because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.Hebrews 11:40(NASB)
The urgent message of Hebrews is that Christians, and particularly Jewish believers, should not return to the religiosity and legalistic practices of the Mosaic Law and pre-Cross Israel - for we are not under the Law but under grace. Today we live in 'the dispensation of the grace of God'.
Many Jews readily responded to the glorious gospel of Christ in those early days of Christendom, but many found it difficult to break free of the religious rites and legal requirements that bound them to the curse of the Law. Hebrews is a wonderful instrument, used by God, to open men's understanding to God's perfect plan of redemption which He purposed in His heart before the foundation of the world. It is a book that lays emphasis on the insurmountable superiority of Christ over ALL.
The writer of Hebrews systematically lays out Christ's superiority to prophets, priests, kings, and angels. He details His preeminence over leaders like Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and David. He demonstrates His superior priesthood and the sacrifice of Himself as greater than Old Testament offerings. He urges them not to fall into unbelief and faithlessness, like Israel's forefathers and warns against spiritual immaturity.
The author of Hebrews calls them, and us, to consider the Person and Work of Jesus and warns against neglecting the gospel of grace, hardening our heart, reverting to spiritual infancy, falling away from the truth, or treating the wonderful birthright we have in Christ, with disdain.
It is at the very end of the most glorious chapter on 'faith' that the writer explains to his readers why his long list of men and women of faith did not receive the promises God made them: "God has provided something better for us, so that apart from us - they would not be made perfect."
However wonderful the promises He gave to Israel, God planned to give us - and them - something even better. The promises of the New Covenant (which was cut at Calvary) with its victory over sin and death, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and all the privileges that come with our great salvation, was secured at the Cross. This not only enabled God's earthly land and kingdom promise to be brought to fruition at the right time, but for 2000 years the Christian Church has been engaged in an ongoing spiritual battle which, 'though won at the Cross, will be fulfilled at His return.
By His goodness and grace, God purposed to use the Church as the instrument to secure better promises for Israel (heavenly, as well as earthly promises) just as He used Israel as His instrument to bring the glorious gospel of redemption through their Jewish Messiah to the Gentiles.
May we take note of the emphasis Hebrews places on the supremacy and importance of Christ, which has set us free from the curse of the Law. Let us rejoice that the life-giving power of the Spirit through union with Christ Jesus, has set us free from the power of sin and death.
Heavenly Father, Your plan of salvation for Jewish saints and Gentile believers is most wonderful. Thank You that Christ's sacrifice of Himself on the Cross of Calvary has enabled men and women of faith, both Old and New Testament saints, to be justified by faith and receive the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. Whether trusting in the future Redeemer or looking back and trusting the risen Saviour, the Cross paid it all, past, present, and future. Thank You for all who have trusted Your Word, both pre and post-Cross believers. How wonderful it will be to share eternity with the Old Testament saints, praising and glorifying You together. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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