Summary: Lent is a time of preparation, of discovering the road to a better life. There's no better place to begin than where Hebrews begins.
“The Road to a Better Life: Getting the Right Start”
Parents point their children down a certain path of behavior, learning, and discipline to try to steer them to a better, successful, healthy life. A good teacher encourages her top students to follow a structured, studious road to higher education, knowing it alone will prepare them for the greatest achievements. The doctor tells his patients of the rough road of treatment ahead, but reminds them that it is the road to healing, to a better life. All these scenarios, and so many others like them, are about preparing for a better, more wholesome, more productive future.
This morning is the first Sunday of Lent – and this is what Lent is all about. It’s a time of preparation, of discovering the road to a better, wholesome, productive life. That’s why the book of Hebrews is so appropriate for Lent – 13 times it uses the word better when talking about the life it lays before us.
So let’s begin where the author begins. THE ROAD TO A BETTER LIFE BEGINS WITH GOD. “In the past God spoke…” GOD HAS A HISTORY OF SPEAKING. Our God is a God who speaks to His people. He constantly introduces Himself. Hebrews states God had spoken in a wide variety of ways “through the prophets at many times and in various ways.” In creation He spoke life into existence - through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob he birthed a nation - in Moses He gave freedom to that nation - in David He made a dynasty of that nation - through his laws and covenants he provided a way of life for that nation - through the prophets He taught the nation - through the judges He corrected the nation - through the angels He alerted the nation. But no one way, no one person or event offered the full picture of God; they were all just pieces of the whole. It’s like this puzzle piece – from it you can learn something about the picture of which it’s a part – but you cannot see the whole.
“But”, says Hebrews; there is something greater, something better than the past. “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” GOD’S GREATEST WORD IS JESUS. In Jesus God said something different, something more, something greater. In Jesus God said all He had to say. I’m reminded of the late flamboyant pianist Liberace. He was known not only for his piano playing but also for his extravagant wardrobe; he reportedly once said, “Go ahead and stare. I don’t dress this way to go unnoticed!” In Jesus God says, “Look at Jesus. I didn’t send Him to go unnoticed.”
Hebrews is stating that THE ROAD TO A BETTER LIFE IS JESUS, WHO IS SUPERIOR IN EVERY WAY. The author then lists eight qualities, eight qualifications that demonstrate Jesus’ superiority. First, JESUS IS THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS. Because of His death and resurrection, Jesus has come of age Jesus has inherited all God is and has. All God has and is belongs to Jesus. Jesus puts God in our reach and offers all of God to us. He alone is “the way, the truth, and the life.” No one comes to the Father except through Him. A better life, life with God, begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ.