The book of Hebrews in the New Testament is a book that has an Old Testament feel. We see the faith of Old Testament peoples. All centers on the person of Jesus. This book deals with a question that we wrestle with too. How do we know our faith is secure? We have our hope placed in Jesus, but how do we know? We are full of uncertainty. Will it rain? Will the rain cancel my event? Even with the advanced technology we have we cannot predict the weather perfectly. How can we be sure of salvation? Hebrews 3 takes us to the person of Jesus.
Consider who Jesus is and who He is not. This is the reason we can be certain today, because of who Jesus is.
1Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
Two words are combined together here to describe who this word is for, “holy brothers.” Brothers means, mankind, all people, all believers. We cringe at the second word: “holy.” We cringe at the thought of being called holy. What’s God saying here when he says holy? The writer of Hebrews is saying you belong to God in a special way. You’re set apart and you belong to God. This is that foundation that you need to feel in the depths of your being because of what Jesus did on the cross. It’s the anchor of our faith.
It’s unusual for Jesus to be called, “apostle” and “high priest.” This is the only time in the Bible Jesus is called, apostle. Apostle means one sent.. John 3:16 tells us that God sent Jesus. Jesus is the sent one and the high priest. What’s a high priest? In the Old Testament, the reason someone went to the temple was for forgiveness of sin. Any priest could make an offering for forgiveness. But the high priest, once a year on the Day of Atonement, would enter into the Holy of Holies. There was a huge veil that covered this place. The high priest would enter into the presence of God on behalf of all the people seeking forgiveness. There was a great concern. The high priest could die. They would tie a rope around his waist in case he died so they could pull him out. Nobody else could go in. The high priest would intercede before God on behalf of the people.
Jesus is the one to intercede. We reduce Jesus to a guy who said some cool things. Our faith rests on the One who came down from the Father. He is the High Priest. Jesus did everything he was called to do.
Hebrews is filled with stories of faith. It has heroes like David. There’s a comparison of Moses and Jesus. Moses fulfilled his purpose and so did Jesus.
He fulfilled His purpose.
You probably didn’t grow up Jewish, but maybe in a Christian church? Stories become a part of our identity. Baby Moses was placed in a basket on the water. A princess draws him out of the water and Moses lived in a palace. He leads God’s people out of bondage. He was a tremendous leader. At Harvard they do case studies on the life of Moses. He was one of the greatest leaders. Moses fulfilled God’s purposes and led slaves out of bondage.
Jesus was like Moses. Moses led people out of physical slavery. Jesus leads people out of spiritual bondage. Jesus is like our heroes of the faith. One key point in Hebrews is Jesus is greater. Jesus isn’t just a man, but fully God. Our faith isn’t on a human being. We all fail but Jesus is greater than any other.
He is greater than any other.
3For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.
Moses came up short. Jesus is greater, for example, a builder and a house. The builder is greater than the house. The potter is greater than the clay. God makes us into whatever He wants us to be. We are all just clay. The greatest one is the one who can make all this. He is the Builder of all.
6but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son.
Moses was a servant, but not greater than the Son. The Son owns everything. Our faith rests in the One who holds it all together. At the age of 40 Moses saw one of his people being mistreated. He kills the man. The next 40 years Moses is in a personal wilderness. Then Moses is at the burning bush. God sends him into Egypt to set people free. God tells him he is the voice that will speak for God. Moses says he cannot do this. He fails again. His brother Aaron speaks for him. Moses was to lead the people into the land but Moses was short of what God set before him. If our trust lies in people we will be disappointed. Our faith rests in God himself! Jesus is our High Priest, the Son of God, and the One who never fails!
Matt. 27:51 tells of what happened when Jesus was crucified. Jesus dies and the veil is torn in half. The meaning of this is that we are no longer separated from the presence of God. Jesus is greater than any other. Our faith is secure because it’s in the One who is greater than any other. He owns the house! He made the way for us to enter in!
He invited us inside.
6…And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
“Hold confidence” means to trust in Jesus Christ. Our boast is in our hope. We are His. We belong to Jesus. We are welcomed and invited in. The reason we love our mothers so much is they invite us in. A mother’s touch is unique. Nobody can comfort like a mother.
I was in a grocery store recently and I observed a dad pushing a cart with his son inside. The boy was crying. The dad would comfort him and he would stop awhile and then he’d cry again. He seemed inconsolable. The boy’s mother rubbed his back and the boy looked up and smiled. All was fine.
The author of Hebrews wants us to know Jesus can bring comfort when no one else can. When we don’t know what’s happening He is the One who cares to deliver us. Jesus is the One who will restore us to the Father. Have you placed your trust in the One who cannot be shaken?
Sermon notes are taken, transcribed and posted by Jeni Martin Johnson.