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  • Gwen Diaz

350 - A Letter to Hebrew Believers (Part 1)

December 16- Nº 350 Hebrews 1:1 – 4:13

An important letter was sent to a group of believers who were being persecuted for their faith. We don’t know who wrote the letter—but we do know that the author heard the Gospel story from people who had been with Jesus. We don’t know who received the letter either, but it is obvious that the readers were familiar with the Jewish faith. They had clearly studied the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament); they knew the early history of the Jewish nation; and they understood the important role of priests in the Old Testament sacrificial system. Therefore, it is logical to assume that they were Hebrews (as the title of the book indicates). The persecution of these believers was so intense that several of them had decided to denounce their new faith and return to Judaism. The author of the letter expressed how wrong they were to do this and explained how much they were forfeiting. He urged the remaining believers to “press on'' in their new faith. The more mature they became in Christ, the more grateful they would be for what Jesus had done for them. He outlined how all the things that the old Jewish system offered were merely “copies” (or “shadows”) of what was now available through Jesus. Old Testament patriarchs, places of worship, and practices were good representations of what was to come, but they were not the real deal. They were limited and imperfect. However, when Jesus came, he proved to be the complete and perfect image of God, and he fulfilled every prophecy in the Old Testament! There was no reason for them to go back to their old beliefs and traditions. As a matter of fact, it would be a tragic mistake to do so. Jesus was far superior to anything they would find in Judaism! The author first explained how Jesus was greater than the prophets. The prophets spoke for God, but Jesus was God! The things he said and did were like rays of sunshine coming straight from God’s glory. And Jesus was higher than the angels. “To which of the angels did God ever say, ’You are my Son; today I have become your Father’?” the author asked. The angels are God’s servants; but Jesus is God’s Son. And all the angels worship him.” Then the author answered a question he knew his readers would raise: “Yes, Jesus did become a man. Therefore, for a little while he was considered lower than the angels—like we are. But he did this so that he could free us from sin. Then he was raised from the dead and crowned with glory. And he wants us to experience that same glory.” The author also pointed out that Jesus was better than Moses and Joshua, two of their most revered patriarchs. Moses was a servant in God’s house, but Jesus built that house. “Don’t be rebellious against God like the children of Israel when Moses led them out of Egypt and Joshua led them into the Promised Land,” he warned (see #46 - February 15 and #64 - March 5). “The Promised Land that Joshua brought them to offered rest for a while, but Jesus offers eternal rest. Don’t give up on your faith, or you will never experience this kind of peace!”

Do you sometimes feel like giving up on your faith—like it isn’t worth the grief and struggle? God promises that our present suffering is nothing compared with the glory that He will one day share with us (see Romans 8:18). He promises it will all be worthwhile in the end! Below are a few other promises:

350 - A Letter to Hebrew Believers (Part 1)
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