The book of Hebrews is a beautiful letter written to Jews who were considering what it would mean to follow Jesus or to some who were struggling with their new found faith in Him. I can imagine how difficult the message of Christianity was for them. It challenged everything that they knew and the tradition they were steeped in, and it contradicted their heritage.
Here we are at Christmas Eve, and how many of us—in even some small ways—struggle with how Christ challenges what we know and our traditions and our heritage? The truth is, it can be a struggle for even believers to stay true to Christ while celebrating Christmas. For Christ is Christmas! Without Him, December 25 is just a man-made holiday with empty and worldly traditions.
The whole message of Hebrews (and Christmas) is this: Jesus is better, Christianity is superior, and Christ is supreme! In chapter 10, which I am going to share on, we look at these beautiful truths.
Jesus Paid It All, All to Him We Owe!
This chapter opens by stating the facts that the law was “but a shadow of the good things to come,” (10:1) and the constant sacrifices of bulls and goats were never enough to fully atone for the sins of the people. Hence the Israelites needed to constantly repeat this ritual during the Old Testament. But Christ is the true Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). God’s rescue of sinners to redeem them and join them to Himself through Jesus Christ was always the plan. Jesus came with that mission, knowing the cost. These are the words of Psalm 40:6–8:
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
It was the will of God to send His Son and then to crush Him for our salvation.
Oh my! May the weight of that lay heavy on us! May God so enlighten the eyes of our hearts to the reality of what Christ came to do and accomplished.
He didn’t make an attempt to save us; He came to pay for the sins of every person who would believe—and it was finished! That alone is mind-boggling. And the fact that He paid for them and they will never be remembered or held against us again is just amazing! I am amazed that, though I still sin, the sinless One covered me so fully that God doesn’t even see my sin! My, my, my! I pray that we will all live in light of that incredible demonstration of love, and that we too will humbly accept our mission and live in obedience, loving like Jesus by dying daily (1 Cor. 15:31) and killing the deeds of the flesh for the cause of Christ!
That We Would Have a Blessed Assurance!
Family, God wants us to know that we are His and that He is ours! I love the words of this beautiful hymn:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Verse 19 of Hebrews 10 starts with “therefore,” so we know that we’re to ask “What’s it there for?” Well, all that the previous verses told us: we had a debt that we couldn’t pay and Christ paid a debt He didn’t owe at a high price—His very own blood. He did this so that we can confidently enter the presence of God and come to His throne of grace, that we can have fellowship with Him, and that we can actually be in relationship with Him with full assurance! Jesus paid for all of that! This is huge!
I believe that lack of believing this truth is one of the main reasons why there are so many joyless Christians. I mean, after all, we are not sinless, yet the Holy Spirit rightly convicts us of our sin. If we do not have a rock-solid assurance that all of our sins—past, present and future—are forgiven, we will struggle endlessly in our walk.
Friends, my prayer is that we will believe and walk in verse 21 and 22: “Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”
Beloved, God wants us to be certain of our salvation, so that we can live freely and serve boldly—and do it with great joy. If you lack or struggle with confidence, ask Him to give more grace so that you may be sure and steadfast in your faith. I pray that we would “hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (v. 23).
As the old saints would say, “You can take that to the bank of Jesus Christ!” God has proven Himself worthy of all of our trust and obedience. May we not be those who have been enlightened to the knowledge of the truth but have a life marked with deliberate sin, for that is the mark of those who do not know God.
Loved ones, may we never forget what it was like when we first believed and how we’ve endured the difficulties inherent in following Jesus. Verse 37 says:
“Yet, for a little while, and the coming one one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
Christian, we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but we are those who have faith and preserve their souls! Amen and Hallelujah!
On this Christmas Eve (and every day) let us live with an acute awareness that our Savior came on a rescue mission—ransoming sinners and making them new. If we know this—really know this—we will live in a way that is not only worthy of the gospel, but one that compels us to share it!