IT must also be borne in mind that Jesus does not present his death as an isolated act: it was the fulfilment of his life. He came to serve, and service was consummated in the death of the Cross. His atoning work did not begin with Gethsemane or Golgotha, but with his baptism, and it was the completed life of obedience which was offered to the Father. Moses, whom the Jews called “the first redeemer”, as Messiah would be “the last”, had been willing to offer his life for the people: “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin –; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” It is a Jewish scholar who compares this with Jesus, and applies to Moses’ offer the terms kopher, lutron (Dr. David Daube, The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism). But Moses, forbidden at last to enter Canaan, could not offer the perfect life; he was a great servant of the Lord and of Israel, “faithful in all God’s house”, but he could only provide “a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken” (Hebrews 8:5, RV). He could only bear witness as a type to the greater Redeemer, whose whole life was an offering which his death perfected.

L. G. SARGENT, Mark: The Gospel of the Son of God, page 148.


8Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on 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 pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.