Thursday, July 4, 2013


                In my recent meditations on the law,  I did skip Hebrews. Let me return there to show the precious value of the Old Testament to us, the seeking Christians of today. It is impossible to understand the letter to the Hebrews without a working knowledge of the Old Testament.
    Many themes run through the book, but most important is the comparing of Jesus to Moses, to Melchizedek and to the sacrifices etc. Jesus is repeatedly described as being 'better', 'greater' & 'much more'. The significant point that calls forth our faith is : " Jesus the Son of God".
      Instead  of dispensing with the Old Testament, the writer enhances the person and work of Christ by the O.T. characters and rituals. Thus we learn so much. Let me select some examples.
      * As Moses was over God's house (the Tabernacle), so Jesus today is over God's house, only with greater honour, as He is the one who built it.
     * As Melchizedek has no mention of beginning or end, so with the Son of God - He is eternal in relation to time - before time and continuing beyond time!
      *As Aaron was a sympathetic high priest, so our exalted Lord is our Great High Priest.  He is able to understand our needs, and able at God's right hand to supply grace to help in time of need according to the will of God.
    * As the sacrifices were offered by Israel to cover the sins of the people, so in a surpassing way the death of our Lord Jesus Christ is able to remove forever the sins of His own. His sacrifice, once for all time, opens the new and living way into God's presence . This thought is enhanced if we carefully read the O.T.story of the tent made under Moses direction. The way in for Aaron the priest was special and the way in to God for the people was special. So for us Christ has gone into heaven itself and soon we will too.
    * The exhortation to 'endure' is made much more meaningful by reading the history of men and women, who because of faith in God, endured in difficult times.

  Many terms borrowed from the book of Leviticus help us to see the deeper meaning of the cross. eg  Chapter 1 - 'He made purification by the blood of His cross'.  So much is written about cleansing in the book  of Leviticus - so much was achieved by Jesus at the cross.
  The stories of the tabernacle and sacrifices are described as 'shadows' (8.5). This means that in time the shadow  came first (like the rising of the sun casting shadows as it rises), and the real thing, the substance came later. The tabernacle, referred to so much in Hebrews, is the shadow of the reality of God dwelling with His people today and the approach into heaven itself. The rituals have been fulfilled, and we, scattered across the face of the earth, are encouraged to draw near..........

     One of the most precious thoughts, is in chapter 13 - Jesus is referred to as the great shepherd of the sheep, to whom we are bound by an eternal covenant, sealed by His blood.The O.T. records many shepherds (David, Moses, Jacob), but the Son of God surpasses them all!

May the risen exalted Lord bless you in His presence, now and forever. Amen


No comments: