Summary: The book of Hebrews is all about Jesus!
Jesus the Way Out
-There was movie a while ago starring Tom Hanks called Castaway
-It’s about a man who is stuck on a deserted island all by himself.
-To summarize the plot….He’s very lonely, loses a bunch of weight, and makes friends with a Volleyball he names “Wilson”.
-After not being rescued on this island for a long time he decides to take a chance.
-He knows that the only way he’ll be discovered is to get off of the island and get out into the vastness of the ocean.
-You can imagine the difficulty of making such a decision.
-One the one hand, he can survive on the island.
-It’s not exactly a place of abundance, but he can make it there.
-But on the other hand, he’ll never get home to his family and friends…and to civilization unless he goes out to sea.
-But at sea, there is no guarantee of survival.
-He could lose everything trying to get what he wants.
-What would you do in such a situation?
-In a lesser way that helps us understands what the Jews experienced when Jesus Christ arrived.
-They were comfortable being Jews, sticking with Moses, following the Law…they were surviving.
-But then God did something that changed the game.
-He took on the form of a man, and died on the cross for our sins.
-He offered us freedom from sin, from death, from the Law.
-But to have all the things that God offered through Jesus, they Jews would have to leave the comfort of their own…Jewishness.
-I’m pretty sure that’s a real word!
-They would have to accept that Jesus is superior to Moses.
-And leave all they had, to risk getting what they needed.
-And that is what chapter 3 of Hebrews is all about.
VERSUS 1-6 (REVIEW)
-Here’s what we learned last week in verses 1-6:
-JESUS AND MOSES WERE BOTH FAITHFUL MESSENGERS AND MEDIATORS.
-They had those things in common.
-Moses delivered the Law, Jesus delivered the Good News.
-Moses served as a go between for God and the Israelites, and Jesus is the mediator between God and all of humankind.
-JESUS DESERVES FAR GREATER GLORY THAN MOSES.
-Moses was a great man, but Jesus is better. Jesus is God!
-This was most clear from verse 5 & 6 which say that
-JESUS IS THE SON AND MOSES IS A SERVANT.
-There is really no comparison.
-Jesus is superior in every way, that’s the point of Hebrews.
-And perhaps the most fascinating part of chap 3 is that…
-THE OT RITUALS WERE ILLUSTRATIONS POINTING TO THE REAL THING; JESUS!
-All the rituals, rites, ceremonies, & sacrifices were just arrows pointing to Jesus.
-The Jews reading this letter knew about Jesus, had accepted Jesus, but in the midst of persecution they were contemplating going back to the Law and forgetting about the Son of God.
-And that’s where we pick up in verse 7:
-This whole first section quoting from Psalm 95:7-11
7 That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice,
8 don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. 9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. 10 So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’
11 So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
-HE’S WARNING HIS JEWISH READERS NOT TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES AS THEIR ANCESTORS DID.
-We’re probably all trying to avoid the mistakes of our ancestors!
-Some of us have ancestors who were outlaws, scoundrels and horse thieves. Mine were Mormons and Methodists and Sailors!
-The Jews that this letter was written to had baggage in their family’s history.
-If you’ve taken the challenge to read the Bible in the year you’re know what I’m talking about.
-They lived in Egypt as slaves for over 400 hundred years.
-They built Egyptian buildings, tended Egyptian flocks, and did whatever the Egyptian Pharaoh told them to do.
-The Israelites were property of Egypt.
-Their sons/daughters were born slaves.
-The people of God were, exploited, abused and crushed…but God heard their cries.
-He saw their struggle from his seat on heaven’s throne.
-And he raised up an unlikely hero for them; Moses.
-For all the fanfare that Moses got from the Jews, he had a rather unimpressive start.
-It seems that the Jewish spokesman had a stuttering problem.
-He wasn’t a corporate bigwig, he was a sheepherder for his father in law…
-That doesn’t exactly paint the picture of a super hero.
-But suddenly he becomes God’s chosen man and he delivers a wonderful message for Israel.