Right in front of our faces…
I’ve heard it said that sometimes we can have a good thing directly in front of us and not realize it.
Can you remember when you actually came to the realization of who God was and His magnificence and abilities? I do… it was about 10 years ago while watching a movie, of all things, called ‘The Star of Bethlehem.’ The movie offered a Biblical explanation of the ‘star’ and the amazing miracles that occurred at the time of Christ’s birth and death.
The image above is of the constellation Ares at the time of Christ’s death… can you tell what that bright spot is at the center of the image? Through the use of astronomical software, this is what the sky looked like at the time of Christ’s death. You’re seeing the Earth, seen in in midst of a solar eclipse, directly at the heart of the ram, shown from the vantage point of the moon, looking towards to earth! There are Biblical references to the ‘blood moon’ at the time of Christ’s death here on earth, but seeing what else was happening in the universe at the time of our Savior’s ultimate sacrifice… behold, the Paschal Lamb… well, it broke me. When I saw this for the first time, I realized that God was so much more than just words or an idea… He was worthy of being honored and glorified… that at that moment, anything else paled in comparison to the richness found in Christ alone… nothing else was necessary.
In much the same way, the writer of the book of Hebrews focuses on a single, unary message… to put their confidence in Christ alone… the mediator of what was described as a better covenant and the new, great High Priest. The writer attests to the fact that they weren’t losing anything, but rather, they were gaining something better. While they may have been deprived of an earthly Temple, the promise of an Heavenly one was being proclaimed. While they had been deprived of an earthly priesthood, they had, instead, a Heavenly Priest.. Jesus. While they had experienced many sacrifices, only Christ offered the one final sacrifice. Everything in Hebrews is presented in an ‘out with the old and something better with the new’ mindset… a description of better things to come, a better hope, a better testament, promise, and sacrifice… all through the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Hebrews is written to present Jesus Christ as something new, something better, and we are presented as being in Him, dwelling as a new creation. In Hebrews we read about the Heavenly Christ, the Heavenly gift… where everything is new, and better because of it. Why else would we need the old way of life any longer?
Hebrews 8:1 does an wonderful job of summarizing the book of Hebrews as it states “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is seated on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” We have a great High Priest who is seated, therefore, His work is done.
The writer of Hebrews wants to show the Jews that Christ is better than anything expressed in the Old Testament… that the New Covenant is better than the old… that Christ is sufficient… He alone holds the key to life. And if the Creator of the universe could orchestrate the stars in the sky at a moment in time to honor and recognize His only son, how could we not fall to our knees at the sound of the name Jesus and praise Him as the only answer and one true God to follow?
gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)