Tuesday, April 01, 2014

#40daybible Day 27 (Hebrews 4:14-13:25)

Today's reading finishes out the sermon we call Hebrews in the New Testament.
  • Hebrews 4:14-16 and 10:19-23 are pivots in the sermon that bracket its central teaching. This includes the fact that we have direct access to the heavenly throne of God through Jesus' blood and that, therefore, we must hold fast to our profession of faith.
  • Also, tucked in this central section is the main exhortation of the sermon in 5:11-6:12. The basic point is similar to what the author said in chapters 3-4. If the audience does not persist in faith, they will not make it to the Promised Land. Indeed, these verses suggest that, at least for the audience of Hebrews, they will never be able to get back to Christ if they abandon him.
  • There are two other passages in Hebrews that warn the same thing. 10:26-29 say that there is a point where the Spirit of grace is so insulted by faithlessness that the grace runs out. Then 12:16-17 give the warning of Esau, who sold his birthright and then couldn't bring himself to repentance, even though he wanted to! All these warning passages are telling the audience that abandoning faith in Christ is very serious business, and there is no promise that you will ever be able to return if you leave him.
  • Hebrews 7:1-10:18 are the high priestly nucleus of the sermon. Hebrews 7 tells the audience that Christ is not only qualified to be a priest but that he is from a superior priestly line to that of the Levitical priests. He is in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
  • Hebrews 8-10 deal with the question of sanctuary. Hebrews 7 has shown that Jesus is a priest. So in what sanctuary did he offer his superior sacrifice? Hebrews 9 shows that Jesus presented his offering in the true, superior sanctuary of heaven. 
  • When you put the superior priest with the superior sacrifice in the superior sanctuary, you have a superior covenant, as Hebrews 8 said at the beginning of this section and Hebrews 10:1-18 say at the end of this section.
  • Hebrews 10:19-12:29 give the practical warm-down from this intense argument. The audience needs to endure like they did in an earlier persecution. Hebrews 11 gives them the hall of faith, a cloud of faithful witnesses cheering them on from the stands as they run the race to the end.
  • The climax of the sermon portion is 12:18-29 where the author warns them not to reject the one speaking to them from heaven, for God is about to shake the heavens and the earth.
  • Hebrews 13 then gives a kind of letter conclusion to the sermon. 
Personal favorite of the day:
  • 10:14 With one sacrifice, it's all over. The cleansing of sins/perfection of our conscience is a done deal. TKO

No comments: