I love to read.
I have read many, many books in my time, too numerous to count.
Some books hook you right away – others take time to build the story.
I vividly remember the opening of one particular book:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”
That is the opening sentence to “A Tale of Two Cities”, by Charles Dickens.
Great concept, great book – a classic.
A wonderful tale of sacrificial love and hope, found in a troubled time.
The Book of Hebrews is majestic in its opening verses – here we find some of the most powerful verses in all of scripture pertaining to Jesus.
In Hebrews, we also read about sacrificial love and hope in a troubled world – maybe, just maybe, Dickens got the idea from the Bible.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he also created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” Hebrews 1:1-3 (ESV)
Right away we know this book is about someone special – the Christ, the Son of God.
As we work our way through Hebrews, we cannot help but feel that this book is written primarily to a Jewish audience.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary describes it this way:
“On the whole, the most plausible backdrop for the Epistle to the Hebrews might be a Christian church, largely Jewish in membership, in a city such as Cyrene. Under repeated pressures from their unbelieving fellow Jews they were tempted to give up their Christian profession and to return to their ancestral faith.”
By going back to the old religion and rituals, the Levitical system, the Jewish audience would nullify the work Christ did on the cross.
Chapter 1 teaches the deity of Christ as powerfully as any place in Scripture.
He is fully God and fully man.
The person of Christ, as God and man, constitutes the basis for His saving work.
Because he is God, He is able to save us, for only God can save.
Because He became a man of flesh and blood, He is able to save us, for one of our human race died in our place and overcame death in His resurrection.
Yes indeed, He is Jesus, “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
In Jesus, we find sacrificial love and hope in a troubled time.
Sources used for this blog – Gospel Transformation Bible