Today’s Reading: Hebrews 1 & 2
“…through the Son he created the universe” – Hebrews 1:2b. The writer of Hebrews preaches an incredible sermon in the first four chapters. I love the flow of these four very powerful points he makes.
1. Jesus participated in the creation of the world; therefore, He is our Creator.
He also says to the Son,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.” – Hebrews 1:10
But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise that the house itself. For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. – Hebrews 3:3-4
2. Jesus, who created flesh and blood, became flesh and blood so that He could die for our sins and set us free from death. So not only is He our Creator, He is our Savior!
Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. – Hebrews 2:14-15
Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. – Hebrews 2:16-17
What perfect timing for these verses! How often do we hear the question at Christmas of why Jesus had to be born? Why was it necessary for Christ to grow in his mother’s womb and be human, just as we are? The writer of Hebrews helps us understand.
3. Because He was human, experiencing suffering and temptations like we do, He is able to understand our weaknesses. How perfect, then, that He would be our High Priest!
Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. – Hebrews 2:18
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will RECEIVE HIS MERCY, and we will FIND GRACE TO HELP us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:14-16
4. Just as He shared in our sufferings, He generously gives us the opportunity to share in everything that belongs to Him – to enter into His rest.
But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ. – Hebrews 3:6
For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. – Hebrews 3:14
For only we who believe can enter his rest…
So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:
“Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” – Hebrew 4:3a,6-7
God’s rest is not something we can earn by our own efforts but is a result of our faith in God and our trust in Him – that we believe He created us, became flesh for us, died for us and rose to life for us.
For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from THEIR labors, just as God did after creating the world. – Hebrews 4:10a
God, we praise you for sending your Son to radiate your own glory and to be an expression of your character (1:3)! Jesus, we thank you for your willingness to become a man for your guilty creation. We do not deserve what you have done for us but, by your grace (2:9), you died for us anyhow. Christ Jesus, you have displayed your love for us and your understanding. You have set an example that we do not have to sin – that we can face temptations and suffering yet win the battle through the same strength of God you used to remain without sin.
God, we thank you for your word we have the privilege of studying this morning. Your words are alive and powerful – sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from you, God. Everything is naked and exposed before your eyes. You, oh God, hold us accountable (4:12-13).
Precious God, we lay it all out before you this morning knowing that you understand our weaknesses and have extended your mercy and grace to help us when we need it the most. Thank you for this kind of love – for this kind of grace! We give today to you – our creator and our savior! Today, we choose to hear your voice and rest in you! Amen.