Summary: A look at who Jesus is through the book of Hebrews.
November 26, 2017
Well, we’ve officially entered the Christmas season! It seems too soon. It doesn’t seem like this should be the last Sunday of November and advent starts next Sunday! We’re past Black Friday and maybe my mood is not great is because I didn’t go shopping . . . in a store or online. I tried to buy one item, and they were sold out online. So I was done! OK, I’ve got it off my chest and feel so much better!! And really this feeling I have leads into what I want to talk about today.
I want to take a look at 2 verses from Hebrews as we close the book on our study of who Jesus is. I want to look at these 2 verses as we use those verses to lead us into talking about who Jesus is and being thankful.
As the writer was coming to the end of the book, he wrote this benediction ~
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Hebrews 13:20-21
This passage is a great reminder of who Jesus is. It was God who brought Jesus back from the dead. It was God who raised Jesus so that He could break the hold death has on us. We no longer have to fear the consequences of death, instead, if we have the faith, we can embrace death, because we have the opportunity to meet God face to face and live forever in the only place of perfection -- heaven with God.
We’re reminded that Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep. We are the sheep. He is our Shepherd. He is the One who leads us, cares for us, tends to us, heals us, feeds us, washes us. He is the One who will help us fight off our enemies. He’s the One who anoints us and leads us to green pastures, beside quiet waters. He’s the One who brings us comfort and strength, He’s the One who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. He’s the Great Redeemer, the Lord of lords and King of kings. Are you with me?!?!
This is all happened because of the blood that was shed by Jesus. Without His blood being shed, without Jesus going to the cross - - - none of this would have been possible. Notice that the covenant is eternal. It’s not temporary. It’s permanent . . . it lasts forever and forever. Just as our heavenly home lasts forever.
And because of what Jesus did for us, when we trust in Him, through the Holy Spirit we’re equipped with everything good so that we can accomplish His will. The goal is to do good deeds because of the faith we have in Jesus. All that we seek to do should be pleasing in His sight. And ultimately we give Him glory, honor and praise. And we do it forever and ever! It’s an amazing passage. It’s a great reminder of who Jesus is in our lives.
With all of that in mind, we should be so thankful, shouldn’t we? And generally we are. We’re thankful when things go our way. When life is going the way we think it should, then we’re thankful, grateful, praiseful and more. When life isn’t going exactly our way, it’s not as easy to be thankful. Sometimes it’s a struggle.
This is the season to be thankful. We’re supposed to put on that smile, even when we aren’t thankful. I believe to be thankful means we are actively responding with gratitude to life. But sometimes we do the opposite of being thankful - - and to me the opposite is someone who’s grumbling, complaining and critical. Instead of focusing on the good, on our blessings, we focus on the opposite.
I believe this is one of the most acceptable sins in the church. Grumbling, complaining and bitterness (but I believe bitterness has a different root). These have become so common in our country and it filters over into the church. Nothing and nobody is sacred anymore. There’s nothing which we don’t think we can comment on.
We often don’t talk about how we’ve been blessed. Imagine if we did that. Not to sugar coat the troubles of life, but to remind people because we believe that we’re blessed. Instead, in the world and even in the church we focus on complaining and grumbling. Get a few people together and the conversation turns to what’s wrong with everything and everyone. They become gossip sessions.
In the church we might say things like, ‘Well, I don't like that style of music. I don't like that song, did you? I didn’t like the message. I never complain! That was not relevant for me! Caught you on that one. We got out too late today. That prayer took forever, I almost fell asleep. Did you see what they were wearing. My goodness!’ Oh, we could go on.