Sometimes I hear preachers or teachers of the Bible say things like “I’ve got a word for these last days, or this is a word for right now!” While I appreciate their zeal and sentiment I was reading a little in Hebrews and found this in the very first few verses, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the world.” So God has spoken in the past in various ways but now “in these last days” he has spoken to us in his son. In other words, if we want to know what God is saying these days it’s a pretty safe bet we can look to Jesus Christ and know.
Throughout the next several chapters of the letter the author proceeds to show us how great Jesus really is. First he tells us He’s greater than the angels. Then he tells us he became a man and was briefly humbled in order to taste death for everyone. He shared in our humanity to the fullest, being “tempted in that which he suffered.” He then moves on telling us he’s worthy of more glory than Moses.
In chapter 4 he tells us how Jesus is the only one that can bring us rest. He is greater than Joshua. The truth is Jesus is not only giving us rest he is our rest. The Sabbath rest, like the rest of the Old Covenant, was always meant to be a pointer to its fulfillment in Christ.
As you read further the letter begins to compare Jesus to the whole system of priests and sacrifices telling us how he is greater. The priests of old had to go in the holiest place once a year to atone for the people’s sins. Jesus “entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, he entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
Throughout the old system the sacrifices could never take away sin but rather they were a reminder of the sins year after year. Jesus, on the other hand, he went in by his own blood. “Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washes with pure water.” So now in Christ we can come to God with a clean conscience rather than one that is sin-conscious. This is incredible news! In Christ we have a cleansed conscience! We don’t have to walk around day after day feeling like we’re unworthy to come to God. Now we can come boldly to the throne of grace in our time of need.
Let me wrap this up with Hebrews 10:14 which tells us, “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” The word perfect brings all sorts of hesitation with it when talking about Christians. Most of them I know stick to the adage “I’m not perfect just forgiven.” This of course comes from a misunderstanding of what this word “perfect means.” Perfect as used here means to complete, accomplish, consummate, consecrate, finish, fulfill, make-perfect. In other words, there is absolutely nothing more that can or will be done outside of Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. Either we receive him by faith, and trust in him fully, or we continue to attempt to obtain our salvation and “clean up our act” some other way. As for me I’m going with the one that is greater than Moses, Joshua, the Old Covenant priesthood and sacrifices. I’m going with the one in whom I can find rest because from the cross he said, “It is finished!” Amen!
Written by Louie