My friend Mark is an excellent cook. I’ve asked him to share recipes with me, but he doesn’t have any! He just whips up wonderful dishes without them. I can’t cook that way. I need step by step instructions to cook something that’s edible.
The author of Hebrews has beautifully articulated why his audience should persevere in the faith and not turn back. He challenged them to stand firm in the face of persecution, to cling to their High Priest Jesus Christ, and not turn away from the superior Covenant. But what should this look like in their daily life? Here in chapter 13, the author gives his audience some practical direction for living out their faith.
I admire marathon runners. Their discipline and endurance inspire me. They spend months training and preparing to run the 26 mile race. They stick to the running schedule, get plenty of rest, and eat right. All this to prepare for the big race.
Like a marathon, the Christian life is a long-distance race. It requires discipline and training. In chapter 12, the author of Hebrews tells us we must get rid of everything that hinders our performance. Are you prepared to run the course?
How many times have you bought a product or service, because it promised to do something specific, only to be disappointed? I have tried many cleaning products that claim to cut through the hard water deposits on our bathroom fixtures and leave them “sparkling clean.” None of them lived up to their claims.
Jesus made some bold claims. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). But Jesus’ claims are true! He is our superior High Priest who offered the once-for-all sacrifice on our behalf. The blood of bull and goats could not take away our sins, but the sacrificial blood of Christ accomplished it!
Have you noticed that laundry is never really done? By the time I collect all the dirty clothes, haul them to the laundry room, sort them into piles, do numerous rounds of washing, drying, and folding, and then put them all away, there is already more that needs washing. Laundry never ends.
The Levitical sacrificial system was a little like doing laundry. The work had to be done over and over again. The priests sacrificed daily. Blood flowed constantly. But the sins continued to pile up because these sacrifices could not change the heart of the worshiper.
The author of Hebrews shows the superiority of the New Covenant’s sacrifice over the old. Let’s dive into chapter nine and discover how the death of one Superior Savior accomplished what the death of countless bulls and goats never could – eternal forgiveness of sins and freedom from its guilt!
God desires to be in relationship with people. But the Old Covenant, established through Moses, was imposed from the outside. It revealed mankind’s sin nature but did not have the power to change it. We needed a covenant that works from the inside. One that has the power to change our hearts. God’s New Covenant radically changed the way people can relate to Him. Through our High Priest Jesus, we can have an intimacy with God not possible before. In every way the New Covenant – this covenant of the heart – is superior. Let’s explore the benefits of the New Covenant! Watch the video and download your lesson!