By Steven Shaw
This was taken from a sermon I gave.
First let me define “Cling to the Cross” because I say it a lot.
Cling to the Cross: With all your strength, everyday, fall to your face humbly before our Good King and grab ahold of the Cross for dear life. With all your strength through the Holy Spirit hold on and don’t look away. Stay focused on Jesus and the truths of Scripture.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned for sin indeed was in the world before the law as given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (Jesus)
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by one mans disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one mans obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The People of Hebrews:
They are a suffering scared group. They are being persecuted for believing in Jesus. They are tempted to take the easy way out and give in to what the world is teaching as truth. They are taking their eyes off the cross and looking at the world around them. The writer is urging them to see Jesus as he is, so much greater than the prophets of old. Specifically Moses in this chapter. Moses was a man that did great things through the power of God. And as it says in the text “was faithful to the end”. Someone they would look up to, as we do. But the writer is sharing the importance of remembering how much greater is Christ than Moses. An important thing to remember.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
To understand this chapter we must first know that the Hebrews thought of Moses as being the greatest of all the Hebrews. Think of the comparisons between Jesus and Moses. We was divinely chosen for his epic task. His life was miraculously preserved and nurtured from birth. They both delivered Gods people through Gods power. But Jesus was still the new and better Moses.
Verse 1. Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, (Calling on Christ’s elect) fix your thoughts on Jesus (Fix your thoughts, this takes concentration and that requires discipline like that of an athlete. This isn’t something that just comes to use, but must be practiced and pursed, why?) whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. (He is God. We need to respond accordingly)
The writer, encouraging God’s people.
The believers of this time are being persecuted. The writer is talking to believers only. His focus is “Fix your thoughts on Jesus”, This could be the response to every question or problem we have. Jesus is the answer. Jesus was perfectly human and perfectly divine, he knows both man and God. He is able to speak to men for God and to intercede to God for men. He is the one person through whom man comes to God and God to man. Be encouraged and strengthened as I’m sure the people in Hebrews were. As we strive to be faithful, we are acting as Jesus did.
Verse 2. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
Jesus (God) appointed to come to earth and be covered in weak human flesh to take on our sin to make us holy. Moses is counted as faithful just as Christ was faithful but you can’t top what Christ did. Jesus did what no other man could do. My favorite rapper/theologian, Shai Linne said “Only a human can substitute for human lives, but only God can take the wrath of God and survive”. Our view of Jesus can be off a lot. Even day to day our thoughts of Christ change. Always be striving for a proper view of Jesus everyday. A.W. Tozer said “What you think about Jesus is the most important thing about you”
Moses was great as a servant, but Jesus was great as the Son of God.
Verse 5. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. (Moses, the faithful servant, doing Gods work till death, counted as faithful till the end. Jesus, God becoming a servant, doing Gods will till death and fully faithful till the end. We also will be counted faithful if we walk with Christ till the end.)
Think about this for a sec. Moses counted as faithful in all Gods house. Faithful till the end? If we have been paying attention in church at all ever, we know plenty well that Moses was not perfect. Just as Abraham, David and all the other prophets of God were not. They all messed up royally and yet all of them are talked about after death as, faithful, man after Gods heart etc. My only conclusion is the wondrous thought that God sees us perfect when we are face to face. As we stumble along this life and repeatedly ask forgiveness for our sins and will mess up till the day we die. If we are striving for holiness till the end, God sees us like Christ. Holy and blameless. I know we know this and sing about it and hear about it but think about it! How these imperfect men are written about in the scripture is assurance of our own beautiful end. When we die we will be satifiying to God…Amen! Hallelujah! So stay faithful, stay holy, CLING TO THE CROSS!
1 Corinthians 15:40-49
40. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42. So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Consider Jesus. Know him as he is. Our raised glorified savior, coming back to save us once and for all if we indeed hold fast to him. Cling to the cross!
Warning Against Unbelief:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Verse 7. So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8. do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9. where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.
(They experienced God first hand and still rebelled. Sin is waiting. And it will consume if given the smallest way in. 1 Thess Says, Pray without ceasing. We are in a battle. Thank God it is not a physical battle. But it is a very real war raging around us. We need to be equipped and ready to stand firm in Christ as this world is going down.)
Verse 10. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11. So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’
(Because of this rebellion they did not get to experience the joy, rest, peace and love of God. Same as us today.)
Verse 12. See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
(Check yourselves everyday and fall humbly before him cling to the cross. Not only are we raging war against a very powerful enemy, but just our natural desires are enough to destroy us. Practice constant fellowship with Christ everyday. Live by the power of the Holy Spirit.)
Verse 13. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
(Watch each others back. Keep each other accountable. Strive for holiness so you can help the wondering from death. Remember, your walk has very to do with just you. We are called to meet together to equip one another with strength to spread the Godpel)
Verse 15. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
(God is seeking his own out. His people. If you feel God calling you, do not turn away. The last thing you want is for him to let you do what you want. Be turned over to your desires.)
Verse 16. Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17. And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18. And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19. So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
(Just as our ancestors rebelled and did not get to go to the promise land, so will we miss out on the blessings of God is we rebel today.)
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
- In Philippians we are told how Jesus humbled himself to the point of death on a cross, therefore he is glorified above all else. We are told to do the same. Not die on a cross, that work is done. But humble ourselves. Die to self and live in Christ.
- Be encouraged today that we are Gods chosen people. That we follow a big powerful God. A loving God that made a way for us to live holy and blamless before a holy and perfect God that demands perfection that we can’t give.
- Jesus is greater than all. None can compare. We need to put our full trust, hope, love, attention and everything else we have to give to him.
Jesus is God’s final word.
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.