«Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being» (Hebrews 8: l, 2, NIV).
IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 8, Paul presents the superiority of the new covenant in relation to the old covenant. Everything is superior: the Sanctuary (it is in heaven), its Priest (it is Jesus Christ Himself), His sacrifice (while the priests offered animals in the earthly sanctuary, the Lamb of God offered Himself in the heavenly sanctuary), and security and assurance (one was mediated by Moses, while the new one was mediated by Christ).
In 2017, it was the five-hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The dream of the Reformers was to see the Bible in the hands of all people. The flames sparked by Luther were lighting a fire that no one could put out. As early as the fourteenth century, John Wycliff had raised the flag of biblical truths in England. He was known as the «morning star» of the Reformation, since he was the first to translate the Bible from Latin into the English language.
Thanks to Gutenberg and his invention of the printing press, it was easier to disseminate written content. Thus, Erasmus of Rotterdam, in 1516, published his Greek edition of the New Testament. And then the figure of William Tyndale emerges. Born in 1494 and a graduate of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, he loved the Word of God and his passion was for the Bible to reach the English people in their mother tongue.
He was persecuted. He fled to London and then to Germany. But, in 1526, he published his translation of the New Testament based on the original Greek text of Erasmus.
Tyndale became a martyr in 1536, after having spent many months tied to a stake. He was strangled and burned. His last words were: «Lord, open the eyes of the king of England.» His prayer was heard because, a short time later, Henry VIII published the first complete Bible printed in the English language.
Another legacy of Tyndale was that he coined the term «atonemaker,» which means thatChrist is the «Author of the atonement».
It is by the sacrifice and ministry of the Lord that the interests of both parts, those of the holiness of heaven and those of the sinfulness of the earth, are taken care of and resolved, thus reconciling man with God.
The old covenantwas fleeting, transient, and written on stone (Exod. 31:18; 34:27, 28).
The new covenant is permanent, eternal,
and written in our hearts (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10, 16).
Christ is our atonemaker, our Author of atonement and salvation.