Summary: The Jewish people had a set way of worshipping God, but there was no inner personal presence of God until the fulfilmment of the Better Promise came and made His entry into the heart of the redeemed one.
ALMIGHTY’S ATTESTED ASSURANCES ACCOMPLISH ANOINTED ALLEGIANCE
I. THE ASSEMBLING:
II. THE ACCEPTANCE:
III. THE ATONEMENT:
Christ is the proof of “Better Promises!!!” What a sermon in itself. The writer to the Hebrews has dealt with the establishing of Christ being the Better Priest over Melchisedec. He also stated that Christ is a Better Covenant than what was before for the Jewish way of serving God. Now, he tells his readers that this Christ is the proof of Better Promises as foreshadowed by the old Covenant, the old Law. This Christ came as a result of the promise made by God centuries ago when Eve fell in the Garden; this Promise of a Better way of serving God had at last appeared; His coming swept away all the past and ushered in a new and a better Way of serving God. Indeed, He was/is the result of the promises made by God. God had made many promises to His people over the centuries, but Christ is the Better Promise.
When Abraham was called out of Ur to go look for a better city, he went clinging to the promise that God would lead him to one. When Jacob packed up his household belongings and left with his family to move down into Egypt, he did so clinging to the promise that God would lead his family back home some day in the future. When the Children of Israel were multiplying and living in slavery in Egypt, they clung to the promise that someday they would be set free. When Joshua led his people to the Jordan River, they clung to the promise that they would cross over and dwell in the Promised Land. When the Temple was built, they clung to the promise that someday the Redeemer would come and dwell in that which was made by hands. When the Babylonians, the Assyrians, and the Romans held the Children captive, they still held to the promise of freedom. Throughout all of their history-their down sitting and their up rising, they held tenaciously to the promise of the One who would come. The promise never varied-it never ceased to grip their hearts. Now, the writer tells his readers, that of all the promises the nation received in the past, alas, the Better Promise has indeed arrived. That One for whom they looked has arrived: indeed, He is the Better Promise.
This is evident in at least three ways as I develop my sermon. The first way I believe that Christ is the Better Promise has to do with the former way the Jews worshipped God in their manner of ASSEMBLING. The next way I believe that Christ is the Better Promise has to do with the way He can now live within the human heart by man’s ACCEPTANCE of His saving grace. The final manner in which I believe He is the Better Promise has to do with His ATONEMENT of lost man and the results of that meritorious event.
I. THE ASSEMBLING: The manner of the way the Jews worship has been studied in all of its aspects for centuries. What more is there to say? In reality, there is nothing new to add to this topic but a review of the basic facts will help us to comprehend just how much Christ is indeed the Better Promise of one’s way to worship God over the old Jewish system. THE ASSEMBLING together of the Jewish people to worship God can further be divided into three separate yet related facts.
The first part of the manner in which the Jews worshipped God can be seen in the manner of their Adoration of God in their communal worshipping experience.
The God of the old Covenant was an awesome God who was approached via the High Priest. This aspect of God being the awesome God has been greatly diluted in our society today until people have almost made Him out to be a gentle man who lives next door. So often He is referred to as, “The Man Upstairs.” The aspect of this awesome divine Being has been, for the most part, lost in today’s world. Even we who are Christians have been tempted to abide by this newer version of God. We hear so much about the, “God of Love” that we tend to forget that this God of Love is the same God who is a vengeful God. Indeed, we pass over far too often the self description He gives Himself, when He states, “I am a Jealous God.” The Bible further supports this by saying that God declares, “Vengeance is mine, thus sayeth the Lord.”
While the Jewish people congregated together in their worshipping of God, He was viewed as this stern austere God, and their form of Adoration of Him was thus permanently flavored. Indeed, this aspect of their view of God was so set that they left off the aspect that God was/is a God of compassion and tenderness. This sternness was so ingrained in their psyche that they could not reconcile the fact that the gentle Jesus could actually be God in man. Yet, here the writer to the Hebrews reminds his readers that Jesus has come replacing the former way of their view of God in their worship of Him, because Jesus is that Better Promise who was predicted for so long among the Jews, and with His coming, there is the newer concept of viewing God from One who was so stern to a God that had both qualities to Him-sternness and yet Love. This Jesus came to show the Jews and the world that God is One who is to be adored with reverence and yet with Love: He is indeed the Better Promise of one’s view of God in one’s Adoration both in collective worship and in private devotion.