“…there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:19).
The great hope of the Old Testament was the coming Messiah. From the call of Abram in Genesis 12 to the prediction of Elijah’s return in Malachi 4:5-6, the Messiah was the confident expectation of Abraham’s family for two thousand years. Matthew 1:1-17 lists forty-plus generations whose hope of the Messiah was not realized doing its sojourn in history.
The hope brought by Jesus is vastly superior. It blazes to life when a disciple of Jesus obeys the gospel. Being justified and sanctified, every Christian can draw near to God in sweet and intimate fellowship with Him. Though death will discontinue a Christian’s earthly life at some point, it does not sever his fellowship with God. It just draws him even nearer to Him. The better hope is realized completely when Jesus appears a second time and takes His bride, the church, to be forever with God in heaven.
The Old Testament’s hope was of a coming Christ. The New Testament’s better hope is of Christ’s return.