“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” Hebrews 10:23-24 ESV
The book of Hebrews was written for Hebrew believers and has an anonymous author, although Pastor Chris would submit to you that Paul was the author. It is essentially a list of reasons why Jesus is greater than anything or anyone else.
He is greater than the angels in Hebrews 1:4. He is greater than Moses in Hebrews 3:3-4. He is greater than Joshua in Hebrews 4:8-9. And He, the Eternal High Priest, is greater than human priests such as Aaron in Hebrews 7:26-28. This last greater than statement is best understand in light of Leviticus which we went over two weeks ago.
In Hebrews 11, often called the “Hall of Faith”, we are introduced to an impressive list of heroic figures from the Old Testament. Some are more well known than others but all are commended for their exemplary display of faith. Going forth we might read about the lives of some of these heroes such as Noah who was named as a righteous man or Abraham who responded in obedience when told sacrifice his one and only son. But we quickly see that all of these figures were flawed. Noah received the righteousness that comes by faith but he was also the first alcoholic in the Bible. Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation but in Genesis 12 and 20 we see him as a deceiver. Yet they are still commended, just like numerous others in the chapter. This should elicit two things from us.
The first is that we should respond in greater worship for we know that the God that we believe created and sustained the faith of every one of these believers. Not one of these heroes demonstrated a perfect life or earned their righteousness. They were all vastly imperfect, weak and needy. But God, in His abundant mercy, revealed Himself to them despite that. And then these heroes are named for their faith. This leads to the second effect the Hall of Faith should have on us. It shows us that Jesus’ sacrifice, His covenant, His ministry are all far greater, far better than anything mankind has to offer. Unlike them, He did in fact live a perfect life. And then He died for us to cancel out the effects of Adam’s disobedience.
So those are some things to keep in mind while reading Hebrews or listening to Hebrews being preached on Sunday. Now we get to the main purpose of this post. Although we could get into a more detailed breakdown, here’s a high level overview of the entire book:
- Chapters 1 – 10:18 show that Jesus is greater than anything. The New Covenant ushered in by Jesus’ sacrifice is far better than the Old Covenant.
- Chapter 10:19 – 13 show the role of faith in all things. In it we see the “Hall of Faith” and we see that Jesus Christ is the “founder and perfecter of our faith” Hebrews 12:2 ESV
Lastly I invite you to also see the connection this book has with Psalm 110, one of the Messianic psalms. In fact some would even say Hebrews is an exposition of this Psalm. But I’ll leave you to figure that out for yourself. Happy reading!Posted by Hanson Cao