II HEBREWS 24

Roy Osborne (Taken from the series taught in 2005)

THE VICTORIOUS CONCLUSION OF HEBREWS

The last two chapters of the book of Hebrews are great orations of exhortation.  Having argued his case effectively through the first eleven chapters, the writer now becomes a cheerleader to encourage them to renewed dedication, spiritual awareness, and a reminder of who they are, what their heritage is, and where they are going.

The brilliance of this book cannot be overemphasized.   At the outset, the author paints a glorious picture of the Son of God, eternal creator, transcendent power,  above all, supreme and absolute.   Then he recounts the descent of Jesus to earth, and His encounter with the failures of mankind in responding to God’s love, and His promises.   Continuing the story he shows the emergence of Jesus as the ultimate High Priest, bridge between God and man, not flawed by human weakness, but perfectly suited to touch heaven and earth, and offer hope to mankind.   Finally, he triumphantly introduces the “New Covenant” wherein the sins of men are swept away by the love and mercy of God.   The law, which men could not keep, was replaced by a new relationship, made possible by the shed blood of Jesus, and a doorway was opened to the throne of heaven for all who would put their trust in Him.

Finally, our author parades before his readers a hall of fame assembly of God’s heroes of faith, matching their problems and difficulties with their perseverance, and unwavering trust in God.   He points to their victory, not in this world’s blessings, but in the eternal promise of God, which is to be shared by all mankind.   In this, he makes his readers see that every person of faith, and every act of God, in the history of God’s people, was a part of God’s plan to bring sinful mankind back to Him, by means of faith in the shed blood of His only begotten Son.    

This is the power and beauty of the book of Hebrews, which our writer now ends with a flourish of exhortation to a higher, more disciplined life, characterized by the inevitable struggle against this world’s temptations.   You stand at the foot of Mount Zion, no longer a mountain of fear of a distant God.   But a mount upon which stand the victorious multitude of those who have discovered His love, and who invite you to follow them to the unshakeable kingdom of God, and to the fulfillment of His promise to make you a prince in the household of the King.

(With this essay we end our studies in the great book of Hebrews.   However, this is not to say we have completed our studies.   The great semanticist, Wendell Johnson, said you could never say all there is say about anything, and always ended his lectures with, “and so forth”.   I would do the same, and hope that this will only serve to whet your appetite for deeper study into this pivotal book of the New Testament.  Wednesday, January 8, 2014, the Lord willing, we will begin a new study which will be in the dynamic book of James.)