Why We Need the Book of Hebrews Right Now

Sometimes when you read the Bible, you get caught on a single verse. Sometimes a single word. You read it, and you’re hung up – you can’t move on. Maybe it’s because that word strikes an emotional chord. Maybe that word stirs up and stokes your affections. Maybe you just sense that this small section requires further reflection.

That’s an okay thing. Scripture is not meant to be rushed through, but instead to be thought deeply upon. Savored. Cherished.

And yet, it’s helpful even in those moments to zoom out after a time and remember a few other details. It’s important to remember, for example, who wrote the book to begin with. And who the audience was originally intended for. And this – it’s important to remember the overall purpose or main idea of that particular book of the Bible. Here are a couple of examples (all up for debate I’m sure):

  • Genesis is about who God is, and who we are in light of who He is.
  • Luke is about a Savior who came to seek and to save the lost.
  • Acts is about the Spirit-empowered church fulfilling its mission.

One more example, for the purpose of this article, is the book of Hebrews. So what is Hebrews mainly about? Well, it’s about faith – we see the “Faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11. And it’s about the power and primacy of God’s Word as seen in Hebrews 4. But what is it mainly about? I think you could summarize it in one sentence like this:

Just keep going, because Jesus is better.

See, the original recipients of this letter were no stranger to trouble and affliction. Having become Christians, they had begun to experience persecution for their new faith, and many of them were in danger of just packing it in. Having heard this, the author of Hebrews wrote a letter of encouragement to these people, and though it contains many themes, it is mainly about these two: the supremacy of Jesus, and the perseverance of the Christian in faith.

Hebrews tells us that Jesus is better than Moses. He’s better than the angels. He’s better than Melchizedek. And because He is, we should continue in the faith. We should persevere, no matter how difficult.

Here is a message we all need right now. We need it more than a message to return – or not to return – to “normalcy.” We need it more than a message about the economy. We need it more than a message about the opening schedule of the various businesses in our neighborhoods. We need it because we are feeling a sense of collective loss, day by day, and many are standing on the verge of giving up.

Think about what we have lost and are losing. We have lost jobs. Incomes. Vacations. Mobility. Certainty. Trust in officials of all kinds. All this we have lost, and in the midst of loss, it is important that we are reminded on what we still have. Not only that, but that what we have is actually much better than anything we have lost. In other words, we need to be reminded that Jesus is better.

He is better than the 401K. He is better than the governing officials. He is better than normal interactions and travel. By faith, we believe that Jesus is better.

We need the message that Jesus is better because we have experienced loss, but we also need the second part – the message of perseverance. In easier days, it’s easy for us to tell ourselves and others that God’s plan for all our lives is for us to be on some grand adventure, living out and pursuing our dreams. But what about now? What about when we don’t have any dreams left to dream? What about when it feels like we can barely get by?

Well, on those days, we need the simple message of perseverance. That honoring God, right now, means simply continuing on in faith. It means putting one foot in front of the other. It means getting up and remaining faithful, one day at a time. It is adventurous? Not really. But is it faithful and true? You betcha.

These are trying, painful days of loss. And in the midst of these days, we need the same old message again from God’s Word:

Just keep going, because Jesus is better.

 

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