Hebrews depicts Jesus as great above all else. He’s greater than the prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, and now since 4:14, the writer is making Jesus out to be greater than the entire Levitical priesthood. We see more of this with chapter 5. It opens with the priests role between God and men, particularly about #2, sins as we find in verses 1 thru 3, and a final mention in verse 14. About priests, we learn much about our great high priest, #4, the Savior, Jesus Christ in verses 4 thru 10. Mention of ‘today’ in verse 5 is actually a reference to Christ’s resurrection and is a #5, Gospel mention, as is ‘God’s word,’ and ‘the teaching’ in verses 12 and 13. The Gospel is the teaching about how to get #1, righteousness as verse 13 states. We can find #9, New Life example in Jesus with verses 7 and 8, and in verse 12. Our high priest is the source of #8, the New Birth of our eternal salvation in verse 9. It is for those ‘who obey him,’ which as we find everywhere has only to do with #6, repenting and #7, believing on Him and the Gospel.
Chapter 6 warns its readers not to fall away from the hope held out by the Gospel. The writer makes specific mention of #6, repentance for the first time in verses 1 and 6. He makes no uncertain pronouncement of the actuality of #3, eternal judgment with verses 1, 3, and alludes to it in verse 8. We have a beautiful picture of Jesus as our high priest and His function in heaven as our #4, Savior with verse 14. It may well be that mention of ‘the word of God’ in verse 5 is a reference to #5, the Gospel. Regardless of how one wants to read verses 1 thru 8, the writer is not teaching the loss of salvation there, as verse 9 makes clear that #8, the New Birth is something greater and more than all that was listed in verses 4 and 5. Chapter 3, verse 7 thru 4:11 made it clear that those who exercised #7, faith in Christ entered God’s ‘rest’ of salvation, even as faith is seen here in chapter 6 with verses 1, 12, and 15. There is mention of #10 Kingdom with verse 5.
From chapter 7, we see that Jesus is declared to be greater than all the Levitical priesthood in verses 1 thru 21; and, then, He is said to be greater than the first covenant, or what we would call the Old Testament, beginning with verse 22! First, this chapter is about #4, our Savior, like no other, from verse 4 thru 28. We find He has everything to do with #1, righteousness as seen in verses 2, 11, 19, 26 and 28. This is clearly distinguished from all #2, sin as verses 26 and 27 make clear. We see our #8, New Birth of salvation in Him with verse 25. This is for those ‘who come to God through Him,’ making reference to #6, repentance and #7, believing upon Him. There is this great attestation to what He accomplished in the #5, Gospel by means of His own death when we read with verse 27 that ‘He sacrificed for sins once for all when He offered Himself’. He is now exalted in #10, the Kingdom says verse 26. This IS what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell