Over the past few weeks we have been inundated with photos, news articles and then the shooting in Charleston. The latter showed us truly: One can only face a tragedy like this when you know this principle: It is ALL ABOUT JESUS! And that has been whole purpose of the letter titled simply: Hebrews.
The author has spent 13 chapters exhorting the believers to stand strong and firm in their faith. It is choosing to abandon the world’s standards to live and walk by faith. Part of that is knowing how to forgive when the unforgivable happens, when your loved ones are no longer with you and you cannot touch them, speak to them, and hear their responses. The heartache is deep and only through the forgiving power of Jesus can one get through it.
The author exhorts them to remember this: It is all about Jesus and that He alone be glorified. Our external works, what we say and what we do are mere pictures of our love for Him; for His sacrifice; for His work of grace; for His example. But, all that we do is mere rubbish if we do it for our glory and not for His. The whole reason that God prepared a body for him was so that he might be the perfect Lamb of God. He is superior to angels, Moses and anyone else and it is because of His sacrifice that we can draw near to the throne of God. His sacrifice cleanses our consciences because He endured the cross. And this is the reason we can cling to this promise: as our Good Shepherd He will never leave us nor abandon us. And this is the point of the entire letter to the Hebrews: it is all about Jesus and His glory.
John Piper sums up Hebrews this way: “Christ has revealed himself to us again and again for our encouragement and our hope and our perseverance, so that we might have strength and love to meet together and stir each other up to live well and to die well by faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for.”
I don’t know about you but my heart aches for those 9 families in Charleston and their church. But, I am also trusting that Romans 8 is also true: we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, That young man had listened so long to hate speech that he thought he had the last word but God alone has the last word. The world is watching …are we forgiving enough to let God perform His good work?