THE book of Hebrews has been called the 5th gospel. There are four gospels; Mathew, Mark, Luke, John. These describe Christ’s ministry on earth. The book of Hebrews is called the 5th gospel, because it describes the ministry of Christ in heaven.
The book of Hebrews is vitally linked to the Old Testament. In fact, you will never be able to understand fully the five books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, until you read the book of Hebrews.
The book of Hebrews becomes the Holy Spirit’s commentary of the five Old Testament books. As far as the author of the book is concerned, many scholars have varied opinions, however, I will not be dogmatic about it. But my opinion is that Paul may well have written the book. I am of course getting my hint from Hebrews 13 vs 23.
The recipients of this letter will seem as we read, that they were Jewish believers. If you take a moment and turn to Hebrews 5 vs 12, you will see that these people had been believers for a long time.
That infers that these people had been saved relatively for a period of a longtime.Therefore they ought to have been teachers and have known scriptures.The date of the letter of Hebrews is approximately AD 66. When you read this letter, it’s obvious that the temple was still in operation. (Herod’s temple). The temple was destroyed in AD 70 and so this letter is written prior to the destruction of the temple. There are several passages that speak of the actual sacrifices still being offered, even after Christ’s ascension.
The letter was also written to correct and exhort. This book in encouraging these believers, deals with the superiority of the person of Christ. (Christ is superior to all the hardships you are facing) — Don’t be discouraged.To the Jewish people who were tempted to go back to Judaism — the writer of this letter had to prove that Jesus was superior to anything they had before.
Six areas of Christ’s superiority
Superior to: Prophets, Angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Old Covenant (Old Testament).
So today, those who are tempted to go back to n’angas or mapostoris, idolising men of God, (water churches), Christ is superior to all that, stay with Him.
Last week we dealt with Christ’s superiority over Prophets and Angels, today we cover the remaining four.
Superior to Moses
If the writer of the letter was to further encourage them, he must state that this Jesus is far superior than the greatest leader they know “Moses.”
In Hebrews chapter 3 vs 1-19, the writer talks of all the attributes of Moses — his character, his leadership qualities, his accomplishments, his faithfulness, his earthly glory. But the writer talks of Jesus Christ and the conclusion is Christ is far superior (vs 6).
(Moses was used in 10 plagues, delivered over 3 million people from Egypt, parted the Red Sea, pillar of fire by night, cloud by day, spoke to God face to face, buried by God) — yet Jesus is far superior.
You may not have met great men in your life — but you have met Christ.
He is superior.
Superior to Joshua
And to the greatest Jewish man who ever lived, he says in chapter 4 vs 8-9 — Christ is greater than Joshua.
Remember — Joshua was the greatest captain ever to lead the people of God.
l The River Jordan parted before him.
l Jericho walls were destroyed by him just marching around sixtimes in six days on the 7th day, seven times.
l Joshua conquered one city after another.
a). Jericho chapter 6 Book of Joshua.
b). Ai chapter 7-8 Book of Joshua.
c). Amorite chapter 10 Book of Joshua.
d). South land chapter 10 Book of Joshua.
e). Northern land chapter 11 Book of Joshua.
f). The following kings, Joshua chapter 12 vs 9-24 King of Ai, Jerusalem, hebron, Jarmuth, Laschish, Eglon, Gezar, Debir, Geder, Harmah, Ared, Libnah, Adulam, and many more 31 in all, vs 24.
l He asked God to make the sun stand still while he clobbered his enemies.
l He took the children of Israel to the promised land.
He was the most powerful commander of God’s people. And yet, the writer of the book of Hebrews says Christ Jesus is far superior to Joshua.
Superior to Aaron
The fifth area of superiority of Christ has to deal with the superiority of the priesthood of Christ.
Read chapter 4 vs 14-16 and chapter 5 v 1-11.
The Jewish people had a great structure of priesthood. The writer proves that Christ is superior to Aaron. Now Aaron was the first priest, he was God’ selected. God himself hand picked him. Aaron was revered by the Jews as God’s first High Priest. The writer in encouraging the Jews to look to Christ instead of their problems says Christ is far superior to Aaron. He, the writer further says Christ is superior to the entire Levitical priesthood.
Chapter 7 vs 11-17 deals with that, it gives a contrast between earthly priests, their limitations and our great high priest Jesus Christ without any limitation.
Jesus has been perfected forever. Christ is greater than Aaron.
b) Tribe — Levi
a) Grace, Spirit.
b) Judah, Order of Melchizedek
Superior to the Old Covenant
6, He also teaches that Christ is superior to the Old covenant agreement).
A covenant has always been a special thing for the Jews. They knew that once you made a covenant, you kept it by your life. The old covenant was made with Jehovah who could not lie or change according to the Jews. The Old covenant was enacted on blood of bulls and goats. The New is enacted on the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus will never lose it’s power. It justifies, it forgives!
Jesus is better, best than anything you are going through now.
If in the old covenant, people of God were healed, how much more in the new? If in the old covenant, people of God were preserved, how much more in the new and better?
Christ is superior to:
l Old Covenant (Old Testament).
If Psalm 91 was a reality to the people of God, how much more in the new?
l Colin Nyathi is a senior pastor and founder of Harvest House International Churches