Today’s Reading: Hebrews 1:1 – 6:12
One of the distinctive marks of this book is that the writer is unknown! To be sure the writer is well-versed in the Jewish history, both past and present! And the first few chapters to me, it’s almost as if God Himself says, “Let me do the job of quietly spreading out the surpassing glories of my Beloved Son!” Certainly only He can do the subject justice – “The Son is the RADIANCE of God’s glory and the EXACT representation of His being, SUSTAINING all things by His powerful word”! The Jews would have a profound respect for angels, but I love the argument put forth, “To which of the angels did God ever say, “You are My Son; today I have become your Father (earthly Father?). And on and on come the questions of how superior, Jesus, the Son is to angels! But I love the side comment about angels, “Are they not ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” So am I ever at the mercy of fate at any time in my life? That’s how much My Father loves me! (very special body-guards, my Father has given me!)
And after a warning to those who have not accepted Christ, “How would one escape, if they neglected such GREAT salvation?”, (how indeed?), the writer or God Himself through the writer shows how Jesus is also greater than the Jews’ greatest leader in history – Moses! Either looking at it from the promise for ALL things to be subject to Christ, or as Jesus being the builder of God’s house, He surpasses the Jew’s greatest leader! But I love the way, God the Father, whispers confidentially to me, “Now we don’t see everything subject to Jesus, but we (God and I) see Jesus (by the eye of faith, so to speak and God with His 20 20 vision!), Who was made a little lower than angels (because angels don’t die, but Jesus did!), now crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God, He might taste death for everyone.” And I am filled with wonder, that these Jews would turn back to keeping laws, when my Saviour has brought me such great freedom and blessing! But then on second thought, I do turn back often in my life to try to bargain God into my way of thinking! Are you astonished as I am at thinking about Jesus being my (our) merciful and faithful high priest – He handles all with God about me – a lawyer in a sense but better than that – someone who completely understands and accepts me and sympathizes with me!
Another famous and great leader, but Christ is also superior to Joshua! Joshua is not able to bring them into rest in the promised land, but Jesus again in role of the perfect sinless high priest coming and offering the perfect sacrifice, so that I can ALWAYS with confidence (!) have access through Him to God – to do what? – “to find mercy and find grace to help us (me!) in our time of need.” I do seem to have those times rather frequently in my earthly journey in life!
Isn’t it beautiful that Jesus because of His perfect sinlessness, has completed the work so is a high priest “after the order of Melchizedek” – which means, there’s never a time or situation when He is not completely effective! It’s hard not to pray a prayer of thanksgiving as I think about this – maybe that’s the most suitable thing to do?
And I sense the frustration of the writer as he realizes that there may be those who have missed the beauty of what Jesus is and what He has done! In the absolute sense, he may be talking about those who were never born again into God’s family – (is it any wonder these people don’t understand?) or in my case, I suspect, he breaks into a plead with me, “We do not want YOU (Rob) to become lazy, but to imitate those who through FAITH and PATIENCE (endurance) inherit what was promised! Not that I doubt that because of His faithfulness, I will inherit… but I want what Peter wanted for me – “an ABUNDANT ENTRANCE”! Please, Lord!
Did you catch God’s own personal secret, tucked away among other things – “Jesus offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and TEARS to the One Who was ABLE to save Him … but He (Jesus) LEARNED OBEDIENCE (the costly price of obedience?) from what He suffered… I am moved to tears that He not only suffered physical pain, but deep emotional pain FOR ME! I feel a deep sense of being worth something, because the cost was so incredibly great! Thank you, thank you, my precious Saviour. You do surpass everything!