THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS: PART II

Part II of Hebrews shows the superiority of the Work of Jesus Christ from Chapter 4:14-10:18. The section can be divided into three sections, namely, Section I, the Superiority of Christ's Priesthood (4:14-16), Section II, The Superiority of Christ's Covenant (8:1-13) and Section III, The Superiority of Christ's Sanctuary and Sacrifice (9:1-10:18).

Equality with God

Jesus angered the Jews when He declared His equality with God the Father. Jesus cured an impotent man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-14). The Jews sought to slay Him because He had healed the man on a Sabbath day, and answered them. saying, "My Father worketh hitherto and I work (John 5:17). Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him for He claimed equality with God..

Jesus pressed forward to explain His equality with the Father rather than recoiled (v. 21). He further emphasized His equality with the Father by saying the Father had "committed all judgment to the Son" (v. 22). Jesus further added that, just like the Father, the Son had life within Himself (v. 26). He still further claimed He had the power to resurrect people from the dead. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (25).

The real problem was the Jews did not believe Moses because Moses wrote of Jesus' coming: "For had ye believe Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. (v. 46). But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (v. 47).

 

JESUS IS GOD IN HUMAN FORM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

GOD'S MANIFESTATIONS: THE HOLY SPIRIT AND JESUS CHRIST http://hubpages.com/hub/godsmanifestationsholyspiritjesuschrist

THE SUPERIORITY OF JESUS CHRIST'S WORK

CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

Jesus is the creator of heaven and earth and therefore is equal to God who is ruler of the world. From His works, we can judge Jesus Christ and His power.

John 1:3

  • All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

1 Corinthians 8:6

  • But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Ephesians 3:9

  • And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:16

  • For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or pricipalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him.

Hebrews 1:1, 2

  • God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
  • Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath apppointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.

MIRACLE WORKER

His greatness is manifested in His power to raise Lazarus who was dead and buried for four days (John 11:4). Jesus prayed to God and Lazarus who was dead came forth (v. 41-44).

When Jesus was on earth and during the last three and a half years of his life, He performed numerous miracles, Water changed to wine (Jn.2:9); Raising the widow's son (Lu.7:11); Blind men (Mt. 9:27); Feeding five thousand (Mt. 14:15; Mk.6:41; Lk.9:12; Jn. 6:5); Feeding four thousand (Mt. 15:32; Mk. 8:8); Walking on the sea (Mt.14:25; Mk. 6:49; Jn. 6.19). These are only some of the miracles Jesus performed.

The superiorty of Jesus Christ is apparent when we test His superiority as equal to Melchisedec, God's High Priest, who when tempted did not sin and after speaking to them was received in heaven and sat on the right hand of God. Secondly, Jesus is the son of God whereas all priests are born of human parents.

THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST'S PRIESTHOOD
Hebrews 4:14-5:10; 7:1-28

A. Christ is Superior in His Position
Hebrews 4:14-16

  • Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our professions.
  • For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
  • Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Mark 16:19

  • So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Luke 24:51

  • And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

Hebrews 9:24

  • For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

1 Peter 3:22

  • Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God: angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Jesus's priesthood as Melchisedec lives on forever unlike the sons of Aaron who lived for a certain period and had to pass on to the next generation. There is a change of priests from generation to generation in the human priesthood. Christ lives on forever and ever. The human priests in the Old Testament had to continuously sacrifice animals to redeem the sins of many, whereas Jesus sacrificed Himself once and for all.

Sacrifice in the Old Testament
Sacrifice in the Old Testament

B. CHRIST IS SUPERIOR IN HIS QUALIFICATION

Order of Melchisedec

Jesus is the Son of God and no priests on earth can compare with the Son for they are human beings, who live on earth for a certain period of time and they then die. Human beings do have parents whereas Christ as Melchisidec is without father or mother.

Hebrews 7:3

  • Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Jesus is now sitting on the right hand of God and would live eternally while the priests in the Old Testament like Aaron and his descendants had already died. The life span of human beings are seventy and if they are strong may live to eighty. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation.

Hebrews 5:1-10

  • So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

Jesus is God's manifestation of Himself as a man on earth to redeem His created people back to God when Adam and Eve sinned and was banished from the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:24

  • So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Order of Melchisedec

  • As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec...
  • And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
  • Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

C. THIRD WARNING : NOT MATURING

The Hebrews had been warned twice before, and now for the third time for not maturing in Christ. Any fruit that does not mature soon dies. The fruit cannot utilise the nutrition to grow, hence it shrivels and dies. This can be compared to a stunted child who cannot grow into an adult.and will be dependant on others for everything. In the same way, a young Christian who does not absorb the gospel of salvation remains a child and does not grow into an adult Christian who is able to take meat and not milk. The child is dependent on the adult for food, and not self existing who cannot make his own decisions.

