The book of Hebrews is one of the richest in Scripture. This sermon kicks off a summer-long series on this book, highlighting the book’s one central idea: Jesus is better! Better than the angels, and better than what the first listeners had experienced with Old Testament sacrifices. A better hope, a better promise, and a better sacrifice we can rest in!
Basic thought for this whole study of Hebrews: Jesus… is … BETTER!
No author assigned to it.
Not sure who addressed to–but definitely Jews living outside of Jerusalem. They were familiar with the gospel through disciples and other followers. Well acquainted with the Old Testament. They believed in Jesus, but had problems letting go of all the legalism and Old Testament rituals.
Hebrews was written to encourage them and strengthen their faith.
Vv. 1-2 In bits and pieces and by different means, God spoke to His people in the past. But today, now, He speaks to us and to everyone through Jesus.
Vv. 3-4 Jesus presents to us the glory and wisdom of God, completely representing the Father to us. Unlike the previous high priests who kept sacrificing for themselves and others, and who could never stop, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, and then sat down! It is finished!
V. 5 Jesus is far above the angels, and this time as a glorified Man, because He has been lifted up after His birth, life, sacrificial death and resurrection. We were made a little lower than the angels (Ps. 8), but He has been lifted above them!
V. 8 Even the Father refers to Jesus now as God!
Vv. 9-10 Jesus is revealed as the Creator! What a shock and revelation to those first listeners. He is also the One who will “fold up” the old earth at the end of the age. This is more than just a man, a great Teacher, or even the old thinking about the Messiah.
V. 11 “You will remain.” The priesthood of Jesus is secure and eternal. We can rest in it! See also Hebrews 7:23-25…He always lives to make intercession for us. See also Psalm 110, especially v. 4.
Vv. 13-14 Angels are those sent by God to minister to us! We are the ones that inherit salvation. There have been more angels in our lives than we will ever know.
“Sit at my right hand”–the place of power and favor. No angel has heard that, only Jesus.
V. 13 — And that is what God is doing now–He is working to make the enemies of Jesus His defeated foe! That includes using us! And doing the things He is doing in our lives! God is using us to put the enemies of Jesus under His feet!
The Old Testament was enough to take the breath away for the Queen of Sheba (I Kings 10). But for these Hebrews and for us, Jesus is better!