Hebrews, that is.
Don’t you think so? The writer, Mr. Anonymous, is not exactly skimming the surface. After all, there’s the question of “Sabbath rest” and Moses and angels. There are high priests and losing your salvation (or not losing your salvation!) and solid food.
And don’t get me started about Melchizedek.
But what is Hebrews really about…really?
When you get right down to it, isn’t it about the Gospel? I mentioned in a previous post that the theme of this letter is, “Jesus is better.” And in the end, that means He is a better way of salvation. And long about chapter 10, this starts to become really clear…
- the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near… Hebrews 10:1 (ESV)
- For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins… Hebrews 10:4 (ESV)
- But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins… Hebrews 10:12 (ESV)
Here’s what I’m driving at – there are those who say that the gospel is only for beginners in the Christian life. That’s what I always used to think. You get the gospel, that Christ died for your sins, and salvation is by grace alone through faith, and then you move on to the deeper stuff, the important stuff, you know, the discipleship type stuff. Grace would therefore only be for entry into the Christian life…doing would be for disciples.
But if Hebrews is really one of the most challenging books in the New Testament, and if Hebrews is really all about the Gospel, then maybe it doesn’t get any deeper than the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Maybe the Gospel of Grace is the ultimate discipleship curriculum.
And as someone has said, maybe the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life, but the A to Z’s. Maybe the Gospel is really what life is all about.
Consider, as a last thought, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones on the Apostle Paul:
“Here is a man writing at the full height of his maturity as a Christian, the great apostle to the Gentiles. At the very height of his experience he says, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He has not left it to go on to some higher reaches. The cross is still everything to him. Why? Because, he has found that everything proceeds from the cross. It is the source and the fount of everything that he has as a Christian, everything that he has become, everything that he can ever hope for.”
For tomorrow, Wednesday, September 30: Hebrews 11