There is so much truth in today’s readings and it’s hard to even begin to put into words a few key ideas from these two chapters. The two things I’ll focus on include: the Bible and Prayer.
Hebrews 4:12 is a key verse I turn to often when talking about the Word of God.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
– Hebrews 4:12NIV
God’s Word is sitting right here in front of me. On the pages of my Bible are the words of the One True God. I don’t have to wonder or worry about where I came from or why I’m here. I know. I’m a child of the King. My prayer this morning is that I never take for granted this great book. It’s so much more than a book on a shelf. It’s a tool. It’s a lifeline. It’s my primary way I hear my Heavenly Father speaking.
The second passage today that is so key for me from these two chapters is Hebrews 4:14-16:
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV
This may seem foreign to someone who never grew up in a priestly format of church life, but this is a huge deal. Because of Jesus Christ, there is no need for a priest to speak on your behalf to God. Jesus’ death and resurrection removed the veil. He himself is our high priest. That means (as vs. 16 says) we can approach God. We can talk to him just as we would anyone else.
Ultimately, these two passages are about two key topics for the believer: the Bible & Prayer. Because of Jesus, we have direct access to our Heavenly Father through prayer and we have His Word to guide our path. Never take for granted the opportunity to read the Bible and pray without ceasing. Spend some time this morning with Him.
John 1:14 tells us that the “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Jesus became Emmanuel (God with us). Part of the reason why is explained here in Hebrews 2 & 3.
“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”
– Hebrews 2:17 NIV
This is Good News! Part of the reason Jesus was made like us – is so that he could take our place. Jesus stood in the gap for you and for me and atoned for our sins.
Jesus put on flesh to dwell among us and to show us what it means to live. But he also put on flesh so that he could take our place.
Let that sink in. Honestly, it’s hard to fathom. Jesus loves us that much. He loves us enough to take our place. Our response to this love – is surrender. Turn to Jesus today. “…Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Heb 3:15). Turn to Jesus.
Today we begin our last letter of our Crash Summer Bible Reading. Though we don’t know if Paul is the writer of Hebrews, we are including this book in our summer reading. It’s a wonderful letter that was originally written most likely to a group of Jewish Christians (thus the name Hebrews).
As we begin this letter, I love the first few verses. Right from the get go, the writer begins by declaring Jesus as better than even the angels who declared the goodness of God in the Old Testament.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.” – Hebrews 1:1-4 NIV
Today I’m grateful that Jesus is the, “…radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Because… that means that it’s Jesus who alone can be our Savior. Only he can stand in the gap for us. Only Jesus can defeat our sin and death and only Jesus can bring us new life. That’s Good News on this Friday. Jesus’ name is “superior to theirs.” His name is the one we cling to. Thank you Jesus!