Summary: The book of Hebrews is all about Jesus!
Jesus the Final Word
-When I was a kid my family would gather on 4th of July to celebrate America’s independence.
-And everyone knows you can’t do that without fireworks.
-And we had the best fireworks that…$5 could buy.
-We had those little black tablets that turn into snakes
-We have those Whistling Pete’s that made everyone deaf.
-And…for the big finally there was always…sparklers.
-No one did a better sparkler show than my Uncle, he could do loops, or spell stuff in the air. We loved our fireworks shows.
-Well last summer on our road trip we stopped in Vegas…to go to church…and while we were downtown Caesar’s Palace did their 4th of July fireworks show…on July 6th…long story.
-They didn’t have any black snakes, Whistling Pete’s or sparklers but I’m pretty sure they had…every other thing imaginable.
-That was the most incredible fireworks display I’ve ever seen.
-And they just kept coming. Bigger, brighter, higher, louder.
-All colors, all kinds of explosions for more than 30 minutes.
-And just when you thought they couldn’t possibly have any more, they couldn’t possibly outdo what they had done.
-Then they did the finale which was even better. They were able to improve something that was awesome, and make even better.
-And that’s what the book of Hebrews is all about.
-The book of Hebrews uses the word “better” 11 times to describe who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
-Of all the good things that God did for his people in the Old Testament, he has done even better things for those of us in the New Testament era.
-People in this world are asking life’s big questions:
-Who has the power to help me where I need help?
-What is God’s plan for my life?
-Where can I fine true meaning and happiness?
-Will there be an end to my suffering?
-How do I know I can put my trust in God?
-The book of Hebrews was written to a group of persecuted Christian, Jewish Christians.
-They were asking those big questions, because life was very hard.
-And so this letter was written; with a clear message for them, but also for us today:
-The answer to all of our questions is SIMPLY JESUS.
-Because Jesus is better than…fill in the blank.
-Jesus is better than anyone, anything, any idea, any authority, any king, any priest, any prophet, Jesus is simply better.
-And you’ll see that theme developed as we work through this book. Some of you have been attending church a long time.
-You know basic theology. You know how to navigate a potluck.
-You might even be able to pray in the King James.
-But I’m often amazed at little Christian know about Jesus.
-I’m going to challenge you to be hear on Sundays, unless you’re sick or out of town.
-And to learn more about the one that is our Lord and Savior.
1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.
GOD HAS SPOKEN (vs 1-2a)
-We don’t really know who wrote Hebrews, but the author starts with a big picture statement to begin building his case.
-He says long ago God spoke many times.
-When you read that…it immediately raises some questions.
WHO DID GOD SPEAK TO (LONG AGO)? THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.
-This letter is written by a Jewish man to a Jewish people.
-And so he says, “our ancestors”.
-And any good Jewish man or woman could have immediately pulled up some famous examples.
-God spoke to Abram saying “Go to the land I will show you.”
-God spoke to Jacob and said, “I’m changing your name to Israel.”
-God spoke Moses in a burning bush.
-God spoke to Adam and Eve, Sarah, Hagar (not that Viking guy from the comics), He spoke to all kinds of people.
-And when you read the Bible you might get the idea that God spoke directly to everyone, but that’s not true.
-Most people heard God speak through prophets, priests, & kings
-And that’s what VS 1 tells us. But an important question to ask is
WHY DOES GOD SPEAK TO US? At all?
-Lots of reasons. You could suppose God has things he wants us to know. That’s reasonable.
-At times he spoke to his people to encourage them.
-At other times he spoke words of correction/judgment to them.
-He spoke giving them instructions about how to live.
-It’s essential to realize that God has spoken to people then and to us today because HE WANTS TO KNOW US AND BE KNOWN BY US.
-Our God is a personal God, that wants a personal relationship with us. That’s why he spoken to us…he not a mystery.
-He’s not a concept. He isn’t distant and unavailable.