In every place and every age, the church will always find itself under great pressure.
Pressure to conform to the world—to adjust our lives or our doctrine to fit the priorities and values of the culture around us. Pressure to compromise in order to avoid persecution, or in effort to gain power. Pressure to retreat—to abort our mission to make disciples and separate from the world, because the heat is too high, the pain too much, or our heart too small. Pressure to give in to sin and find our pleasure and safety in that which ultimately destroys.
And whenever we find ourselves under pressure, there will always be a variety of voices trying to direct our steps. Telling us how to respond, informing us of the way forward, or offering us a way out. The question becomes which voice do we listen to?
For the early Christians addressed in the book of Hebrews, some of those voices were telling them to look to new religious ideas (i.e. the infatuation with angels, 1:4-2:18). Other even louder voices told them to find shelter and respite in old religious systems (i.e. the old covenant and its Levitical system, 3:1-10:18). We face similar voices today, telling us how the church must change or die, that sin isn’t really that sinful, that grace isn’t sufficient, that there’s an easier way and we need not suffer to find it.
Into that cacophony comes the rich and rousing voice of Jesus through Hebrew’s stunning portrait of his unique and ultimate supremacy. His is the voice we need more than anything. He is the full and final revelation of God’s salvation, and he alone deserves to be treasured above all things. Going back to the Old Covenant (or forward to any modern substitute) would be like ancient Israel staying in the wilderness forever and forfeiting the Promised Land—the rest and inheritance God envisions for his people. It would be settling for lesser things, which is not only foolish, but eternally dangerous. To forfeit Christ is to forfeit God, life, and salvation. And so the author goes to great lengths to show how Jesus is better, that we might hold fast to our confidence in him.
In Jesus, we have:
- A Better Word (1:1-4), Jan. 28
- A Better Messenger (1:5–2:4), Feb. 4
- A Better Brother (2:5-18), Feb. 11
- A Better Ambassador (3:1-6), Feb. 18
- A Better Rest (3:7–4:13), Feb. 25
- A Better High Priest (4:14–5:10), Mar. 11
- A Better Assurance (5:11–6:12), Mar. 25
- A Better Promise (6:13-20), Apr. 8
- A Better Priesthood (7:1-10), Apr. 15
- A Better Hope (7:11-28), Apr. 22
- A Better Covenant (8:1-13), Apr. 29
- A Better Purification (9:1-28), May 6
- A Better Sacrifice (10:1-18), May 20
- A Better Confidence (10:19-39), May 27
- A Better Reward (11:1-40), June 3
- A Better Motivation (12:1-17), June 10
- A Better Kingdom (12:18-29), June 17
- A Better Worship (13:1-25), June 24
Jesus is better. He is the full and final revelation of God’s salvation, and so we must hold fast to our confidence in him. Join us this winter and spring at Westgate as we feed on this brilliant portrait of Christ and his supremacy.