Thru the Bible – Day 335

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Day 335 – Thru the Bible

Today we start Hebrews. Here’s the overview video.

Video – Read Scripture: Hebrews

 

How does this video help you understand Hebrews?

 

Hebrews 1The Son of God is the great and final Prophet whose revelation completes that of the Old Testament prophets, through whom God also spoke. In John 6:68, Peter, speaking for all Believers, says to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life.” Therefore, we must pay attention (Hebrews 2:1) to Jesus our Lord and Savior when he teaches us through his apostolic witness in the New Testament.

Hebrews 1 also presents the Son as Priest and King. What qualifies Him to fulfill these Old Testament offices? His identity. He is the beginning and the end of all things: God’s agent in creation and His heir. And that is because He is almighty God. He shares the divine glory and is the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature.” He is of the very nature of God Himself. He also performs works that only God performs, such as creating the universe and upholding it “by the word of his power.”

All this introduces Hebrews’ main message—that Jesus with divine power and prerogative has made “purification for sins” and has sat down at God’s right hand. His sitting indicates that, unlike Old Testament priests who never sat when making sacrifices, Jesus has finished His work. There is no other sacrifice for sin besides Jesus’ offering of Himself to God on the cross. And because of where He sat—at God’s right hand, the place of greatest honor and authority in the universe—His work is perfect. It cannot be improved upon. And because His work is finished and perfect, it is perfectly effective to forgive sins.

Even sinners who think they are beyond redemption can find forgiveness if they sincerely repent and believe in Jesus as their substitute. Believers sometimes do not act as if Jesus’ sacrifice were finished, perfect, and effective. When they sin, they sometimes beat themselves up spiritually and do a form of evangelical “penance,” as if their extra prayers, promises, and tears can somehow atone for their sins. It is right to be displeased with ourselves when we sin. But there is no other antidote to the poison of sin than Jesus’ sacrifice. We dishonor Him and His death if we act otherwise. Our single confession of our sins and the complete forgiveness and cleansing from God’s hand (1 John 1:9) is based on the unique accomplishment of God’s Son, our Savior.

Although this chapter mentions Jesus’ prophetic and priestly offices, its major idea is His royal office. He inherits the name of divine Son (King) when He sits at God’s right hand. In this way He surpasses the angels who, as creatures and servants of God, worship the Son. His throne lasts forever and His rule is righteous. This means that He has the right to command and the power to rescue.

We, His people, saved freely by His grace, gladly submit to His righteous rule over us. We love Him and keep His commandments because He first loved us (John 14:15, 21, 23; 1 John 4:19). His perfect love for us drives away our fear of God’s wrath (1 John 4:18). He, our strong King, keeps us safe in His care. We have many reasons to thank Him!

Verses 1-4 apply chapter 1. Jesus as the Mediator of the new covenant excels the Old Testament mediators of revelation: prophets (1:1–2) and angels (1:4–14). When did angels bring revelation? The law was “delivered by angels” (Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19). Because Jesus is a better Mediator we “must pay much closer attention” to His message than even to the Ten Commandments. We are not saved by obeying Him, but, once saved, we obey Him in eager and grateful response to His grace. Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).

Adam and Eve disobeyed God and forfeited much of the glory and dominion that was theirs from creation. But God sent his Son to become “the last Adam” and “the second man” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) to rectify the situation. The Son of God left heaven’s glory and “for a little while was made lower than the angels.” He became a man so that by God’s grace He could die in order to ransom “people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Consequently, He is now crowned with the “glory and honor” that our first parents lost. And amazingly, “he is not ashamed to call . . . brothers” all who believe in Him, and He intends to bring them “to glory”. Because the Son of God shared our humanity, died, and rose again, He can and will usher us into heavenly glory. Such a bright prospect fills us with hope and purpose, even in days of trial and shame.

The plan of salvation was conceived by God in heaven. It involved His Son sharing “in flesh and blood,” that is, becoming a human being. Why? So that He might live a sinless life and die as a perfect sacrifice for us. What does His death accomplish? First, He died to “destroy the one who has the power of death . . . the devil.” When the Devil seduced our first parents to rebel against their Creator, he put them under the power of death that was the consequence of their sin. (Of course, the Devil is under God, who alone has absolute power.) By not trusting God, Adam and Eve, who were created to rule God’s creation, instead became slaves to sin, Satan, and death. But we are grateful to God that One stronger than the Devil loved us and gave Himself for us to destroy the Evil One and void his purposes. How comforting to know that “he who is in you is greater than he [Satan] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)!

Second, Jesus’ death delivers “all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” The “fear of death” here is not merely a fear of dying—that is perfectly natural. It is rather the “fear” that “has to do with punishment,” a fear which “perfect love casts out” (1 John 4:18). God’s love in Jesus assures us that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). God wants us to rejoice in our great Redeemer and as His loved sons and daughters to be unafraid of the wrath that will be manifested on the last day, because Jesus has already taken our wrath upon Himself.

How does this good news of the great substitution comfort you?

 

What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?

 

Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.

Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.

All links you need to be a part of this are here – Thru the Bible in 2018.

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