< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Hebrews 12 Part 4

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hebrews 12 Part 4

Hebrews 12:18-24 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

This section contrasts the old and the new. The difference between getting the law on Mt. Sinai and the new covenant of which Jesus is the mediator. The first part is a bunch of phrases and remembrances from the story of the giving of the law.

(Deuteronomy 4:11, Exodus 19:12-13, Deuteronomy 5:23-27)

3 things were stressed in the giving of the law.

1. The sheer majesty of God and the story says nothing about His love.
2. His absolute unapproachability. In fact, those who tried to approach Him died.
3. The sheer terror they had of God. They were even afraid to look at or listen to Him.

But, then the second half! The Christian has a new covenant. A new relationship with God. And the author lists the new glories that await the Christian and are open to him:

1. The New Jerusalem. The heavenly Jerusalem. This world will be gone some day and we’ll live in a new, perfect world. If you want to learn more about this place, you can see here
2. The angels will rejoice in our joy!
3. This will happen to God’s first born His elect. The ones whose names are written in God’s book.
4. God is still our judge and we will face Him as our judge some day.
5. We will join the honor roll o f faith, like the people in Hebrews 11.
6. And finally, the author says Jesus makes all this possible. It was Jesus who took away the terror and gave us a new relationship with God. It was Jesus, the perfect priest and perfect sacrifice who make the unapproachable approachable. The author contrasts the blood of Abel and the blood of Christ. Genesis 4:10 says when Abel died – when he was slain – his blood upon the earth called for vengeance. But, Jesus’ blood called for reconciliation.


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