1. Jesus Christ the mediator of the better covenant
Hebrews 8:6 (NKJ) But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Greek word for mediator is μεσίτης mesites. It means someone who mediates between 2 parties, who uses his own assets to guarantee someone else’s repayment of debts.
Jesus is the perfect high priest and the perfect sacrifice offering not according to the law of the Old Testament but according to grace and according to Melchizedek (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2). Jesus purchased and restored us from the hands of Satan through the cross with his precious blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:20). This new covenant was enacted on better promises rather than the law (Jeremiah 31:32-34).
Jesus Christ is the high priest of the faultless new covenant (Hebrews 8:7). But the first covenant was not faultless because it had defects or faults, but because the people could not keep and follow this covenant. The first covenant of 10 Commandments and the law was designed to reveal our sin & our need for salvation in none other than the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Its purpose was to lead us to Jesus who is faultless. Greek word for faultless is ἄμεμπτος amemptos and means blameless, without fault and without sin (Hebrews 8:10).
This new covenant is different from the first covenant because it is written on the minds and hearts of the people. It is about a relationship (Jeremiah 31:31-33; 2 Corinthians 3:3,7). In addition, everyone will know God (Hebrews 8:11-12). It is the day when the issue of sins will be completely resolved and we will come to know God and see God clearly. This is the promise of the new covenant.
The covenant on Mount Sinai vs the covenant on Mount Zion (Hebrews 8:4-5). Just as the design of the tabernacle on earth is a shadow and copy of heaven, the covenant given to Moses on Mount Sinai is also a shadow and copy of the new covenant (Hebrews 8:13). The physical covenant on Mount Sinai will disappear. But before it disappears, we need to receive the second covenant (Psalm 2:6-9). Mount Sinai represents the Old Testament and old covenant. Mount Zion represents the New Testament and new covenant, where Jesus is. Only those who have received the old covenant and climbed Mount Sinai can receive the new covenant and climb Mount Zion. How do we climb this Mount Zion (Hebrews 2:18-24)? Mount Zion is the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Mount Zion is a heavenly place, where angels are and where the general assembly of the church of the firstborns will come in. This Mount Zion is the home of the church of the firstborns.
2. The covenant of Mount Sinai vs the covenant of Mount Zion (Exodus 18:5)
A. Mount Sinai is the mountain of God where God gave the 10 Commandments, both audibly with His voice and on 2 stone tablets inscribed by God’s own finger.
God met Moses through the burning bush on Mount Horeb = Mount Sinai (Exodus 3:12). And instructed Moses to lead the people there first. Without receiving the covenant at Mount Sinai, they could not enter the Promised Land of Canaan. No matter how long it takes, we too have to climb Mount Sinai and receive this new covenant before we can enter into our Promised Land heaven.
What are the significances of the Sinaitic Covenant?
(i) It is a covenant for the son
To the people who were slaves in Egypt, God said “You are My son.” (Exodus 4:22-23). From being slaves in this world, the first covenant made them into sons and daughters of God. They became God’s “own possession”, God’s “treasure” = Segula in Hebrew (Exodus 19:5-6). Have you received this first covenant?
(ii) It is a covenant is for the entire nation
All Israelites were given this covenant because they were descendants of Abraham. God spoke this covenant in the hearing of all the Israelites. Likewise, this first covenant is given to us when we too first hear the voice of God. How? When the Word of God heard through sermons and bible studies become alive in us leading to change, it becomes the voice of God (Deuteronomy 4:32-33). Hearing the voice of God distinguishes the people of God from those who are not. Even among Christians, there is a distinction between those who have really heard the voice of God and those who have not. Only those who hear the voice of God are the people of God.
(iii) It is a covenant recorded in writing (Exodus 31:18; 32:16; Deuteronomy 9:10)
This old covenant was supposed to be passed down from generation to generation, to be believed and obeyed. We must not be like the Israelites who could not do that. Our main focus should be in following and obeying the Word of God.
B. Covenant on Mount Zion
(i) Mount Zion is the place where the covenant is restored
The 2 stone tablets in the arc of the covenant symbolized the Word of God remaining in the centre of the lives of the Israelites. When the Word of God lost its importance to Israel, it was lost to the Philistines. Later King David restored the ark of the covenant, foreshadowing the eternal king Jesus Christ. After 100 years and 4 months, the ark of the covenant was finally brought back to the city of David, which was on Mount Zion. Mount Zion is significant as a symbol of the restoration of the covenant of God.
(ii) Mount Zion is also a place called shalem, where Melchizedek is a priest and king
Melchizedek is the eternal high priest and is a higher level of understanding God.
Mount Zion’s older original name is Mount Moriah, where Abraham’s faith was tested and proven when he offered up Isaac in obedience to the Word of God. So even before the first old covenant of the law was given, Abraham had already received and obeyed the Word.
If Mount Sinai was the covenant for the son, Mount Zion is the place where sons of God become brides of God. Where Mount Sinai is given for the whole nation being children of Abraham, Mount Zion is where these same children grow up to obey the Word of God like their father Abraham. Mount Zion is about the faith of Abraham. Those with the faith of Abraham will end up on the top of Mount Zion. The Word of Melchizedek is actually living the Word of God, following and obeying the Word of God.
(iii) Mount Zion is the threshing floor of Araunah / Ornan, where David repented and gave a burnt offering.
Mount Zion is the place where God finds men after His heart (Hebrews 12:25-26). When God came down on Mount Sinai, the mountain quaked violently (Exodus 19:18). Shaking and quaking take place when the Lord descends on the earth and the Word of God is given. Spiritually those on the level of the earth were shaken up. This happened again when Jesus came. He is God who came down on this earth. When He spoke the Word, the religious leaders, teachers of the law during that time, were shaken to the point that they crucified Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:26).
God will shake earth and heaven. This means God will shake believers of both spiritual levels, those on earth and in heaven. When the Lord returns, and when the Word of God is proclaimed through Zion Church, the world will be shaken. The earthquake is speaking of the proclamation and the movement of the Word of God which shakes up the whole earth and heaven (Hebrews 12:27-28).
Only believers who are not shaken off, will become remnants. May we be the fruits that remain on that tree without falling off. There will be repeated shaking in the spiritual levels of heaven and on earth. But only the true firstborns will remain. And they are the ones who will climb to the top of Mount Zion with the Lamb. This is the general assembly of the firstborns. Those firstborns are called in Revelation 14, as the 144,000. May all Zion Church members become people who will end up on the top of Mount Zion!