Hebrews 8:1-6 A More Excellent Ministry.
When an author writes, “this is the main point,” we must respect this note. It is important to understand that this is also not our author’s private understanding, because he says “we are saying we have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man”(v. 1b-2 Cf. 2:17; 3:1; 9:8, 11-12, 24; 10:12; Pss. 68:18; 110:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1). Some have argued that the synagogue of the first century is the pattern of the church. However, the tabernacle and temple is what our author refers to, and his point is simple-these were patterned after that which is in heaven (v. 5). The priests of the Levitical order offered their temporary sacrifices in a tabernacle and temple that was transient.
That temple, which was still presently occupied with its duties at the time our author wrote (v. 4), was but a “copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (v. 5a Cf. 9:23-24; 10:1; Col. 2:17). However, the Son offered the sacrifice of Himself on the altar in the precincts of the temple which is forever (v. 3 Cf. 5:1; 8:4; 9:14; Rom. 4:25; 5:6, 8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2). It is abundantly clear, as our author shows, that Moses was instructed to pattern everything after what he had seen on the mountain in the Glory-Presence (v. 5b Cf. Ex. 25:40). It is yet another reason why the Son’s ministry is more excellent, “inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (v. 6 Cf. 7:22; Lk. 22:20; II Cor. 3:4-11). This will lead to the next passage, which deals with this new covenant in particular (vv. 7ff.).