In these two chapters we hear about faith.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV
In chapter 10 we’re encouraged that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient to bring salvation once and for all and that we should persevere in our faith.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV
Then in chapter 11 we see this long list of faithful men and women. A “roll call” of some of the most faithful men and women in scripture. At first glance this list might make you feel inferior. It might make you feel as if there is no way to be “as good” as some of these people. I mean…these are some of the most notable people in all of the Bible. A kind of “Who’s Who” list. But that’s not the point. In fact, if you dig a little deeper – every one of these people struggled in their faith in one way or the other. The point is not them. The point is Jesus.
In fact, that’s for tomorrow. Because in order to see fully the point of this roll call of faith…this “great cloud of witnesses,” you have to read on into chapter 12.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
It’s all about Jesus. Our faith should only be in him. It’s not about our ability, our position, our popularity. It’s not about whether we come from a church background. It’s not about the law. It is ultimately about Jesus Christ. I pray you’ll put your full faith and trust in Him today.
Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow
The words of this hymn come to mind when I read Hebrews 8 & 9 this morning. Jesus paid the debt I owed. He paid it with his blood.
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” – Hebrews 9:22 NIV
I am so grateful for the sacrifice He made. I pray that my life would be one that would be spent living as an offering to him in response to all he’s done for me. Not that I could earn my salvation – that was settled on the cross. But that I would worship Him with my life and live in such a way that I would reflect him so that others might believe. He’s coming again and I want everyone to know the Good News of Jesus.
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:27-28
Yesterday we talked about how the writer of Hebrews started referring to Jesus as being a once and for all “high priest.” This theme continues on in both chapters 6 and 7. The original readers of this letter were Jews who were coming to faith in Christ. They were taught at an early age the importance of the Law and the importance of the priesthood. So, it’s very important that the writer took time in these chapters to focus on the truth of who Christ was in relationship to the priests.
Melchizedek is an important figure in this part of the text. He was a famous priest from the Old Testament who blessed Abraham. He wasn’t from the line of Aaron and all the other main priests. He was different – special. One that was thought of as being pure. One that wasn’t filled with a lineage of problems. The problem with the priestly line of Aaron is that they were all imperfect (just like us). But there was One who was perfect. And people knew for generations that he would come one day and be a “forever priest”.
Psalm 110:4 say,
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””
This is important. The writer of Hebrews is showing the people and us today – that this Jesus, is the one we’ve been waiting for. He is the “forever priest of God Most High.” We no longer have to go to an imperfect priest for forgiveness of our sins. We can go to God himself through Jesus Christ. He is our permanent priest.
“…but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” – Hebrews 7:24-27 NIV
This is the Good News! These chapters of Hebrews are full of such amazing truth. My prayer is that you soak this up today. Read these two chapters two or three times. Maybe even have your Bible App read it to you as well. This is the meat of God’s Word that the Lord wants us to grasp. Jesus isn’t some fad or a logo for a T-shirt or bumper sticker. He isn’t just some secret friend we run to in times of trouble. He is the Lord. He is our great high priest forever. This Hope we have found is the hope of all mankind. From the beginning of time and for all time to come – Jesus is Lord. As I read today, I’m astounded once again by his majesty. I pray that today you see it fresh again too and it causes you to want to tell someone of his greatness. We all need a Savior. Help someone today know his name is Jesus.