Hebrews 5:11-6:20

  • Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing (5:11)
  • For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (5:12).
  • For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe (5:13).

D. CHRIST IS SUPERIOR IN HIS PRIESTLY ORDER

Hebrews 7:1-28

Hebrews 7:3

  • Without father, without mother, without descent, have neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

The priesthood is from the line of Levi, the third son of Israel (Jacob). The Levites also pay tithes according to the law. Jesus Christ is far more superior because He has no father nor mother and not called after the order of Aaron.  Only the sons of Aaron could be high priests, and Jesus Christ was not the descendant of Aaron.

New Covenant - Holy Spirit written in the heart of the believer.
New Covenant - Holy Spirit written in the heart of the believer.

II. THE SUPERIORITY OF JESUS' COVENANT

To compare the superiority of Jesus' covenant with that of the Old Covenant, it can be seen by comparing the Old Covenant with the covenant made with Abraham and Jesus Christ in the New Covenant..

THE OLD COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM

Genesis 12:1-3

  • 1. Get out of thy country
  • 2. Will make thee a great nation, and bless thee and thy name shall be a blessing.
  • 3. Will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee and all families of the earth will be blessed.

A. A BETTER COVENANT
Hebrews 8:1-6

The New Covenant is more concerned with the Holy Spirit written in the hearts of the believers rather than throwing out of all the commandments of God. This is better than the Old Covenant for the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of the believers and teaches them the right way to do things. When the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts, He is constanly there.

1 John 2:7

  • Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

John 14:17

  • Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Romans 8:9

  • But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 3:16

  • Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

 

Blood of Jesus Christ By jeanlove_2006
Blood of Jesus Christ By jeanlove_2006

B. A NEW COVENANT

Jeremiah 31:31

  • Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.

Matthew 26:28, Romans 11:27, Hebrews 8:8

  • For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Hebrews 8:7-13

  • For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (v.10).
  • In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away (13).

Hebrews 12:24

  • And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant

 

III. THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST'S SANCTUARY AND SACRIFICE

A. OLD COVENANT
Hebrews 9:1-10

Blood was crucial in the temple worship in Jerusalem. Much of the work of the priests involved slaughtering animals and shedding their blood to make atonement for sin, and sprinkling the people with blood to cleanse them from guilt. The book of Hebrews explains, "Under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).

The most important institution in the covenant relationship between the Jewish people with God was the priest who offered the sacrifice of blood that took away the sins of the people and restored them to God's favour. The priest was seen as the only mediator, since "For every high priest taken from among men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins" (Hebrews 5:1).

Jesus did not identify himself as a priest or describe the role of his disciples as that of priesthood. The early Christians still worshipped in the temple and benefitted from the ministry of priests. When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD., the people had no more sacrifice. The early Christians began to understand that the sacrifice of animals in the temple was no longer necessary because Jesus had made once and for all the only sacrifice of blood that pleased God. The Christian Jews had come to see Jesus as the High Priest par excellence. The priesthood of the temple was only a shadow as compared to Jesus Christ.

B. NEW COVENANT

B. NEW COVENANT
Hebrews 9:11-10:18

Jesus's ascension into heaven where he sits at God's right hand making intercession for God's people is compared to the High Priest going to the sanctuary to offer sacrifice, but the sacrifice of Christ is infinitely more superior. There are three ways in which Christ's sacrifice is superior to that of the High Priest. Firstly, Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, but he entered into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God on our behalf (Heb. 9:24).

Secondly, the temple sacrifice was limited in its effect, hence it was offered constantly year after year. Jesus Christ's sacrifice was once and for all (Heb. 9:25-26).

Finally, the temple priest offered the blood of lambs, but Christ has offered "the sacrifice of himself"(Heb. 9:26). The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God is infinitely more powerful than the blood of lambs to take away our sins and cleanse us that we appear unblemished in God's sight.

Ephesians 1:7

  • In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

Hebrews 10:19

  • Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

I John 1:7

  • But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Revelation 5:9

  1. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation.

 

Comments 2 comments

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Excellent outline and study on the 2nd part of Hebrews. He is supreme and above all things. I am grateful that He is our High Priest.


einron profile image

einron 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA Author

Tamarajo

Thanks you for your gracious words. Peace and blessings!

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