What if you were told that everything you had ever believed in had just changed? Enter, the pastor of Hebrews. His job is to tell the faithful Jews in Jerusalem or Rome that “hey, the gamechanger came, and many of us scrambling to keep the boat afloat, missed the memo.”
These people grew up on stories that the highest authority in all Israel were prophets, priests, and kings. The Jews were constantly “checking in” at the temple for their sacraficial rituals. The Temple had become less of a place known for sacrafice of sin, and more of a building to have as the backdrop in a selfie. It was more about the building and the pomp and circumstance of those running it, than about what the true purpose of the Temple really was. The Pastor’s job is to introduce the fact that the temple is no longer relevant for sacrafices. In fact, Jesus’s death on the cross made it obselete. This message crushed the BuzzFeed, the trends, their national heritagge, and everything these religious Jews had ever known.
The Pastor’s message was brutally honest. Moses was a great guy, but Jesus is greater. The pastor boldly reminds the Jews that during the journey to the Promised Land, Moses had lost his temper and struck a rock. He was a man, not void of mistakes. For this act, it appeared as if Moses had received a death sentence. He would never enter the Promised Land. For those sinning Jews listening to this message, they must have thought that they too had no chance of entering the promised land. We forget however, that during the transfiguration in the New Testament (Matthew 17:3), that Peter and John observed two men chatting it up with Jesus on a mountain. It was Elijah and Moses. Many scholars believe this mountain was exactly located in The promised land. Meaning, God’s timing and our timing dont alway align. What we may never seem to see now, God intends to make clear in our future if we just keep our eyes on Him. The point, however, was to remind these Jews that Moses was not the Messiah. Moses’s burial place was kept a secret (Deut. 34:5-6) which would have causes some buzz that maybe He was who they were to look for. Upon Jesus’ death, Moses’s laws of sacrafice, however, were no longer relevant,
The next blow the pastor delivered was to expose the fake faiths of their generation. During their era, people worshiped fake gods and spiritual entities such as angels. Sleazy dualism salesmen argued that angels were higher on the divine ladder because they did not have human form. The pastor hits on this topic too and reminds them in Scripture of who exactly is exalted above the angels. Hebrews 1:6 “When He again brings the firstborn into the world, he says “Let all of the angels of God worship Him”. This is actually predicted in Deuteronomy 32:43 (years before Jesus’s human foot would ever touch the earthly soil). “We take the thing that God used to communicate His grace and make it into a spiritual La-Z-boy. Our ability to make an idol from something good, seems limitless (Hebrews -Lisa Harper).
The pastor then went on to talk about the High Priest, mainly Melchizedek, whom is not even considered a Levite. This would have been very important and ritual to the Jews at this time because every sinful sacrafice would have to be done through a Levite. However Melchizadek blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tithe. The lesser gives the greater their offerings and the greater blesses the lesser meaning Melchizedek > Levi; therefore, Jesus priesthood > the Levitical priesthood.
Out of all the psalms quoted in the New Testament, Psalm 110:1 is the most commonly cited: “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool”. The pastor wanted the people to know that Jesus (not angels, prophets, priests, and earthly kings) was the one our faith needed to be placed in. Jesus died for our sins, making the ultimate sacrafice, and He was the one who could blot out our sins if we confess. We can then be rest assured to meet Him in Heaven if we only trust in Him. The true High Priest, the true Prophet of all generations.