Sometimes I wonder if my perspective about the individual books of the Bible should be like my perspective towards my children – it’s not good to have a favorite because each is a blessing in its own specific way. With that said, the book of Hebrews has a special place in my heart and is my favorite book if such a thing could be said.
The book just grabs my attention from the first verse with poetic elegance and power.
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has made heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
These verses jump right into the theme which permeates the entire book – Jesus is better. Many good men and women lived long before Jesus of Nazareth walked the dusty roads of Israel. Moses ushered in a new law which had guided the nation for over 1,400 years. Solomon ruled with unmatched wisdom during the height of the nation’s prosperity. Elijah stood strong in the face of persecution to remind a wayward people that the living God was mightier than lifeless idols. Queen Esther risked her own life to stand up for her people when they were marked for an unjust genocide.
The book of Hebrews shows that this Man born into the family of a carpenter rose above everyone else in history and rightfully claims the title “Son of God” because only to Him does the Lord say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten You” (Hebrews 1:5). As the Son of God, He carried the news of “so great a salvation” that we should not neglect His message.
Even with His rightful claim to royalty, Jesus submitted Himself to the life of a human and died by human hands. His suffering and death accomplished two things. First, His death allowed Him to “destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil” and release us “who through fear of death were all (our lifetimes) subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Second, His sufferings mean He can truly empathize with us when we go through our own sufferings and He is ever present, allowing us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The book goes on and on about how Jesus is better. He is a better lawgiver than Moses and His law and covenant are built “upon better promises.” He is a better High Priest than the hundreds of men who served this role before Him. Why? Because His sacrifice is better.
Unlike previous priests who offered the blood of bulls and goats which can never take away sins (Hebrews 10:4), Jesus brought His own blood before God so that by this single sacrifice He could provide eternal remission of sins and finally allow our hearts to be cleansed from their evil consciences (Hebrews 10:22).
Finally, the book passionately makes the plea for me to not only embrace the life and work of Jesus, but to dedicate my life to Him through faith. Chapter 11 of Hebrews tells the stories of so many men and women who lived before Jesus and did not enjoy the message of His wonderful life. They lived and triumphed in faith. I can do nothing less with my life knowing the great story of my Savior.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Jeremy Morris, his wife, and children attend the Church of Christ off of Murray Road. He can be reached at abletoinstructoneanothe firstname.lastname@example.org.