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Hebrews Christ is Better

1. Introduction
a. Work Experience i. Back in the Philippines One of my early projects was to develop a production scheduling system for a carton plant or corrugated fibreboard box. ii. This manufacturing process is fairly complex as there is need to coordinate the paper, heat, and glue and shape them into boxes. iii. Boxes are made from giant rolls of paper that needs to be glued, and then cut into specific shapes and sizes. The cutting process creates waste. iv. Scheduling system is based on a mathematical model designed to reduce waste paper. v. Process then was manual and a middle aged person prepares the schedule. The basis of schedule or algorithm is based on interviews with this person hence he had substantial input. vi. When we completed the system, he has to be coerced to use it. He was not comfortable with the new technology that promises to deliver superior results vii. Resistance to change It is an issue we faced two decades ago when systems are transitioned from manual to automated processes. b. Mother i. My late mother was an excellent typist. She was a touch typist and can type 60 wpm. ii. My fondest memories as a child was when my father was completing his graduate school and he and my mother stay up late to finish the required term papers, reports, and theses. iii. This relationship persisted and my mother dutifully played her role as wife, mother, and secretary. iv. In the mid-90s my father discovered that personal computers are wonderful gadgets. My brother Jojo helped him with his work as a consultant after he retired. Naturally he wants my mother to upskill by learning how to use MS word. It was a very interesting conversation as my mother refused to learn or even attempt to learn. Shed rather stick it out with our Remington standard typewriter. Word processing is not her cup of tea. c. Examples of resistance to change. i. Stick to the old ways even when something better is available ii. The epistle to the Hebrews is addressed to a group of Jewish believers who want to revert to the old ways. iii. This epistle is the earliest recorded piece of apologetics, that is, defending the faith through a systematic processes.

iv. Hebrews faced head on the challenges imposed by Chrisian Jews who had the tendency to revert to the old ways. v. The writers mission is to prove logically that Christ is better through a systematic presentation of proofs within the Jewish framework. d. Possible authors i. Paul there is a strong argument that Hebrews is a Paulinian epistle. The strong theological arguments makses case. However, it is inconsistent with Pauls style of identifyimg himself in the greetings. The literary style is different. ii. Barnabas one of the first converts to Christianity (Acts 4:3637) 1. Served as Pauls primary travelling companion. 2. Levite from Cyprus was uniquely qualified to write Hebrews iii. Apollos reputed as a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. (Acts 18:34) 1. Accounts for complete understanding of the Old Testament 2. A well-educated Alexandrian 3. Letter has a philosophical tenor 4. Quotes from the Greek Septuagint

2. The Son (Hebrews 1:1 4:13)

Like a play, Hebrews present the cast of characters, the main one being the Son. Hebrews 1:1 4:13 presents Christ as the only qualified even to attempt salvation. It describes Jesus Christs unique qualifications 1. Greater than Prophets (1:1 3) a. Jews give a high regard to the prophets b. The prophets in the Old Testament represented God to Man and spoke Gods message as it was revealed to them. Men like Elijah, Elisha, Daniel lived God-filled lives c. Jesus is the Son, from a greater realm, has a much greater message d. Prophets spoke the message, the Son is the message 2. Greater than the Angels (1:4 2:18) a. Envoys of God exercised great power in the conflict between good and evil b. Angels can assume bodies so real that they can eat human food, yet they can disappear or vanish c. Writer of Hebrews quoted 11 OT passages to establish Christs superiority over angels i. He is the Creator, Angels are created ( 1:4 - 7) ii. He identified Himself completely with humanity (chapter 2:14 - 18) 3. Greater than Moses and Joshua (3:1 4:16)

a. Moses is unique. Only man that God has spoken to face-to-face. (Exodus 3:11) b. Has a greater role in Gods house (3:1 6) Moses was a faithful servant IN Gods house. Jesus is the faithful Son OVER Gods house 4. Provides a better rest (4:1 11) 3 kinds of rest a. Rest of Canaan Joshua led them out of the wilderness into the promised land. God gave them rest from the enemies around them (Joshua 23:1) b. Spiritual rest Psalm 95 rest better than the physical rest in Canaan and could be forfeited through disobedience. Better than the one forfeited under Moses and enjoyed through Joshua c. Eternal rest to be enjoyed in the eternal presence of God. (Heb 4:9 10). Lesson for those in the Old Covenant who forfeited the rest because they resisted Gods Word 5. Application Gods graciousness cannot be more apparent when He sent His only Son. The mere fact that this Superior Being made Himself available to become a sacrificed on our behalf is overwhelming

