and which only the high priest could enter once a year when offering a sin offering for the people–was no longer behind the veil. Because Jesus, the new High Priest, had now entered into heaven–not a man-made tabernacle, but the true holy place (v. 24)–to be in the presence of God forever. After offering his sin sacrifice of himself and obtaining eternal redemption for sin, no more sin sacrifices would be needed. It is this grace he offered which became the new covenant, as the scripture promises that He will remember sins no more. With that grace, we were reconciled with the one pure God and the veil was removed.

When I think of the events of Jesus’ death and that the curtain in the temple was torn in two, I believe that was symbolic of this change in covenant, allowing us to be in the presence of God because our sins were washed away in that moment. The veil that separated us from God was removed.

Prayer: The veil of sin that separates us from God has been removed, washed away, the price paid for our redemption. Washed away, cleansed forever. May I live my life in faith, accepting and honoring the covenant of the one true God who gave his only begotten son for me. Praise be to God, Holy Trinity!

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: