The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Hebrews 1:1-2:4

The Word Finally Revealed

Having spent all of our time in the Old Testament, we finally move to the New.  The Old Testament and the Law paved the way for the New Testament and the age of grace.  The purpose of the Law was to teach us what sin is (Romans 7:7-13).  It also served as our guardian, as people who needed guidance, until the plan of salvation would be revealed through Christ (Galatians 3:19-26).  Ultimately, the Law shows us for the sinners that we are, in need of the grace of Jesus Christ, provided by his death and resurrection.  That’s why we have to spend time in the Old Testament during Lent, that we might hear the Law, acknowledge our failure to keep it, and thus be ready to receive the saving message of Jesus Christ.

So we turn in the New Testament to the Letter to the Hebrews, for there is no writing in the New Testament that better explains how our Lord and Savior fulfilled the promises of the Old.  The Letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who needed encouragement to live the faith, just as we do.  They are reminded right at the beginning of the letter that the times have changed, which is good news.  In the past, God spoke to His people through the prophets, men and women who received a message from God and reported it to the people (like Elijah or Isaiah).  Now God has spoken to us definitively, finally, and ultimately through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Why is this message so superior to the previous messages of the prophets?  Because it comes to us through His Son, who is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature.”  The Son even “upholds the universe by the word of his power.”  And now he sits at the right hand of the Father, all things subject unto him (Ephesians 1:20-21).  Angels do not compare to him, for he is their creator as well.  Then are fired off a host of Old Testament passages that speak of the glory of the Son, his relationship to the Father, his kingship and dominion over creation, his divinity.  This is the One we worship, this is the One who has redeemed us, this is the One who has perfectly revealed the Father to us.  “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

Our passage today closes with an admonition to not neglect so great a salvation offered to us.  Grace does not mean that there is no punishment for sin.  The wages for sin is still death.  But now there is the gift of forgiveness and eternal life for those who receive him (Romans 6:23).  The times have indeed changed.  Hallelujah!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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