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Lesson 13: Jesus and Our Future *

Introduction: We come to the end of our study of the book of Hebrews. What have we learned so far? That the Old Testament sanctuary service was both a prophecy of the sacrificial death of Jesus our Messiah, and a symbol of what Jesus is presently doing as our High Priest in the parallel sanctuary in heaven. What is the "end game" for these two concepts? Isn't it eternal life with Jesus? What better note to end on than that! As we anxiously wait for Jesus' return, what should we be doing? Let's jump into the conclusion to Hebrews!

  1. The Enduring City

    1. Read Hebrews 13:9-10. What did the writer of Hebrews warn about as we wait for Jesus to come? (Strange teachings.)

      1. What example of "strange teachings" are we given here? (Soy milk and "Vega-links" are not getting us into heaven. Your health, even your mental health on earth may well be affected by what you eat, but what you eat is "of no value" when it comes to your salvation.)

        1. What is of central value for our salvation? (Grace. Jesus' sacrifice of His life on our behalf.)

      2. Verse 10 continues with an eating theme. Where can we eat that the priests in the Old Testament temple could not eat? (Those priests who did not accept Jesus as the "point" of their tabernacle (sanctuary) service, would not be able to partake of grace. They missed the entire point of what they were doing.)

        1. Is it possible for us today to get caught up in what we are doing and miss the point of grace?

    2. Read Hebrews 13:11-13. Why is Jesus being compared to the body of the sacrifices which were "burned outside the camp?" (To understand this we need to read Leviticus 6:24-30. When a regular "sin offering" was brought to the temple, the animal was sacrificed and the priest was required to eat it. However, when the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement was used to "cleanse" the sanctuary itself, in that case the body was burned outside the camp.)

      1. What lesson do we learn about Jesus being crucified outside the city of Jerusalem? (Again we see reinforced the point that the death of Jesus was not like an ordinary, daily sin sacrifice. Jesus' death was the "once for all" sacrifice for sin. Hebrews is showing us, once again, that the procedure followed in the Old Testament sanctuary was a prophecy of what would happen to Jesus, our Messiah. This should give us confidence that Jesus is our Messiah.)

      2. What additional insight do verses 11-13 give us on verse 10? (The priests could not "eat" the atoning sacrifice. They cannot eat, if they do not believe in grace, at the altar of Jesus because He is the ultimate atoning sacrifice for our sins.)

      3. How do the ordinances of the Lord's Supper (Communion) fit into all this? (Although those who worked in the temple under the "Old Covenant" could not eat the atoning sacrifice, Jesus instructs us to remember His atoning sacrifice by symbolically eating His sacrificed body ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-24,26).)

        1. Consider this a minute. Why would we "eat" Jesus' body under the New Covenant? (I could not figure this out. M.L. Andreasen, in his book on Hebrews, points out that in the old system the priests ate the flesh of the sacrifice and thus carried the sin in themselves. (See generally, Leviticus 10:16-18.) "The exact opposite is true in the New Testament, in which it is said that we become partakers of Him." M. Andreason, The Book of Hebrews at 537. We "died" with Jesus, and because of that we do not need to bear our own sins if we accept Jesus.)

    3. Read Hebrews 13:14. Which city is the one that does not endure? (The whole discussion has been about Jerusalem. Jerusalem would not endure. However, the New Jerusalem which comes down from heaven ( Revelation 21:2-4) is the enduring city for which those who accept Jesus are looking.)

    4. Read Hebrews 13:15-16. As we await the coming of Jesus, what kind of sacrifices are we to present to God? (The text mentions three types: praise to Jesus, doing good works, and sharing with others. We still need to present sacrifices to Jesus, but not sacrifices for sin.)

      1. What kind of praise service does your church have? How about you?

      2. What kind of sharing program does your church have? How about you?

      3. What kind of focus on good works does your church have? How about you?

  2. The Praise of Good Works

    1. Now let's go back and pick up the verses that we skipped in Hebrews 13. Read Hebrews 13:1. What is different about loving your brother (or sister) than loving others? (With my brother, I know that he loves me even if he gets angry with me. Whatever he may say to me, I still know that underneath he loves me.)

      1. How should that change our dealings with fellow believers? Does it allow us to "yell more" with the confidence they will understand? Should we "yell less" because they are brothers and sisters?

    1. Read Hebrews 13:2. How should we relate to those outside the church?

    2. Read Hebrews 13:3. Is the writer speaking of those who are imprisoned for their religious beliefs? (I think so. If you look at the Greek, it refers to considering those who are mistreated as part of the body. The sense to me is that these are members of the body of believers who are unjustly imprisoned for their religious beliefs.)

    3. Read Hebrews 13:4. What is required of Christians when it comes to morality?

      1. A tremendous battle is shaping up in North America over the issue of homosexual "marriage." What impact does the failure of many Christians to honor marriage have on this debate? (If most marriages were for life, and the civil and religious penalties for divorce severe (i.e., no remarriage except for adultery), I doubt that many homosexuals would want to sign up for marriage. Of course, maybe a lot of heterosexuals would be a little slower to sign up too!)

    4. Read Hebrews 13:5. Are two different points being made in this verse? If not, how is the last part of verse 5 related to the first part of the verse? (If we trust in Jesus instead of our money, the amount of money we have will not be important.)

    5. Read Hebrews 13:6. What makes you the most nervous in life? What causes the most anxiety?

      1. What is Hebrews' cure for anxiety? (Trusting God. Man can do nothing to you if God does not permit it.)

    6. Read Hebrews 13:7. Normally we say "Do not look to your fellow believers." "Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on church leaders." What does this verse teach us? (I think this is a little test. This tells us to look at how the lives of our religious leaders turn out. If their lives are upright, then imitate their faith. Great contemporary Christians like Billy Graham and James Dobson are examples of right, unblemished, living. Test what leaders say by the outcome of their lives.)

    7. Read Hebrews 13:8. What does this have to do with verse 7? (If it turns out that your religious leader does not have a consistent life, you can know that Jesus is the same forever. The most secure vision is to look to Jesus.)

    8. Read Hebrews 13:17-18. What can we do to encourage and lift up our religious leaders whose lives are upright?

    9. Read Hebrews 13:20-21. Why did the writer of Hebrews go through all of these "right living" statements? (These are the "sacrifices" that followers of Jesus are to bring to Him in our daily lives while we wait for Him to return. Jesus is looking for those who accept His sacrifice on their behalf, and then lead a life that is worthy of what He has done for them. We need to ask Jesus to "equip" us with what will allow us to do the work that is pleasing to Him while we wait.)

    1. Friend, how about you? Will you accept the grace that Jesus offers? After being saved by grace, will you strive to live a life that is a pleasing sacrifice to God?

  1. Next Week: We begin our study of the book of Jonah.
* Copr. 2003, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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