From the "Exploring..." Bible Study Series.
"On what Scriptural and logical bases does the work of Jesus Christ surpass and supersede the provisions of the Old Testament Law?"
"If redemption through Jesus Christ provides a richer, more complete dimension than did atonement through the Law, where is the stability of the Old Testament Law and traditions? the appeal of the Old Testament ceremonies and sacrifices? the glory of the temple and the activities that surrounded it?"
"Are the Judaizers right to insist that observing the Old Testament Law is an essential part of believing that Jesus Christ is the Messiah?"
Questions such as these perplexed many Jewish believers of the first century A.D. In this Epistle to the Hebrews, God, through an anonymous author, has given believers a clear insight into the relationship of the New Covenant to the Old. The theme of this carefully crafted and logically developed epistle can be summarized thus: The finished work of Jesus Christ provides eternal redemption for those who by faith enter into the New Covenant and continue in the "new and living way."
Like many of the New Testament Epistles, the Book of Hebrews begins with doctrinal teaching and then moves on to the practical application of that doctrine. From chapter 1 through the middle of chapter 10, the writer used the Old Testament Scriptures to affirm the superiority of Jesus Christ over all that the Old Testament represented. Jesus Christ is superior to the prophets and the angels (1:1-2:4), to all other men (2:5-18), to Moses and Joshua (3:1-4:13), and to Aaron and Melchisedec (4:14-10:18).
In the final chapters, the writer explained the superiority of the "new and living way" that Jesus makes possible. After presenting an overview of this "new and living way" in the latter half of chapter 10, the writer urged his audience to possess an active faith (chapter 11), an abiding hope (chapter 12), and an ardent love (chapter 13).
Truly, "God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son" (1:1-2). "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh" (12:25).
"Grace be with you all. Amen."
Table of Contents
- Part 1. Introducing the Epistle to the Hebrews
- Part 2. Jesus Christ—God's Ultimate Messenger (Hebrews 1:1-2:4)
- Part 3. Jesus Christ—the Perfect Man (Hebrews 2:5-18)
- Part 4. Jesus Christ—the Supreme Leader (Hebrews 3:1-4:13)
- Part 5. Jesus Christ—the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-10:18)
- Part 6. The Superiority of the "New and Living Way" (Hebrews 10:19-13:17)
- Part 7. Concluding Remarks of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 13:18-25)
- Suggested Answers to Study Questions