Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 13:20-25

“Now may the God of peace, who brough up from the dead our Lord Jesus – the great Shepherd of the sheep – through the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Brothers and sisters, I urge you to receive this message of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. Be aware that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon enough, he will be with me when I see you. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who are from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with you all.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

At long last, today we arrive at our big finish. This has been quite a journey. We are going to end today with a blessing. It’s not a blessing from me, but from the author. As we reflect on where we’ve come, let’s talk about this blessing and where we go from here.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 10:15-18

“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after he says, ‘This is the covenant I will make with them after those days,’ the Lord says, ‘I will put my laws on their hearts and write them on their minds, and I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

God wants a relationship with us. That’s part of why he made us. We were created uniquely relative to the rest of creation. No other creature in the world is capable of relationships the way we are. This is because we of all the creatures on earth were created in His image. Yet sin mars this relationship. Actually, that’s not strong enough. It makes it impossible. As long as there is sin between us and God, we cannot be in a relationship with Him. So, God began to work toward fixing that. Before it came time for the real solution, though, He put in place a stopgap measure that allowed for us to get close, but it never quite got us where we wanted to go. Let’s talk this morning about how God fixed that.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 10:11-14

“Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

A few years ago, and still on billboards in at least the southeast, there was an ad campaign called, “Pass It On.” Each ad highlighted a different character virtue in some encouraging, fun, and creative way. One of my favorite commercials features parents who have taken their little boy to a piano concert. They realize the child is missing when the curtain goes up and they see him on stage…at the piano…pecking out Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Suddenly, the master pianist walks out on stage, reaches around the boy, and adds his own incredible flourish as everyone cheers. The kid thought himself good, but only when the master filled out his skills did he create something truly masterful. Jesus was the master. We’re the novices. This is what the author explores here. Let’s join him.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 9:27-28

“And just as it is appointed for people to die once — and after this, judgment  —  so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love trick shot videos. Dude Perfect offers some of the best of these that are out there. I know because my kids have watched all of them. Twice. A week. For the last year. Okay, it’s not quite that bad, but we do watch a lot of Dude Perfect videos around my house. One of the thoughts that runs through my head every time I see a trick shot is, “He couldn’t do that again.” Sometimes when I’ve done something particularly hard, my first thought is, “I wouldn’t want to do that again.” That’s probably what Jesus thought after the ordeal of the cross. Thankfully, as the author of Hebrews explains here, He won’t have to. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 9:16-23

“Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in effect while the one who made it is living. That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.’ In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore, it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever done something wrong? Actually, let’s go ahead and change up that question to: When was the last time you did something wrong? I mean anything wrong. I’m not talking about just the big stuff. Big stuff, small stuff, medium stuff, all the stuff. When was the last time you did something for which you needed to be forgiven? As the author of Hebrews continues to unpack in more detail how the new covenant in Christ was made, he says something here about how forgiveness happens that should get our attention. Let’s take a look at it together.

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