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HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER: Book Introduction

HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:22
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Know Peace Jesus Is Better

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 Book Introduction Hebrews The book of Hebrews is an interesting one - because its focus won’t be shared. The author, unknown. The location, unknown. However, this book is full of information and of purpose. The lack of authorship and specific audience forces us in deeper to the real purpose, to show that “Jesus is better”. Now, that is a conclusion, so the question should be “Jesus is better than, what”. And THAT is the focus of the book. The books focus will not be given over to the author’s personal bent or hobbyhorse. The books focus will not be given over to the location of this church. The focus of the book will rest squarely on the idea that Jesus’ is better - and its 13 chapters will be spent answering the question what is it that Jesus is better than? We’ll see of Jesus that He is the Son of God and also that He is the Son of Man. We’ll see that He is the Priest, and finally that He is the Way. In short, Jesus is the fulfillment, and the end of everything that God foreshadowed in His law, His covenant, His prophets, and His priesthood - Jesus is the promise to us for peace with God. And Church we all need peace with God. Romans 5:1 (ESV) Peace with God Through Faith 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul in Romans 4-5 is writing on the subject of Justification. This means that we’re made justified, a legal term, made whole - right - debtors made debtless before God, because of Jesus. And so we have peace. And so the book of Hebrews - is a book about Jesus that helps us know, peace. And that is important. You may ask, why. If peace is there why do I need to know what would that change it - and the answer is everything? This book of Hebrews changes everything. Hiroo Onoda didn’t know peace. In 1945, Lt. Onoda was ordered to “stay and fight”, it was WWII and the Japanese went to Lubang Island in the Philippines and had a purpose. The Japanese took pride in their purpose - and the war-time Japanese took a no surrender pride in their purpose, in fact they’d sooner kill themselves than live with the shame of failure. If you’ve seen the movie, Hacksaw Ridge, you’ve seen it play out, the general giving up the fight pulls out a small sword, and disembowels himself. This was their reality, but Mr. Onoda was left alone in 1945 with those orders, stay faithful, then 29 years later in 1974, he would not surrender until they brought his former commanding officer reminding his orders where he handed over his Samurai sword and went home. Do you see how we need to know peace? We can have an environment where peace has been won, but not enjoy its spoils as we continue to fight. There are many on the island who did not forgive Mr. Onoda as he was responsible for the killing of some 30 people during the years of his private war. There was peace, the world was at peace (in spite of the fact that during this time of peace even another war (Vietnam) happened - yet, the Philippines had peace, the Japanese had peace, and for Mr. Onoda peace was won for him - he just didn’t know and so on he fought. He lived a war time life, in the jungle under war time rules, hiding, not enjoying relationships and time with others his last remaining unit member died in a shootout with Philippine troops in 1972), hiding alone, seeking to carry out his mission (disrupting infrastructure so that the American’s could not fly in and out of this area). The author of the book of Hebrews isn’t important, no detail will detract from the point of the book. The location of the people being written too aren’t important, no detail will detract from the point of the book: Jesus is better: • Jesus is better: than your war What do you battle for? • Jesus is better: than The Law Our righteousness was won by Him, it’s not won by us. • Jesus is better: than The Old Covenant His new covenant sealed by His blood remembered in communion is this: that by his blood we are healed as promised in Genesis 3, prophesied by Isaiah, and through this new Priesthood illustrated through the backdrop of Hebrews the priesthood, the tabernacle and the temple: Hebrews 8:4–5 (ESV) 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” Why - because this pattern, and these shadows would be fully realized in Christ, so that we’d realize peace, and live our peace not be left in the shadows lost in history fighting a non-existent war. And that is what the book of Hebrews does. It shows us that Jesus is better - that peace is won, and because of that we can live differently. In fact, next week we’ll present an outline for the book of Hebrews which shows the first 9 chapters outlining Jesus fulfillment of the priesthood - and in chapters 8/9 concluding that Jesus is the fulfillment of that priest. Then in 10-13 saying now that we know this perfect fulfillment of the priest and priesthood, now that we know peace, know that we know Jesus better we’ll see encouragement to draw near to Him, to believe more firmly in Him, to endure this life in Him, and to love Hebrews 13:1–9 (ESV) Sacrifices Pleasing to God 1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. This book of Hebrews is written to a people different than us, but not that unlike us. They too needed to know that Jesus was the finished work of God for salvation. They were Jewish believers in Christ. They came within a few generations of Jesus life, death, burial and resurrection - but they were going back to the law. They needed this strong, detailed reminder that Jesus is the priesthood they may be looking too, but perfected. That Jesus is the Law they were looking back to, but perfected. And ultimately that Jesus is the innocence that they were looking back to. Peace was bought, but not unlike Onoda - they’d not given up the fight. They weren’t ready to hand over their weapons, but - the original commander came back and receded those orders. The book of Hebrews isn’t author-less, it’s by God. Like all books of scripture, but this one in particular is difficult to determine - it’s the commanding author coming back, saying stand down - live in peace. It’s an important question to ask of scripture, what does this mean to me in my day. Sometimes the answer is that it’s not to you nor about you, but there is truth FOR you. The book of Hebrews contains both. This isn’t to you, and it’s not about you - but it’s written to a people who hadn’t fully realized that Jesus is better. They thought they needed more - and maybe you’ve fallen into a performance trap. But Jesus is better than anything you could bring - maybe that feels fatalistic, but it’s not reason for surrender. God Himself revealed that He is pleased with his son as he said in Matthew 3:17 and again in Matthew 17:5. Who would say in John 10: John 10:28–40 (ESV) 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35  If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Church this Jesus in whom God is well pleased, who is the point of the law, the prophets, the tabernacle and the temple, and is of priesthood is better - and that’s the point of Hebrews. That we cannot be about looking for a better way - there is none, Jesus is better than anything you can imagine, fashion, or search after - Jesus is to be our everything - the war is over, our commander God has come in all His word and specifically in Hebrews it is finished, let us rest in peace until He should return - and until then we live. Not in hiding, but in the open. Not in a battle, but as victors. Not working for righteousness, but as those made righteous in Jesus. Because Jesus is better than the shadow He casts in the temple, tabernacle, prophecy, and law - he is the detail, he is the light, He is fulfillment - He is better and He is our peace. The Jews in this book went back to law, back to fighting for their righteousness, like Onoda stayed in the jungle fighting a war that no longer existed - let’s take that example and remember to live in peace, and freedom, under our Lord Jesus - and not fighting alone but living together in Jesus Church proclaiming His goodness and peace with God because Jesus is our peace. And why, lest we should ever forget: because: Jesus. Is. Better. HEBREWS: Book Introduction Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 5 of 5 Sunday1/28/2018
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