A Letter to Lift Your Spirit: An Overview of Hebrews
The book of Hebrews expresses through Jewish eyes how Jesus fulfills God’s promises to his people. This spiritual reality inspires us with hope to keep calm and carry on in the face of adversity. I can personally vouch for this: pouring over these 13 chapters this last week lifted my faith and sent my spirits soaring in a time of real need.
Hebrews tells us that in the past, God spoke through the prophets, but now he’s spoken to us through a Son—who is the very reflection of God’s glory and the imprint of his very being. This Son sustains all things—including us—with his powerful word. The author explains how everything in the Hebrew Scriptures and Judaism has been pointing to Jesus all along.
We can relate with Jesus because he became completely human in every aspect, except for sin. He understands what we’re going through—he’s been there. We can learn from his example too. Even though he experienced so much difficulty in life, unlike us, Jesus was entirely faithful to the Father from the cradle to the cross. He is therefore an empathetic and trustworthy mediator for us in the face of the adversity we undergo in our lives. Jesus has what we lack and he has our back.
In Hebrews Jesus is not only the Good Shepherd and the Great High Priest—he’s also the spotless sacrificial lamb.
By his death, he set aside the one who had the power of death, namely the devil, and set free those who had been held in slavery to the fear of death. Jesus has opened up a new and living way for us, so we can approach God’s throne of grace with a sincere and faith-filled heart.
Hebrews is a trumpet call to faithfulness in the face of persecution for the faith. Here are a few examples:
* Let us hold firm to the unwavering profession of hope, for he who made the promise can be trusted.
* Maintain your boldness and courageous profession of faith.
* Endure the strong competition of sufferings.
* Don’t throw in the towel of your fearlessness.
* Endure like someone who can see the invisible.
* Don’t drift away or neglect so great a salvation.
* We are not among those who draw back.
Persevere in doing God’s will—live by faith.
In Christ, you are powerful in weakness; endure and you will receive the reward.
Rely on God’s grace for inner strength.
Grasp the hope held out for us—the ANCHOR OF THE SOUL, pure and firm.
Hebrews keeps us in touch with reality–you will face hardship: you walk in the footsteps of the Man of Sorrows, the Suffering Servant.
In these times of difficulty, remember Christ, who endured opposition from sinners. By fixing your eyes on Jesus, you’ll be encouraged and you won’t become heartbroken and despondent when you, like Christ, find yourself outside the gates. As the famous church billboard proverb says, “When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something.”
Hebrews helps us to see our pain and trials as our teacher. God uses these experiences to teach us lessons about faith, maturity, and resilience. So don’t be discouraged by setbacks and obstacles—know that God is at work through them—even using adversity to help you bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
In other words, Hebrews teaches us to view life through the lens of hope. Be grateful no matter your circumstances and offer worship to the living God with reverence. Our Forerunner Jesus Christ comes to us from the future and he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s the Pioneer and Perfecter of our Faith and isn’t ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. We can persevere throughout our pilgrimage to the New Jerusalem—the City of God.
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