The Book of Hebrews

The people of Israel knew that God's presence among them and their own holiness depended on the sacrifices of the Law of Moses. This was carefully explained in the Book of Leviticus where God stressed: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17.11).

Yet the Old Testament yearns for fulfilment. God told Abraham that all the families of the world would be blessed through him (Genesis 12.3). He told Israel to look for another Prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18.18). He said that David's throne would endure forever (2 Samuel 7.16). He promised them rest in the land (Joshua 1.13). None of these promises were ever fulfilled by following the Law of Moses. The temple itself was destroyed in 586 B.C., and it would be destroyed again in A.D. 70. That is why Jeremiah promised a new covenant (31:31-34). 

Jesus brought that new covenant to Israel and to all the nations of the world. Jesus completed all that was lacking in the Old Testament. He was not just another teacher of the Law of Moses. He fulfilled the Law of Moses and became the last sacrifice of blood to make atonement not only for the souls of Israel but for the souls of all nations. 

The Book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were being tempted to turn back from Jesus as the ultimate Sacrifice and Savior to the Law of Moses. The writer appeals to them not to do this because the Law of Moses cannot provide what they really need. We don't know who wrote Hebrews. It might have been Paul, Barnabus, Apollos, or another early disciple. It was probably written just before the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 68 or 69. 

Outline:

I. Prologue (1.1-4)
II. God’s Son is King (1.5-4.16)
III. God’s Son is Priest (5-10)
IV. The Response of Faith (11-12)
V. Epilogue (13)

01) Jesus is the supreme revelation of God; Angels serve, but the Son rules.

02) Don’t drift away. He put the world in subjection to Christ, not the angels. Jesus made lower than angels to suffer death for everyone. He partook of flesh and blood to save us. He was made like us to make propitiation for our sins.

03)  Jesus has more glory than Moses. Do not harden your heart (Psalm 95). Israel rebelled in the wilderness. Exhort one another every day that you may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. The generation of Israel that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness and did not enter His rest.

04) There is another promised rest after Joshua. Be diligent to enter. The word is a sharp sword. Jesus, our High Priest passed through the heavens. He was tempted as we are. Come boldly to the throne of grace.

II. The Son is Priest 5-10

05) High Priests are appointed by God. They offer sacrifices for themselves and for others. No one takes this honor to himself. Jesus is God’s Son (Psa 2)/Eternal Priest (Psa 110) of the order of Melchizedek. He is the author of salvation. The hearers were spiritually immature (milk-faith).

06)  Go on to perfection from the elementary things. If believers fall away, they can’t be renewed in repentance. Do not become sluggish in the faith. It is impossible for God to lie. This hope is the anchor of the soul. In hope we go behind the veil as Jesus has entered. 

07)  Melchizedek blessed Abraham and received tithes from him. He has no genealogy, no beginning or end. He is a greater Priest than the Levites. Jesus descended from Judah. He is a priest forever. Jesus became a priest by the Lord's oath and guarantees a better covenant.  Jesus saves to the uttermost. No need to offer sacrifices continually for Himself and others. He gave Himself. 

08) The Levitical priests served in a tabernacle that was a copy of God's design. Christ's ministry is more excellent and based on better promises. New Covenant of Jeremiah 31. Laws will be put in hearts and minds of Israel. They will all know the Lord through forgiveness. Old Covenant passing away.

09) Describes the Holy Place with lamp stand and table of bread. Describes the Most Holy Place with Altar of Incense and Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priest goes into the Most Holy Place once a year. Jesus entered the more perfect tent with His own blood. He is the mediator of a new covenant. Covenants/Testaments are inaugurated with death. No forgiveness without the shedding of blood. Christ entered not the copies but heaven itself and sanctified us with His blood. 

10) The Law, as a shadow of the perfect, cannot make perfect. Blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. Psalm 40 No pleasure in sacrifices but in doing God's will. After the single sacrifice, Christ sat at the right hand of God. Encourage one another to meet together. If we go on sinning, we will be judged. Those who set aside the Law of Moses were punished, how much more those who set aside Christ. Fearful to fall into the hands of the living God. Partners with the persecuted. Property plundered. We don't shrink back.

III. The Response of Faith (11-12)

11) Faith is hope, evidence of things not seen. Creation, Abel, Enoch (without faith we can’t please, God rewards those who seek Him), Noah (righteousness by faith), Abraham, Sarah. All died not seeing promises fulfilled, strangers & pilgrims, desired a heavenly country.  Abraham offered Isaac (God able to raise him), Jacob & Esau, Sons of Joseph, Joseph (burial instructions). Moses (refused to be called Pharaoh’s son, chose affliction rather than pleasure as those who choose Christ), Passover, Red Sea. Jericho, Rahab. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah. David & Samuel. Many were persecuted. World not worthy. Survivalists.

12) The race of faith. Discipline by enduring hostility. Chastening leads to peaceable fruit of righteousness. Strengthen hands & knees. Pursue peace. No root of bitterness, fornicator, profane (Esau). Not the mount of Moses but of Mt. Zion/heavenly Jerusalem. to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant. Don’t refuse the one who speaks from heaven. Serve God by grace. God is a consuming fire.

IV. Epilogue

13)  Brotherly love. Entertaining strangers/angels. Remember prisoners. Marriage honorable/bed undefiled. Contentment. Never leave nor forsake you. No fear. Follow those who have spoken God’s word. Jesus same yesterday, today, forever. No strange doctrines. Jesus suffered outside the gate. No continuing city. Sacrifice of praise. Be submissive. Pray for author to be restored. Shepherd benediction. Timothy set free. Those from Italy greet you.

Learning By Heart


Hebrews 1.1-2 Jesus Is God’s Son
Hebrews 2:10 Jesus is Captain of Our Salvation
Hebrews 2:14-15 Jesus Died to Free Us From Death
Hebrews 3:4 God Built All Things
Hebrews 4:8 A Rest for the People of God
Hebrews 4:12 God’s Word Is a Sharp Sword
Hebrews 4:14-15 Jesus Is Without Sin
Hebrews 4:16 Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
Hebrews 5:9 Author of Salvation
Hebrews 7:25 Jesus Saves to the Uttermost
Hebrews 9:27-28 Death and Judgment; Second Coming and Salvation
Hebrews 10:23-25 Hold Fast the Confession; Don’t Give Up Meeting Together
Hebrews 11:1 Definition of Faith
Hebrews 11:3 World Made with God’s Word
Hebrews 12:1-2 The Race of Faith
Hebrews 13:6 No Fear
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Is Unchangeable
Hebrews 13:20-21 Shepherd Blessing

 

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The First Century Jerusalem Temple

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