Summary: The author of Hebrews gives the summary of the book in one chapter. The whole purpose of Hebrews was to capture the interest and faith of the people -- this is nut-shelled in this one chapter.
I. REST IN HIS PERSON (WHO HE IS)
A. THE LIVING POSSESSION
B. THE LAMB’S POSITION
C. THE LONE PRE-REQUISITE
II. RELY ON HIS PLAN (WHAT HE’S DONE)
A. THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD
B. THE LOST PERSPECTIVE
C. THE LORD’S PERMANENCE
III. REMEMBER HIS PROMISE (WHAT HE SAYS)
A. THE LAW’S PERFECTION
B. THE LORD’S PATIENCE
C. THE LIBERATED PEOPLE
Turn to Hebrews 8. You know, if Jesus or the Apostle Paul or Peter stood before us today for this message only and spoke -- we would listen. We should listen. But image further if you would, the Preacher speaking for about 30 minutes, as all of us listen intently -- he says, “Now I said all of that to say this,” or “If you don’t get anything else out of this, then get this one point,” or “And this is the big idea” -- we would listen more intently. He boils it all down into one statement. This is exactly what the author of Hebrews is doing in chapter eight. Notice: “This is the sum” in verse one. Mark those four words.
But before we see what he is highlighting, we must get the big picture. Let’s see the whole page before we get the big idea. First understand the context that Hebrews was written in. It was written to Jews -- both saved Jews and Judaizers, Jews trusting both in Jesus and the law (which we know is not true faith for salvation). This was a transition time for the Jews and they were still ‘confused’ as to what to believe. They were still at enmity with God and had no rest. Imagine for yourself being alive when God just changed the dispensations! It was hard for them to stop trusting in a system that they had trusted all of their lives and the have their whole “faith” destroyed -- a drastic change. It would take dynamic faith. So to encourage these Hebrew people, the author sets forth proofs of the superiority of Jesus to Judaism. The Holy Spirit applies this to our hearts..... “THIS IS THE SUM”
To build our faith and to encourage us to trust Him fully -- let’s look and see what the big idea is.
1. WE MUST REST IN HIS PERSON.
I don’t think that I have ever told this story in such a way as this, but when I was twelve years, I was involved in an extremely strenuous court case. The case involved me (the guilty party), the plaintiff, and of course my attorney. To tell you the truth, I was as guilty as sin, and everyone knew it. The only way to get off was to plead in the direction that my attorney told me -- Guilty! It was very unsettling for a boy to go through that, but as I look back - I could rest a bit easier and have confidence in my attorney. Just as we can rest in His Person. He is our Living Possession. He is ours. “Such:” in chapters one through seven - the Creator, the Changeless one, the Captain of our salvation, the Chief Priest, the One who Calls to us, the Crowned One, and our Comfort. He is mine. He is yours. He is there, like that attorney, just for you.
Notice the Lamb’s Position. He is “set:” He is not a Levite that has to stand and make sacrifices -- Brother, His work is finished. He met the Lone Pre-requisite in verse 3. He offered a worthy offering. HIMSELF.
Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb....
Not only is the Spirit stressing for us to rest in His person, but to....
2. RELY ON HIS PLAN.
Just as sure as my attorney had a plan of defense, so the Lord has a plan - a plan for His creation. Let’s read 8:4-5. Notice the Levitical Priesthood - “example, shadow, pattern.” This is just a copy -- an imitation. The Lost Perspective is that the copy points to the Reality. Emphasis belongs not on the shadow, but on the one casting the shadow! Consider the Lord’s Permanence. It is very simple - the Reality must exist before the copy does. If the copy existed in the OT, then so did the Reality.... He is that Word from the beginning - having no beginning, no end. His beginning did not come at Bethlehem, only his manifestation.
We can Rest in His Person,
We can Rely on His Plan, but we must....
3. REMEMBER HIS PROMISE.
His Promise. Not only did I have an attorney, but I had an attorney with a plan. I had an attorney who was backed by His Promise of success. Read 8:6-9. The Promise is contained in v.10-13. This promise was given TO Israel, but it was written FOR Me. In this, the new covenant, we can clearly see the Lord promises a Law Perfected. Keep in mind who this was written to - the Jews -- a new law conditional only on God -- not on sinning man! Notice the Lord’s Patience -- His willingness to forgive: like the father and the prodigal son, He Loves Me! Finally, we see the Liberated People -- one day, Christ will graft back in the natural branch and set them free from bondage and confusion. And this is only one promise in the Bible.