Acts 1:1 – 11. As Jesus spoke to his disciples in person for the last time on earth, he declared that the power and authority for them to keep being his disciples and disciple-makers would be given to them through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:7-8). Yet, as they looked into the sky […]
As we have journeyed through Hebrews together since the beginning of January, we have been able to see “Jesus above all”. We saw that in the glory, honour, and supremacy of Jesus (2:1-8). We’ve seen Jesus as our “Great High Priest” (4:14 – 5:10), and our anchor of hope (6:13 – 7:28). That all moved us towards this crucial encouragement towards the end of Hebrews: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (12:2). We do well not to rush away from the teachings of Hebrews, but to hold them steadfastly and live them resolutely!
What more can we see about Jesus that will help us to live in that way, and why do we even need to bother at all?
Our key verse for the next few weeks will keep us linked to the Letter to the Hebrews as we look back to the significance of the cross. The message of the cross is one of hope displayed in the most distressing and devastating of ways. Jesus who is “above all” and whose glory, honour, and supremacy anchor our hope, is seemingly defeated, but as Derek Tidball describes in his commentary entitled “The message of the Cross”, this is “love indestructible”.
That starts to answer our “why do we even need to bother?” question. The utter supremacy of Jesus is explained and applied by the cross. That’s where we see “Jesus our redeemer”, a phrase that confirms our eternal hope and salvation is made secure through our response to all that Jesus has already done for us.
Yet, only remembering the cross and understanding the Old Testament theology of “redemption” so that we can fully understand “the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once, for all” (Hebrews 10:9), isn’t enough on its own.
If our Easter celebrations don’t move us on from the finality of the cross, to the resurrection of Jesus to new life, then we’re only going be living half of the full message, and we’ll be left with nothing that we can “hold steadfastly and live resolutely”.
As well as looking back from Hebrews to the cross, we also need to look forwards to Christ’s second coming. We won’t be covering the whole of the book of Revelation in this short series, but enough to enable us to finish answering our “why do we even need to bother?” question.
When we declare on Easter Sunday, “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again”, those words are not a response for just one day, but our eternal future rests upon us really understanding and living out what we are saying!
It can sound scary, even threatening, to hear it said, “One day Christ will return so sort your life out now before it’s too late”. But remember this: the message of the cross is “love indestructible”, and hope eternal.
Join us for this teaching series to see how your hope-filled present and future are bound together in Jesus. Learn how to hold those truths steadfastly and live them resolutely.
Luke 24: 13 – 35. The phrase, “You had to be there” is informative – it flags up that if only we had been present at the time, then we would be able to fully appreciate what happened. At the same time, that’s frustrating – maybe if we’d stayed around for a bit longer then […]
Matthew 27:1-66, 28:1-20. The darkness of the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27), and the discovery of the empty tomb on that first Easter Sunday (Matthew 28), call into question why the writer of the letter to the Hebrews claimed that through Jesus we are “heirs of what was promised” and so “have this hope as […]
Matthew 21:1-11; 24 & 25. All of the gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) record their accounts of Jesus coming into Jerusalem in ways that have led biblical translators and scholars to use the heading “The Triumphal Entry” (NIV). That is a very celebratory statement, and Hebrews has certainly shown us that there is […]