Hebrews 1-6

Although it’s one continuous thought, Paul highlights several different roles of Christ in today’s reading.    Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Father and High Priest.Read Hebrews 1-6
Ch 1:   this discourse is a warning against worshipping angels.  It was mentioned in Colossians 2:18 as well.  Apparently there was a popular teaching that promoted the worship of angels.
The author (whom we assume to be Paul, although he is never identified) moves the discussion from angels as ministering spirits to the role of Jesus.   Jesus is spirit, Jesus is a messenger…but Jesus is so much more.  He is the author of salvation, the force behind creation, the all-knowing and ever present God.   His rule and authority allow Him to say “It is finished” and to be seated on the throne.   These things are impossible for angels to say or do.   Paul encourages the believers to worship God, not angels.
In chapter two Paul continues to exalt Christ as the sacrifice, but he also elevates the human race to a position above the angels!   Now, he admits that we are presently occupying a position below the angels, but as the text proclaims that is “for a little while”.   Paul tells us that after this life is over our “social standing” will change, we will be elevated to a place of importance above the angels.   This is an incredible thought, that my fallen human mind has a hard time grasping.
When you and I enter heaven, we will be welcomed as children are welcomed home.   The angels will remain servants and messengers in heaven, a position they were created for, and are content with.   They won’t be jealous or envious of us, and we will not be proud or arrogant in our relationship with them.   I wonder how hard it must be for the angels when they appear on earth and we bow before them?
I wouldn’t want to leave chapter two without acknowledging the last few verses.  Christ appeared in human form to become the sacrifice for our sins.  He has been tempted in every way and yet remained pure and sinless.    No matter what we are going through, we can talk to him about it and He will understand.
Chapter 3 probably isn’t as significant to those of us living in the West as it was to the first century believers.   “Jesus is greater than Moses” Paul declares.   Consider it;  Moses parted the Sea, collapsed the Egyptian army, brought millions out of slavery and 40 years with the people.   He gave them the Law itself.   He told them how to build the temple…and was the only one who could speak with God.      And now, here comes Paul saying that Jesus, who fed 5,000 once and healed some sick people is greater than Moses?   “Didn’t the Romans kill Jesus?” they might have asked.  “How could a man who has never rescued anyone from their plight be greater than Moses, who created a new nation?”      Do you see how hard it would be for them to understand?
They couldn’t conceive of the fact that Jesus was doing a greater work than Moses ever did.   Moses moved people from one zip code to another, and out from under Roman rule.   Jesus moves us from hell to heaven, and out from under the rule of the devil.    Under Moses, anyone who died would still end up in hell….it was a temporary fix.   But under Jesus, the fix is permanent and we are rescued forever.
Chapter 4:   As Chapter 3 ends up talking about “rest” which simply means “entering into heaven” this chapter begins by encouraging the people to “enter into rest” which can happen only by believing in Jesus Christ, and accepting that He is the Son of God.   Everything that has been written in Hebrews up to this point has been pointing to this action:  You must believe and accept that Jesus is the Son of God in order to enter His rest.   If we deny, then we resist the truth, and when we do that, the truth begins to harden our hearts….we become less “moved” by it, and it becomes less appealing.
Towards the end of Chapter 4 Paul moves the topic once again, this time shifting it slightly towards the role of the high priest, and how Jesus fulfills that role.   it continues throughout chapter 5.  Melchizedek was priest in Abraham’s time without any record of ancestors or descendants.   Because we don’t have any lineage for him, he stands alone as a priest “forever”.    Jesus is inducted into this role as well, since He has no ancestors or descendants either.      When Jesus became the high priest he remains there forever, since He cannot die, and He has completed the sacrifice once for all.   There simply isn’t a need for another High Priest again, ever.      In fact, if we were to reappoint one, we would be saying that Jesus hadn’t finished the work.
I always laugh at 5:11.  “you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen”.   Heh heh heh.    I’m sure that I have been that guy.   And, I have personally watched the dull look spread over someones face as I tried to explain a complicated truth.
Chapter 6 tells us that “it is impossible to bring back those who have received God and then rejected him”.   I take that to mean that you cannot reject God and find a different way to forgiveness.   If you reject Christ, you cannot be saved.  If you receive salvation and then later change your mind and decide the Jesus isn’t the Son of God..then your sins are placed back on you, and you are not forgiven.    And if you die in that state, you will not go to heaven…you will end up in hell.   However, if you recognize the error of your ways then Christ will once again forgive you….for Him to do any less would make him unforgiving, and He Himself as told us to forgive sins “70 times 7”   (Matthew 18:22).    I don’t think we should try to make the text say that Jesus refuses to forgive anyone who rejects him.   If that were the case, the Apostle Peter wouldn’t have been forgiven.
When I sat down this morning to read I thought to myself “How will I ever get through 6 chapters in one blog?”   But here we are, another day under our belt, so to speak…and just a few days left before the end of the year.    I confess a certain excitement as I get closer to the finish line.