Summary: Tracing the theme of Hope through Hebrews
HOPE IN HEBREWS
Fishermen tend to be incurable optimists. A guy asked his neighbor how the fishing was going. “Better,” he said. “Last week I went out for four hours and didn’t catch a thing. Yesterday, I got the same result in only three hours” ? (Reader’s Digest [8/87], p. 80).
Many confuse optimism and biblical hope. Biblical hope is an optimism based on certainty. Biblical hope must be based on truth. Biblical hope is based on the promises of God, who cannot lie.
Hebrews is the appeal of a Jewish Christian teacher to his fellow Jews. The passionate encouragement is that they would not turn away from Christ and go back to Judaism, but remain with him.Maybe they were facing persecution. Maybe they were facing family pressure. Maybe they were facing doubts and internal conflict.
There is an emphasis on hope in the book of Hebrews - the strength of our only hope being in Jesus Christ.
We will look at the passages of hope in Hebrews - mark them so they can be turned to in times of strife or doubt.
1. WE HOLD ON TO HOPE
(Heb 3:5-6 NIV Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ ?is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold
firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.)
The passage contrasts Moses and Jesus. Moses is IN God’s house, but Christ OVER God’s house. When we are in the battles of life, fighting doubt, discouragement, stress - we hold on by realizing that Jesus is Lord. Holding on to Jesus who is Lord over our lives. Holding on to One in whom we glory, we admire, love. Holding on to One who has given us victory in life. Letting go of Jesus is a sure stop away from all that God wants to give us.
2. WE FIND FULFILLMENT IN HOPE
(Heb 6:9-11 NIV Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.)
The Hebrew writer has strong words for those who defect from Christianity earlier in this chapter.
But for the faithful Hebrews - what did they expect to find in Jesus? Hope for resurrection and to continue in the family of God. As Christians they continue to do good things that express the love of God. His message? Don’t give up … keep on until the end! This is how their hopes will be realized.
No matter how much good we do or how much we accomplish for Christ, the fullest realization of this is yet to come. All of our hopes are fully realized in Jesus Christ if we don’t give up!
3. WE ARE HELD STEADY BY HOPE
(Heb 6:18-19 NIV God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,)
“We who have fled to take hold of the hope” - we must flee from the world / any competition with Jesus.
Greatly Encouraged - even in difficulty, we have encouragement in Jesus.
Hope as an Anchor: firm and secure
HEB 6:19 AMP This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],
He uses a metaphor used only here in the Bible, of an anchor. But instead of going down into the ocean, this anchor goes up into the heavens, behind the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us. - Stephen J. Cole
Jesus is at the right hand of the Father - nothing more secure or stable than that.
4. WE DRAW NEAR TO GOD BY HOPE
(Heb 7:18-19, 22 NIV The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God….Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.)
Contrasting the OT and NT Hebrews points to a better hope - a hope by which we draw near to God. Jesus is the guarantee. His death and resurrection are evidence.