Whenever it happens, when I begin to hit a brick wall, when in spite of all that I know, in spite of all that I have experienced, when the peace, the adoration, the wonder of Christ appears to diminish, I turn to the Book of Hebrews. I know that Hebrews is addressed to Jewish Christians and I am not Jewish but the Book of Hebrews never fails to lift me. There are so many scriptures within the Bible that I love, so many particular verses that lift my heart but the Book of Hebrews is like a banner being unfolded, which starts at the beginning and slowly rolls out into the excellence of the reality that our Saviour, the Son of the living God, Jesus the Messiah, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty and He is our High Priest, who holds this position forever, after the Order of Melchizedek.
I find that when I read the Book of Hebrews it’s almost like a condensed version of the whole Bible because as the author of Hebrews reminds us of the various people that God revealed Himself to and mentions the Tabernacle, the Commandments, the Law, the Priesthood, the High Priest, the various vessels and sacrifices, and God’s interaction with His chosen people, Israel, it reminds me of the painstaking way in which God in His wisdom painted a picture that we could understand about spiritual realities with material physical objects and practices. And then there are the covenants and the promises and the faithfulness of those to whom He called. That’s what the Book of Hebrews does to me, it reminds me of the rich legacy of God’s unfolding revelation and love for us.
There are so many verses within Hebrews that lift me up that I would have to quote the vast majority of the book of Hebrews to list them all but I will limit myself in this post to but a few.
Hebrews 10:1-4 NIV “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
Hebrews 10:8-10 NIV “First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.”He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
That’s God the Father’s expressed will, and the corresponding will of His Son Jesus, His action, His obedience, through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. And through His sacrifice, His body, we have been made holy. When all is said and done, is this not our hope? Is this not God’s crowning covenant?
Can you hear the drum roll coming? Then follows Hebrews 10:12-14 NIV “ But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
Those who are being made holy, that’s you, that’s me. Being made holy, that’s the process that we are in, while we are housed in our physical bodies. But Hebrews doesn’t stop there, the beauty of the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit continues.
Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Did you notice “our bodies” is in there? And what are we to do to cleanse us while we are being made holy? Wash them with pure water, daily, streams of living water, that’s the work of God’s Holy Spirit within us. And our guilty conscience, that addresses the incomplete aspect of our walk with God, because we are in our bodies, and we have not yet attained perfection, what do we do?
1 John 1:9 NIV “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” That’s drawing near to God with a sincere heart. That’s being made holy, it is a daily, constant, process that will continue on until we leave this body behind.
And the promise of God, who changes not, “for He who promised, is faithful” He is faithful to His promise.
I find that there are times when I need to remind myself of the process that I am going through. I find that there are times when I need to remember that what I am experiencing is not unexpected and most importantly, that my hope, that which I am moving towards, is upheld by He who promised to be faithful to us, if we are faithful to Him.
And I am refreshed within my soul.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!