Read This Week’s Passage: Hebrews 8:7–13
The Embodiment of Perfect Obedience
By living a perfect life, and then by dying in our place, Jesus mediated a new, better covenant between us and God. Through His death, Jesus canceled the penalty of death that our trespasses demanded and made possible to partakers of the new covenant.
This truth is explained in Hebrews 10:5–10, which identifies Jesus as having manifested the perfect obedience required by the covenant. It references Psalm 40, referring to Messiah’s desire to render to God total obedience: “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:7, 8, ESV). “In the original context this phrase [‘to do your will’] described moral obedience to the will of God. The author of Hebrews uses the phrase to show that the sacrifice of Christ fulfilled the will of God in providing an acceptable atonement, which the animal sacrifices had not provided.”—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 460.
For Paul, this psalm acquired special significance with the incarnation of Jesus. Jesus embodied the obedience of the new covenant. He is our example. We have been saved, not only because of His death but also because of His perfect obedience.