Unlike the Old Testament high priest, who had to enter the Most Holy Place each year to atone for the nation through the shedding of animal blood, Jesus Christ entered the Most Holy Place in heaven once and for all with His own blood.
By this sacrificial act, Jesus obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12–28).
But that’s not all.
Not only did Jesus forgive all of our sins through His shed blood—past, present, and future transgressions—but on the cross He also destroyed the power of sin.
Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Rom. 6:6–7)
Beyond that, the blood of Christ—having satisfied God’s holiness—cleanses our conscience, removes our guilt, annihilates our shame, and takes away our sense of condemnation.
All of these things make the new covenant much more powerful than the old covenant.
A Better Covenant
It is my observation that many Christians today live like old-covenant people rather than like new-covenant people. According to Hebrews, the new covenant is far superior to the old (Heb. 7:19–21). This is because Jesus is greater than any other priest. Thus He is called “great high priest” (4:14).
Consider the tight relationship that Abraham, Moses, and David had with God. The author of Hebrews made a pretty remarkable statement in this regard. The author said that those who are under the new covenant have a closer relationship with God than our spiritual forefathers:
And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (Heb. 11:39–40)
Is your relationship to the Lord closer and more glorious than that of Abraham, Moses, and David? If not, then you—like many other believers—are living like an Old Testament Israelite when God has given you His new covenant sealed with the blood of His precious Son.
In other words, you are living far below your potential and what God desires for you.
A Cleansed Conscience
It is the presence of sin in our conscience that hinders the unrestricted communion that we can enjoy with God. But the high-priestly ministry of Jesus cleanses our conscience. This means that the blood of Christ removes our guilt, shame, and condemnation that so often debilitates us.
The author of Hebrews argued that the blood of bulls and goats could never remove “the consciousness of sins” from God’s people. This means that even though the Old Testament high priest shed the blood of goats and bulls to cover the sins of the people, the people were always conscious of their own sinfulness. Their guilt remained. Their consciences still condemned them.
By contrast, the blood of Jesus removes the sin consciousness from our minds, giving us a pure and clean conscience, making us feel as though we’ve never sinned (Heb. 9:1–14; 10:1–22).
How can this be? It’s because the blood of Christ was enough to satisfy God. It was enough to forgive you. And when God forgives, He forgets. The author of Hebrews stated twice that part of the new covenant is that God “will remember their sins no more” (8:12; 10:17).
Consequently, the only people on this earth who should never feel guilty are Christians.
Excerpted from Jesus Now.