It is hard to be a follower of Jesus. To obey God as it pertains to issues regarding sex, money, power, what is appropriate entertainment, family living situations and a host of others, puts the Christian at odds with culture. However, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise since Jesus promised life would be this way. “In the world you have trouble and suffering…” (John 16:33b)
What do we do when those days of suffering come? Where do we turn to carry on in the faith amidst the trouble which we would much rather avoid? How do we keep from walking away from Jesus just so we can avoid the ridicule and feeling like an oddball?
There was a group of Christians in the first century living in Rome were suffering for their faith in Jesus. This group of former Jews (hence the title of the letter “Hebrews”) was now following Christ and being persecuted because of it.
And some of these Jewish-Christians were abandoning their faith in Jesus to go back to the non-trouble and non-suffering of Judaism. They were abandoning Jesus so that the culture would accept them and stop the pain.
The purpose of the book of Hebrews is to implore followers of Jesus to not leave their Savior when life gets hard. The writer wanted his readers to entrust their lives to the truth that Jesus is better. Jesus is better than suffering. Jesus is better than trouble. Jesus is better than anything they use to have as Jews under the Law. Grace from Jesus is better than the religious regulation under the Law of Moses. Jesus is better than trying to earn your standing with God by good works. The once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus for sin is better than the never-ending sacrifices required under Jewish ritual. The new covenant initiated by Jesus is better than the old covenant that came through Moses. In any way they could think of, the writer of Hebrews [God], wanted to impress on the reader that…Jesus is better.
For those of us who are not Jewish Christians facing Roman persecution, the letter of Hebrews helps us believe that Jesus is better than all the ways we are drawn away from following Jesus in our lives. Instead of suffering we choose ease:
Like when we choose to serve ourselves instead of our spouse…
Like when we choose to withhold from someone else to keep more for us…
Like when we choose to remain silent instead of speaking truth in love…
Like when we choose to go with the flow of culture instead of taking the unpopular stand with Jesus.
The truth is…Jesus is better. And the book of Hebrews will help live lives that model that truth.
– Eric Creekmore, Lead Pastor
Come to Mission Church in Forney, Texas, this Sunday at 10AM to hear the first installment of our new series: Jesus is Better!