THE MISSION OF GOD IN HEBREWS

the mission of god hebrews

After careful analysis of the book of Hebrews one can determine that there is one major theme that is present within the book. The theme that Jesus is superior to everyone and everything is present all throughout Hebrews. Under this major theme are two themes that correspond with God’s mission to glorify Himself among all people and send intermediaries to accomplish His purposes. These themes are; the revelation that Jesus is indeed God and His saving grace which makes Christ Superior as well as Christ’s suffering which makes Him superior and also encourages believers.

The beginning of chapter one immediately connects the revelation that Christ is God and the superiority of Christ through God’s saving grace, to the mission of God to glorify Himself among all people. In verse 3, it is explained that Jesus is God stating, “the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…after he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty…” (Heb 1:3, NIV). This reveals to people that Jesus is God in the flesh. Not only this but Christ’s saving grace is God’s saving grace because Christ and God are one in the same; they are equal to one another.

Through His son, God can forgive all people of their sins. Jesus Christ is superior to all people which is why we come to God through Him. As Hebrews 2:8 says, “…in putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him…” (Heb 2:8, NIV). God is the one who put Jesus as head over everything and then Jesus unveiled Himself to us. God is able to glorify Himself amongst all people through salvation. When Scripture says that Jesus “sat down” in Hebrews 1:3, this signified that Christ’s work was accomplished by His death on the cross. Hebrews 7:25 also emphasizes Christ’s superiority as the High Priest. Unlike other priests, Jesus lives forever and because He lives forever “…he is able to save completely those who come to God through him…” (Heb 7:25, NIV). While the priests could not save people, Christ could surely save. When a person recognizes Jesus and God as one, they also recognize that salvation comes from God the father through Jesus Christ His son. The understanding of God’s mercy towards them also leads a person to understand their need for salvation and where it comes from. When this happens, God’s name is glorified.

Furthermore, when one looks at Hebrews, they can also see that Christ is God’s intermediary. In fact He is the main mediator. God sending His son to die on the cross for the sins of the world is enough to prove that Christ is the ultimate intermediary for all people. His death on the cross accomplished God’s mission of salvation for all people. Hebrews 7:25 establishes this when it says that those who come to God through Christ are saved wholly, “because he always lives to intercede for them” (Heb 7:25, NIV). He continues intercede for believers, in heaven at the right hand of God making unending petition to God. God’s mission to glorify Himself among all people is accomplished through Him sending His son, who became the main intermediary, who is above all, to save all, so that all people would have the opportunity to come into a relationship with Him causing His name to be glorified among all people.

Additionally, the suffering of Christ which makes Him superior and encourages believers also relates to the mission of God to glorify Himself among all people. It is apparent that Christ suffered great agony when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. Hebrews 2:9 even mentions that He was made a little lower than the angels but is now “crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death” (Heb 2:9, NIV). However, even prior to His death, Christ suffered. It is because of His suffering, that He is superior and qualified to be a mediator between His people and God. Hebrews 2:17 states that, “he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest” (Heb 2:17, NIV). Christ came to earth as a human and therefore, He is able to understand the weaknesses of all people and show grace and mercy to all. Christ’s suffering is used to encourage believers that they too can endure suffering for the cause of Christ. In Hebrews, Christ can be seen as an intermediary sent by God to serve as an example and encouragement to believers to stand firm in the faith despite the pain and suffering they might endure. This encouragement can be found in Hebrews 10:32–33, which urges believers to continue in the faith despite the opposition and persecution that they might face because Jesus Himself has experienced the same suffering that believers experience.

When believers understand that Christ has suffered just as they have, then they will learn to trust and rely on Jesus because “because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb 2:18, NIV).Not only does suffering cause one to rely on Christ, it also equips them for ministry. When believers are afflicted Paul says that God “comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor 1:4, ESV). When those who suffer, lean on Christ, who also suffered, the grace and mercy that they are showed will cause them to draw even closer to Him. In this way, God’s name is glorified because those who lean on God are trusting in Him and His promises. The grace and mercy that Christ shows will also equip believers for ministry so that they may show the love of Christ to others and God’s mission to glorify Himself among all people will be accomplished.

 

 

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