In this, the final talk in our series on Hebrews, Sams vividly takes us through what the Pastor of Hebrews’ culminating response to the superiority of Christ means for the church: meeting Christ outside the camp. This is not an easy race to run but in it is redemption, hope and resurrection life. Moreover, the Pastor emphasises the need to do this together, not alone.
This week Sam takes us through the imagery in Hebrews 12 of how we can keep running the race of the Christian life. God, our father, disciplines us as a loving father and it is to this God, through Jesus we have approached with confidence.
In this rousing chapter, we hear how the saints of old trusted in the greater hope and home that God promised for them. As we run the race of faith, the Pastor portrays them as the crowd cheering us on, so that we might stay strong in our faith to reach the fulfilment of God’s promises, as they did.
As the Pastor wraps up his argument about Jesus being the great High Priest, he gives one final warning to the church. And in this warning does everything he can to wake them up from the shadows of the Old Testament, and into the reality of the unshakeable truth, the unshakeable community, and the unshakeable home that we have in Christ.
Like children, we can live for what we want. But these chapters show us what we really need: a great high priest to bring us near to God. Guest speaker Nick Brennan helps us to walk through these tricky passages, to understand the hope we have because of the faithfulness and mercy of our great high priest.
You might not have heard of Melchizedek (and for good reason; he only appears in two short passages in the Old Testament). But to the Pastor of the Hebrew church, he’s a vital figure figure foreshadowing Jesus and his eternal priesthood. Our guest preacher Steve Young helps to walk us through this tricky passage.
The Pastor both warns the church that they are spiritually lazy, and encourages them because they’re showing the fruit of genuine faith. So which is it? In this passage, we see that we need both warnings and promises to stay strong in our Christian walk, to keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.
It’s sometimes hard to know what it means that Jesus is a priest for us. But this passage gives us an incredible promise that Jesus gives us mercy to approach the throne of God’s grace with confidence.
How do you like your heart? When the Pastor is preaching to the church about the need to hear the word of God, he gives them a vision of Israel’s hard hearts and call them to hear more closely, with a soft heart. In applying this, he gives them two habits to grow soft hearts: the habit of community, and the habit of meeting God in his word.
Jesus had to become like us in every sense, in order to become a high priest for us. So Jesus was not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters, and because of this we look to him as the pioneer for our faith.