Sermon Series: The Book of Hebrews

The “Book of Hebrews” is a title that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s not really a book, but instead seems to be a sermon. It’s not written in Hebrew, but is actually Greek. It isn’t written to a synagogue, but a church that seems to be going through a bit of a slump. There’s even a debate as to who actually wrote it! So, over the next four weeks we’ll read the Book of Hebrews together to try and understand the who, what, and why of this essential Christian text. 

May 8, 2022  – God Has Spoken

The author of Hebrews makes one thing clear in the very beginning: God Has Spoken. The way he’s spoken and the symbols he has used over the years may have changed. What does the way God “spoke” in the past help us to understand how he “speaks” in the present?

Hebrews 1:1-4

God Has Spoken by His Son

1 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son,[a] whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains[b] all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

May 15, 2022 – The Pioneer of Salvation

The writer of Hebrews calls Jesus the “pioneer of salvation.” What do you think of when you hear the word, “pioneer?” Davy Crocket? Racoon-Skin Cap? The Oregon Trail? What in the world does it mean that Jesus is a “pioneer?” 

Hebrews 2:10-18

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.[a] 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;

    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”[b]

13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”[c]

And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”[d]

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[e] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

May 22, 2022 – The Great High Priest

For a Christian letter, the Book of Hebrews spends a lot of time talking about the Old Testament. The writer draws deeply on the images of Moses, the exodus, the Temple, and the priesthood. It’s almost like the writer believes that the former covenant helps us to prepare for and understand the New Covenant in Jesus.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested[a] as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

May 29, 2022 – The Meaning of Faith

As we wrap up this quick trip through the Book of Hebrews we arrive at the final point that the writer has been leading us to. In light of all that we’ve seen about God speaking through Jesus, that Jesus is the pioneer of our salvation, that he is the great high priest offering himself as the sacrifice, what then is our response supposed to be? Simple: Faith (but what does that mean?)

Hebrews 11:1-3

The Meaning of Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith[a] our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.[b]