Hebrews 13:9-25: Christ Is Better Than Any Other
September 25, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
As he comes to his conclusion, the author of Hebrews hits again all his main highlights of his message and wraps it all up in a closing prayer and benediction.
First, he reminds them that there is no need for them to have the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. They have a better high priest. They have a better altar. Jesus, who suffered and died for them. Jesus is our better sacrifice, and as we praise him, we offer a better sacrifice, and as we serve him, we offer a better sacrifice too.
The application of this reminder is clear: keep on meeting together in church (as he has already told them to do); look after each other. The gospel that you believe is better than any other doctrine or idea or philosophy. Therefore, stick with Christ!
Second, he reminds them that they are therefore to follow their leaders. They are watching over you as those who must give an account. Be easy to lead. This will make your leaders’ work a joy, and therefore they will lead you better. And he urges them to pray for the author of Hebrews too.
Then, third, comes the famous benediction at the end of the book of Hebrews:
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
He is emphasizing that Christ is their Shepherd – the great Shepherd; he is better than any other. Stick with him, and may he equip you for doing everything good according to his will and for his glory!
Finally, he concludes with greetings and a word of encouragement about Timothy’s release, and the near-humorous understatement that he has written only “quite briefly” a word of exhortation, or a sermon, that he asks them to listen to carefully or to “bear with.”
What then do we learn from this Book of Hebrews? First, that Christ is better than any other Old Testament religion, and therefore, that he is also better than any other “new” idea. And the consequence is that we must not give up meeting together but encourage one another daily and all the more as we see the return of Christ approaching.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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