I don't drink coffee, which makes me a pariah in the pacific northwest, but I like churches that open up coffee shops. I like them because of the names they have. They always put a clever Christian spin on things when they name them like Holy Grounds, or Jehovah's Java. I'm thinking that if I ever opened one of these shops I'd go straight up Biblical and call it "HeBrews". There are actually quite a few with that name. Go ahead and google it! Perhaps instead of the scantily clad baristas in the Seattle area where eye candy is as rich as the shots of espresso, my coffee could be made and served by Old Testament law following, temple going, festival attending, Torah memorizing folks. After all, that's the audience the New Testament book of Hebrews is written to.
Hebrews has become one of my favorite books of the Bible because it really shows us how Jesus is the fulfillment of all things Jewish.
Hebrews 10:1 says,
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship."
What it is saying is the law with all its rituals and festivals and sacrifices and temple are really only shadows of the true reality for which they exist. They are all shadows. They all point to Jesus so if you are a Hebrew and don't make the move to what the Old Testament law is really pointing too, Jesus, you've missed the point and missed out on the great salvation spoken of in Hebrews chapter 1. If you don't let go of the old covenant shadows to grab hold of the reality itself which is Jesus, you've missed the entire point of Judaism!
So what the author of Hebrews does, as he is speaking to those holding on to the old covenant way of doing things, is make a compelling argument for why the new covenant of faith in Christ alone is better than the old covenant of law and festivals and sacrifices. He does this by taking the things the Jews cared about the most from the Old Covenant like prophets and angels and Moses and sacrifices and explains using the Old Testament why Jesus is better than all these things. And because Jesus is better we should let go of the rituals and festivals and rule following and grab onto Jesus. Put your faith in Him because this New Covenant is way better than the old.
You know, it's tough to let go of the way you've done things your whole life to embrace something new. I can see how this was difficult for those who received the letter to the Hebrews. We still face the same struggle today in the church as many resist the use of technology and certain types of music, as well as modern ways to advertise, to a generation is in desperate need of the gospel. Certainly there can be no better covenant than that of faith in Jesus because Jesus is the ultimate. He is the Beginning and the End. You can't get better than perfect.
If you're interested in a more in depth study of the book of Hebrews. Here is the first week of my series on the book of Hebrews.
Until next time, keep your head up everybody. Because if you don't you might run into a wall.