Summary: The writer of Hebrews points exhorts us to move beyond the signs given by God under the Old Covenant to the reality of the Savior.
From The Signs To The Savior
A man set out on a trip from Oklahoma City to Denver. He had never been to Denver before, but to prepare for his trip he decided to do his homework. He searched the Internet and found the most popular sightseeing spots, restaurants, and the cheapest motels. He viewed pictures of popular places like Coors Field, Red Rocks, the Rocky Mountains, and the downtown area. He had sent away for brochures and tourist information so that he could have a good idea of the lay of the land. He visited AAA to get his map and chart his travel route. When the day of his departure arrived he had a folder with all of the pertinent information neatly arranged in the seat next to him. As he drove down the road he saw things that were familiar to him because of his research. He saw signs that read, "Amarillo" and "New Mexico State Line," and "Albuquerque." Even though he didn’t see the mountains or any sign that said, "Denver," the man wasn’t a bit distraught because he knew that these signs he was seeing were pointing him to his final destination. He kept to his route and suddenly out of nowhere he saw a sign. Hanging over the road the sign read "Denver: 150 miles." He looked around, but there were no mountains like he had seen in the brochure. He kept driving believing in his heart that the signs were pointing him to the city where he would enjoy all of the plans that he had made.
Driving down the highway he saw the sign that read, "Denver City Limits" and he knew that he had arrived. Pictures that he had seen on the Internet, and in brochures, sprung to life as he saw them in person for the very first time in his life. The mountains were bigger, more majestic, that anything he had ever dreamed. When he stepped foot onto the baseball field and looked into the stands, he was overwhelmed with how much larger things looked than in the brochure.
The man was so glad that he hadn’t stopped when he had seen that first sign that read, "Denver: 150 miles." If he would have stopped at the sign then he would have had to resort to reading the information about his destination instead of truly experiencing it. He thought to himself, "If I had only settled for the signs I would have never known the reality of the beauty and majesty of mountains, I would have never heard the crack of the bat or watched the ball sail into the stands, and I would have never had a chance to ride the trolley through the streets of downtown. I’m so glad I made the journey beyond the signs, slogans, and symbols to the city itself!"
That may sound like ridiculous scenario to you and me. I mean who would ever spend their vacation reading all of the tourist information from a roadside park announcing that the city was just down the road? And yet this is precisely what the writer of Hebrews was warning the early Church of when he wrote to them in Hebrews 6:1-8.
Last week we worked our way through the big debate that has raged throughout the centuries - "Can a follower of Jesus lose their salvation? Can I fall away from the Hand of Grace that holds me?" The debate is basically rooted in two different interpretations of this Scripture by two different doctrinal camps: the Calvinist, whose leader was John Calvin, and the Armenians, who are the followers of a guy named Jacob Armenius. I am not going to take the time to retrace those two different interpretations this morning since we spent our entire study time last week taking a look at them and coming to the conclusion, based upon God’s Word, that salvation is the work of God, that God will not lose even one person that He has saved. The real issue is, "Have you truly been saved by God and the sacrificial death of His Son offered for the complete forgiveness of our sins?"
I told you last week that we would spend our time in the next study taking a look at the six aspects of the signs of the coming Messiah given under the Old Covenant and the five advantages that God had given to His people, the Jewish nation. We will not have time this morning to do both so we will focus on the six basic aspects of Judaism that God gave to serve as signposts to help the Jews recognize the Promised Messiah.
The six signs that God had given to the people under the Old Covenant were signposts to point them to the Messiah when He would arrive. When you are driving down the highway and you get hungry, you begin to look for signs of food. As you approach a town there might be a sign on the side of the road that has four or five signs of the restaurants that are available at that particular exit. There are the Golden Arches, Burger King, and an Arby’s logo painted on a sign beside the road, but nobody in their right mind would dare pull over to the side of the road where the sign is located and place their order. We know that the sign points us to the reality. You have to go beyond the sign if you want to feast of the food.