When dissecting any verse of scripture. Ask yourself, of whom, to whom, with what words, what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what is written before and what follows any single verse context.
^^^Myles Coverdale, Bible theologian/translator wrote the above^^^
The old covenant was between God & the collective Nation of Israel only, the Circumcision (NO GENTILES!)
John the Baptist repent & be baptised message is speaking to the Nation of Israel. The Circumcision only! (NO GENTILES ARE BAPTIZED BY JOHN IN THE WILDERNESS)
Virtually everything you read in the 4 gospels (still the Old Testament/Covenant) is the fulfillment of OT promises. Made to & about Nation of Israel, the Circumcision.
Having said that, All scripture is written FOR us. But, ALL scripture isn't written TO us:
Romans 15:4 (A) For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning
(NOTE: ALL scripture is written for our learning. However, all scripture "IS NOT" written for our DOCTRINE. Example; are we required to bring an animal sacrifice to the Temple?)
The New Testament/Covenant begins with Christ's death & resurrection
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
(NOTE: While Christ is alive the old covenant is in full force)
38 Jesus said; He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)
(NOTE: Jesus foretells of the giving/out pouring of the Holy Spirit to be given to believers. AFTER his glorification = Resurrection)
The ratification of the New Covenant is a process that begins at Christ's resurrection. Next, Christ enters into the presence of God & the Holy Place made without hands Heb 9:24. Here Christ cleanses the Heavenly sanctuary with his sinless shed blood.
The final step in the New Covenant ratification is the outpouring/Baptism of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) which only Christ can do. See Matt 3:11 & Acts 2:33)
It's here that the center piece of Jewish life = Levitical Priesthood & Temple sacrifices are now retired/rendered obsolete.
Even though animal sacrifices continued for decades after Jesus death. They were pointless/worthless & carried no covering/cloak for sin. It was via resurrection power that Christ became our Great High Priest/advocate after the order of Melchizedek.
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