Summary: The believer in Christ has a personal surety because of a saving Redeemer.
The 13th chapter of Hebrews is the concluding chapter of the writer’s attempt to encourage those Hebrews (Israelites) who had embraced Christ (Christianity) to remain faithful in their new walk in the faith. He encourages them in a unique way. He literally recalls or uses their history (what they had) and contrasts their present (what they have now). He starts out in the opening of the book by asserting to them that in Christ they have something greater, what they once had was and will always be great, but in Christ, He was and is greater. They had embraced something better, what they had, had been good, but this new dimension of their faith was better. In other words, he placed Jesus on the center stage of their faith, he placed Jesus in the spot light of their faith, and he admonished them to “consider him better. If you would flip to the opening pages of this letter, you would get a sense and flavor of that theme.
In chapter 1 verse 4, he said, “Being made so much better than the Angels, He (meaning Jesus) hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. In Jewish history, Angels are very significant. On the Ark of the Covenant there are Cherubs and Seraphim’s embossed on that Ark. You often find the term an Angel of the Lord… The writer says to Hebrews who are now Christian that Jesus is better than the Angels.
Then in chapter 3 verse 3, the writer says about Jesus, “for this man (meaning Jesus) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses. And in verse 5 of chapter 3 he said, Moses was very faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony. But he declared in verse 6 of chapter 3, but Christ as son over his own house, whose house we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Moses in their history is like Martin Luther King Jr. in ours. Moses was the leader, the lawgiver, the legislator, he was so awesome that God took him in the mountains and buried him so that they could not know where he was. Had they known Moses burying place, the likelihood would have been that they would have either made his grave a shrine and tabernacle, or they would have carried his bones with them, and they would have consulted his bones for guidance. Christ was better than Moses.
This writer evens calls up the history of the Priesthood that the Israelites revered and respected, in Chapter 7 verse 1, he mentions the name of Melchiedek, who was King and Priest who met Abraham and Abraham paid tithes to him, and he refers to Aaron the brother of Moses who was the first Priest of Israel and became the order of Priesthood for Israel. But the writer says about Jesus in 7:22, By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. He was so much better than that order of Priest that made sacrifice daily for sins and annual on the Day of Atonement, Christ our High Priest offered up sacrifice for sins once and for all (7:27). These things were good, but they were really only shadows of a greater reality that we find in Jesus. And we know how sacred and essential the blood of goats, bulls, calves were as sacrifices, the writer refers them to that in chapter 9:12-13, but then he declares that the blood of Christ purges us totally.
And so the writer’s intent and object is to present Christ as better, greater, more excellent. So greater, so better, so more excellent, that all of those elements and entities are passed away, no longer effective and relative.
I think that the case is presented biblically, that the goal and purpose for the letter of Hebrews is to proclaim and present Christ as better. And the text today, verse 8 is sandwich between the writer’s attempts to remind us that He did it for them, and He will do it for us.
So as we move through this new year, the view may not be as bright as any us would hope, there are lots of speculations, lots of fears and reservations. There are those who are hanging on by threads and living with the threats of uncertainty. There are those who are facing enormous challenges in life, some battles are personal, some are spiritual, and some are with others and with yourself. Life for some is not blissful, it may very well be burden-some. Well it was the same way for these Hebrews living in this era, their faith was tested, their future was threatened, their fate was unsure. The pressure to go back to the old life was weighing heavily upon them, as a matter of fact read chapter 10:25 (forsake not yourselves from assembling together as some have); some had forsaken the assembly of the saints. The times and the testings had caused many to withdraw, the enemy will do that, the demons will do that, the demons within and the elements of evil without will do that. Discouragement sometimes is guest in your life, but it has away of taking up residence. Depressions becomes an agenda that is very real, you can name it and claim it, grab it and bag it, you can think it and say it, you can read it and say it. But when you shut the door and the crowd is gone, and the curtains are drawn, and nobody but you and the pain is there, ITS REAL!!!