Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God; Hebrews the Rosetta Stone for understanding the New Covenant II

In the last post we began to look at the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant that is found throughout the pages of the New Testament. We began to look at Hebrews. In this post we will look at an overview of Hebrews that explains the transition of the New Covenant which will culminate with the destruction of the temple. In other words, we will show that the Hebrew believers were suffering persecution at the hands of the non-believing Hebrews and, if that wasn’t enough, Nero was beginning to persecute Christians in general i.e., both the Jew and Gentile Christians. It is reasonable to believe that the non-believing Jews were telling the believing Jews that they should repent from their faith in Jesus and, go back to being good Jews…There were no doubt some that were saying that the persecution of the Christians was God’s punishment on the Christian Jews for following Jesus.
Therefore, the writer of Hebrews, set out to show the superiority of Jesus and the way in which the Old Testament scripture spoke of the New Covenant and, specifically how Jesus was the Messiah. He further went on to explain how Jesus and, faith in him as Messiah, was superior to the Judaism of the day and the Mosaic Covenant.

No doubt, there were some Jewish non believers who were telling the believers that Jesus was just an angel… that he performed good works among them but was not really the Messiah. The writer spends a lot of ink explaining that Jesus was in fact the son of God and, was far superior to the angels.
He goes on to show that Jesus was superior to Moses. In the gospels it becomes evident that many of the Jews, especially the Pharisees were claiming that because of their understanding of Moses Jesus could not be the Christ. Joh 7:47-49 ESV The Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived? (48) Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? (49) But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed." It is obvious from this passage that the Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah based upon their reading of the Law.

According to Jesus…the Pharisees and Jews were trusting in Moses. It is natural that they would do this with their view of specularia and Numbers 12:6-8. Jesus on the other hand was telling them that they received the Law and Prophets so that it could point to him so, that in believing in him, they could have and, find life. The gospel in the Old Testament was that Abraham’s seed would bring blessing to the whole world… the Jews thought that it meant them and, Jesus was showing them that it meant him… the suffering servant that would represent Israel. He told them in John’s gospel the following: Joh 5:45 NKJV Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. In reality Jesus explained that had they really believed Moses they would believe him because Moses wrote solely of Him.

The unbelieving Jews were still trusting Moses when the book of Hebrews was written and, they were still claiming that those who trusted in Jesus were accursed because they did not know the law.

1 comment:

  1. It’s ironic that the Pharisees was accusing the crowds of being accursed, but really they were the ones that God was angry with, because they rejected His Son.


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