What is the theme of Hebrews?
JESUS IS GREATER!
Today, we learn about two things that Jesus introduces that are greater than what came before. In Hebrews 7, we are told that a greater priesthood is needed. It is impossible for people to be perfected through the Levitical Priesthood, the priesthood of the Old Testament. Something greater, a new priesthood, had to come to make all people perfect. Because Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice, his blood covers all those who come to God through him. Because Jesus lives forever, we need no other priest. Because Jesus has been raised and magnified, he is able to help us in our weakness. The priesthood of Jesus allows us to be made sinless.
We can overcome sin through the power of Jesus.
Because of this new priesthood, we can have a better covenant. This covenant is the way God interacts with his people. First, he gave commands to Noah, then to Abraham, then to Moses. He would say “I will bless you, watch over you, and save you, and you will do this for me” and give them rules for the best possible life. The covenant God gives to people in Jesus is the new and final covenant, the best way of any way to follow him, worship him, serve him, find salvation in him, and love others in him. We do not keep the Mosaic Law because the author of Hebrews tells us it has been superseded by the sacrifice of Jesus, a greater sacrifice. Jesus is the mediator of this new covenant. The sanctuary, the temple, the sacrifices are all perfected in Jesus, as he fulfills them through his death and resurrection to life.
Because of all this, because Jesus is greater than Angels, Moses, and Joshua, because he institutes a better priesthood and covenant, in Hebrews 10:19-25, the author says “Let us, let us, let us”. The author is encouraging the readers to live out faith in response to the great message of Christ.
This gets us into the last point I want to make today. Right after this encouragement, we read a warning in Hebrews 10:26-31 about willful sin. This isn’t the first warning. In Hebrews 2:1-4, 3:7-19, and 5:11-6:12(20), 10:19-39 and 12:14-29 are all warnings. (You can go read them.) As you go back and focus on these, they may stand out as strange. But again, the main theme of Hebrews is JESUS IS GREATER. The warnings in Hebrews say “Don’t turn away from the one who is greater, from the one who perfects, from the plan of God for the ages. There will be a day when the world will be made right, and you know the one who will hold you close and allow you to be made perfect! DON’T TURN AWAY FROM JESUS!”
My brothers and sisters, along with the author of Hebrews, don’t turn away from Jesus. Remain faithful to the one who is greater!
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Hebrews 7-10.
Tomorrow we finish the book of Hebrews (chapters 11-13).