Read: Hebrews 4
Throughout the book of Hebrews, one main focus of the author is to point out the superiority of Jesus compared to things of the Old Testament. In this passage, we see Jesus as greater or superior to Joshua and the other High Priests.
Big Idea: Followers of Jesus can have rest now and in the future because of His priestly work.
Verses 14-16 are the basis for the whole chapter. In the Old Testament, a priest would atone or make sacrifices for people so that they could be right with God. Jesus is the Great High Priest who was tempted as we were, but He never sinned (v. 15). Because of this, we can draw near to Him to receive mercy and grace (v. 16), and ultimately, the forgiveness of sins. We can be made right with God because of Jesus’ priestly work by covering our sins. And now, there no longer needs to be a priest offering sacrifices to God, because Jesus was the final and sufficient sacrifice.
And because Jesus has cleansed us from sin, we can now receive rest. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were to receive rest when they entered the Promise Land. The problem is that the Israelites rebelled and did not receive rest (v. 6). Joshua, their leader, failed to give them rest (v. 8), so God being rich in mercy promised there would be another day of rest for God’s people (v. 9). And that special rest only comes for those who have trusted in Jesus, who believe in His work on the cross and see Him as the Great High Priest. Joshua couldn’t give people complete rest, but Jesus has and will one day bring ultimate rest in eternity.
1. In what ways have you already received rest from Jesus?
2. How does this passage encourage and/or give hope to you?
By: Brice Stockton
Hebrews 4:14-17 are some of the most encouraging verses in the Bible. Because Jesus - our Great High Priest - had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, we can have confidence to believe in Him (v14). We can trust Him with our problems and our failures because He understands (v.15). Because He destroyed the veil that separated us from Gods presence, we don’t need to go through a priest any longer. We can boldly go to our Abba Father and find mercy and grace when we do. He will always be there to help us in our time of need (v.17).
Good word today Brice & Tim!
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
I love these verses. I like the analogy of the two edged sword and how it cuts through all of man’s learning and defines everything that really matters. As Tim said, verse 16 makes it clear that we have the high privilege of boldly approaching God directly without a priest. Jesus ripped the veil and gave us direct access to the creator of the universe. Praise God for His powerful word and free access that we enjoy in our country. May we never take that for granted.
It was difficult for me to not talk about these verses, so thanks for discussing them Mike!
Knowledge without faith has no profit.
...but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. (Hebrews 4:2)
Tozer said, "...orthodoxy without the Holy Spirit.
Everywhere among Conservatives we find people who are Bible-taught, but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something which they can grasp with the mind. If a man holds to the fundamentals of the Christian faith--then he is thought to possess divine truth.
But that is an incorrect assumption. The Bible is a supernatural book--and can be understood only by supernatural aid!"
Great word Korbet! We so often have this reactive theology that runs to the opposite side of the spectrum. We see the damages the charismatic movement does, so we are tempted to run to cold and dead religion that looks more like a Trinity of the Father, Son, and Bible. Without the Spirit, every effort will return null and void.
Thanks for this Korbet!
1. By being free from the weight of feeling the need to impress God and be good enough in my spiritual endeavors
2. Hebrew 4:14-16 might be the verses in the Bible that I reference to the most in my walk with Jesus. It reminds me that Jesus has a sympathetic and understanding heart with His great holiness. I can easily get stuck in the mindset of keeping my worries and mistakes from God because I was raised fearing consequences of what would happen if it were found out. Now, I can see Jesus as someone who was tempted more than anyone that understand my weak state who will bestow endless mercy and grace as I stumble forward in the pursuit of personal holiness.
That's awesome Jordan! I think many can relate to this!
Such great comments today! I'm so grateful for my CPC dedicated, committed and sincere brothers and sisters in Christ.
I rest in Christ from all the visible stuff of the world that surrounds me daily. In it, not of it.
I love your last phrase, "In it, not of it". Very simple, but also very good.
Hebrew 4:15 is one of my favorite verses. It explains so well why we can have faith in Jesus. It is a go to of mine when struggling with sin. He was fully God while on Earth, but also fully man, going through the same things we go through. He didn’t sin because of the power of the Holy Spirit, and we as believers have that same Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. We can rest in fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us and empowers us to fight sin, meaning we are no longer bound by the chains of sin. So comforting!
It is an important reminder for all believers that the Holy Spirit is in our lives. He can give us strength to overcome sin and temptation. Thanks for this Scottie!
Love all these comments! Really great today. I just wanted to point out that verse 1 hit me
“ God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.”
Do I tremble with fear that some people will not experience eternal rest in heaven? What conviction to share the gospel and pray for the lost.
Ah, what Great rest we have knowing that we don’t have to work our way to obtain salvation. Thanks be to God that is accomplished already through Jesus Christ. Through that we have freedom to walk and all that he calls us to be