It’s so great to spend time in a book that brings Jesus into sharp focus for us in every passage, and highlights in how many ways He is better than anything in this world – indeed, that He is the best!
LOOKING BACK (Hebrews 3:1-6)
The readers of Hebrews were looking over the fence and seeing greener grass – life might be easier for them if they returned to following Moses under the Old Covenant rather than following Jesus under the New. The writer reminds them who they are in Christ, and then sums up his counsel to them in just two words: “Consider Jesus”. This, he knew, would help them hold fast their confidence and their assurance in their hope. We unpacked this passage under two headings, with the big idea being that we should keep our confidence squarely placed on Jesus:
Our Confidence is Bolstered by Our Identity – we are holy brothers and sisters who share in a heavenly calling
Our Confidence is Grounded by Considering Jesus – It wasn’t that Moses was bad and Jesus wasn’t (and therefore was better). Moses is commended for His service in God’s house. But Jesus is commended as the Son over God’s house, and by implication as the builder of the house itself – and is therefore better than Moses and worthy of more glory. Furthermore, the faithfulness of Jesus is emphasized. He will never disappoint those who put their trust in Him.
We were challenged not to give up on Christ to seek an easier life, given how wonderful and faithful He is. We need to grow our confidence in Him by remembering what He has made us (holy brothers and sisters with a heavenly calling) and by considering Who He is and what He has done to bring us into this relationship with Him!
LOOKING AHEAD (Hebrews 3:7-19)
The second warning of the book follows on from considering how much greater Jesus is than Moses – “Don’t fall away from God through unbelief”. The writer shows us, shockingly, that this is precisely what so many followers of Moses under the Old Covenant did. Even though they were redeemed out of Egypt by the blood of the Passover, even though they heard God’s voice at Sinai and lived, drank the water from the rock and ate the Manna from heaven (all pointing forward to the coming Messiah), their faith was essentially fake – they were just along for the ride, grumbling and complaining whenever they were hungry or thirsty or threatened by enemies or ran into any other test from God. Time and again, they gave voice to the desire of their hearts – “If only we were back in Egypt”. They showed that throughout their journey from Egypt to the border of the promised land, they were not resting in God and in His promises to them. So God declared they would never enter His rest, and they died outside all the blessings that God had prepared for them in Canaan, the land He had promised to them. Moses and his ministry – especially the way he foreshadowed and prophesied the coming of Christ – could do them no good while their hearts were gripped in unbelief.
In the same way, the writer warns, his readers can’t just be along for the ride with Christ but with true longings of the heart still in this world. They need to have their confidence squarely on Jesus. They needed to be resting in Him already if they were ever going to enter His eternal rest, the glorious hope that Jesus introduced, and of which the land of Canaan was just an earthly shadow.
True believers in Christ have entered into and become God’s house by opening the door with the key of faith. They rest in God here and enjoy a foretaste of glory – which is a confirmation to them that they have been qualified by God to enter and enjoy His eternal rest.
“Don’t harden your hearts and die in unbelief as so many who followed Moses did (the very Moses you are thinking of leaving Jesus for)” says the writer, “because those who don’t rest in Jesus here will never rest in Him eternally”
Are you resting in Jesus right now as your only Hope for heaven?