But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant…
The covenant of grace is, strictly speaking, made between God and Christ; and, in this view, is part of that great covenant of redemption, ordered from eternity between the persons of the Godhead. Man is a party to it only in the second instance, as he is viewed in Christ, coming in for the blessings of it by his surety's fulfilment of its terms. To Him we are indebted for its grace; and through Him alone it has all its efficacy in the experience of redeemed sinners.
I. Consider it As IT BEGAN IN ETERNITY. As there never was a moment in which God was not, so never was there a moment in which this grace to man was not the determinate counsel and object of delight of the Eternal mind. The purpose of redemption was not (as many unworthily think of it) a purpose conceived only when man fell, to remedy a mischief never contemplated till then. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." Rather, the whole mystery of grace in the gospel, yea, creation itself, with all its consequences, is a result of the purpose of God to make, in the person of Christ, the most illustrious display, before all intelligent creatures, of the glories of the Divine nature, by man's redemption.
II. As IT WAS CARRIED ON UPON EARTH With His incarnation commenced that active ministry of which the apostle is here speaking as "more excellent" than that of Aaron, above which it is one great object of this Epistle to exalt it. The main intention of this earthly ministry of Christ was to make atonement.
1. It was the life of a sinless Being, and so was altogether unforfeited; it was that which He had to give to God, in exchange for His people, who are therefore called "the purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:14); the law of God had no claim upon it, except as He voluntarily subjected Himself to its curse for us.
2. While it was human life, it was life taken into union with Deity; and so it was not only of infinite value, but this Priest as well as Victim possessed in Himself infinite ability both to lay it down and to take it again.
3. But let us look at the effect of this atonement which Christ, as our High Priest, made for the sins of men, in reference to the covenant of which we are treating. The blood of Jesus Christ is represented by Himself, and throughout this Epistle, as the ratification of the covenant.
III. AS IT IS COMPLETED IN HEAVEN (Hebrews 6:20).
1. His intercession above gives efficacy to His offering of Himself on earth.
2. His mediatorial dominion. He holds the reign of universal empire. Heaven, earth, and hell — all things in all worlds — obey His sovereign will.
(Francis Goode, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.