3. The Saviour (Heb 4:14 10:18)

This section details the qualifications of the Son as a Saviour 1. The High Priest (The Order of Melchizedek) 1. The OT priesthood means the Levites, that tribe of Israel where Moses and Aaron emerged that has been tasked to carry out temple duties 2. This section points out that a parallel more superior priesthood exists a. Better Competency (4:14 5:10) Divinely chosen and anointed man i. Triumph over sin (4:14 -5:30 temped in every way but without sin. Levites offer sacrifices over his own sins as well as the sins of the people ii. God-given Title (5:5) 1. Psalm 2:7 2. Matthew 3:17 3. Romans 1:4 4. God never gave anyone this exalted title iii. Unending ministry (5:6) 1. Priest forever (Psalm 110:4) 2. Levite priesthood ends with their death b. Better Confidence (6:13 20)

i. The Patriarchs died as nomads but were assured that one day would own the land of Canaan. Without evidence they relied on Gods promise done ii. But in Christ, the historical Jesus, there is evidence. Hence a more solid hope that eternal life is real iii. Better Person (7:1 28) Better priesthood than Aaron 1. Belongs to a higher order (7:1-22) Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek, priest-king without recorded ancestry, birth, or death 2. Provides salvation they only foreshadowed (7:23 28) Aaronic priests are sinful and weak, sacrifices were imperfect hence have to be repeated 2. The Sanctuary (8:1 9:11) The tabernacle/temple is highly esteemed by the Jews and Jesus is a better sanctuary a. Harbours the Heavenly Reality (8:2-5) b. Provides a Better Priesthood (8:3 6) Compare multiple gifts and sacrifices with 1-time sacrifice of Jesus on the cross
c. Offers Better Access to Gods Presence (9: 1 14) 1. High priests enter the Holy of Holies once a year 2. Forgiveness in OT came through a broken and contrite heart 3. God forgave on the basis of Christs future sacrifice 4. Inward cleansing brought by Christs sacrifice provides direct access to God

3. The Sacrifice (9:15 10:18) writer used the Greek work testament/will to emphasize that it will not be enacted until the one who wrote the testament dies. OT no shedding of blood, no remission of sin. Animal sacrifices are only ceremonial. NT Christs death offered inward cleansing a. Perfect Purification (9:23-26) 1. Animal sacrifice are ceremonial cleansing 2. Death of the Son brought purification b. Final Glorification (9:27 28) 1. Every person is destined to die once and after that face judgement 2. Christ died once but He entered the Heavenly Holy of Holies on our behalf c. Ultimate Victory (10:1 8) 1. OT sacrifices were ordained to teach the seriousness of sin. Mirror that enabled man to view and measure his sinfulness 2. Indispensability of absolute righteousness 3. Costliness of divine forgiveness 4. Application. a. Being Christ-like is more than an exhortation b. It is a choice where we seek spiritual perfection by having Jesus , not men, as a model

Having the mind of Christ is greatest respect we can bestow Christ and our fellow believers because it deals with both horizontal and vertical spiritual dimensions

4. The Shepherd (Heb 10:19 13:25)

3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus The previous sections dealt with doctrinal matters that were revealed as we come to know how God provides salvation through His Son. There was nothing we can do to enter in or change it. The only way we can enter in is to believe in what he has done. The entire plan of salvation is already laid out. The practical aspect is the focus of the last chapters of Hebrew. That is to grow in the work of the Lord. Through Christ we can now enter Holy of Holies, into the very presence of God (Heb 10:19). Our new life is to be governed by new avenues of Christian experience: faith, hope, and love 1. The People of Faith (11) a. Heb 11 is known as the great faith chapter. It lists old testaments Hall of Fame b. Through faith, the things that are yet future and unseen becomes real and substantial. The series of examples offer concrete evidence of how faith did this for men and women in biblical history c. The faithful ones: a. Abel b. Enoch c. Noah d. Abraham e. Sarah f. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph g. Moses, Joshua, David, Samuel 2. Pattern of Faith (12) a. Look to the Son of God (12:1-3) b. Submit to the Discipline of God (12:4 11) c. Prepare for the Kingdom of God (12:12 19) 3. Performance of Faith (13) a. Its duties a. Love the brethren b. Show hospitality to strangers c. Let marriage be held in honours d. Be free from the love of money e. Dont be carried away by varied and strange teachings f. Pray for Christian leaders b. Its delights

a. Assurance and promise of Gods security 13:5) b. Jesus constancy (13:8) c. Exclusivity of the altar and it being apart from the Levites (13:10)

4. Application. i. James said in James 2:26 that faith without works is dead. This section is all about the appearance of faith in our lives ii. If we proclaim that we have Jesus in our lives, then there should be a change. A display that manifests itself

5. Conclusion