The last week has been a trying week like the weeks that have gone before it in 2020, a year of seeing clearly. God is at work all around us although the serpent of deception and division slithers in our midst. Yesterday, Saturday, June 6, marked the 76th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of the beaches of Normandy. This historic turning point in ending the scourge of the human pandemic of Nazism went virtually unnoticed amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, protests for social justice, economic hardship, and political unrest we are battling in the present moment. Times were tough then on that beach in 1944. They are tough today. However, troubling times are neither new to society at large nor people of faith, in general.
The Christians addressed in the biblical book of Hebrews faced hard times, too. So much so that the author speaking to them was concerned that they were thinking about abandoning their faith altogether and returning to their old beliefs and past ways. While the exact authorship and date of writing of Hebrews remain uncertain, most people who are considered knowledgeable in these things believe it was written between 60 and 70 A.D., during the time that the Roman ruler Nero persecuted Christians.
Hebrews begins much like a hymn or praise song surrounding seven truths about Jesus.
Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Through this passage, we learn 7 truths about Jesus:
- He is the heir of all things.
- Jesus is the creator of all things.
- He is the radiance of God’s glory.
- Jesus is the exact representation of God’s nature.
- He sustains all things through the power of His word.
- Jesus supplied the purification of sins.
- Today, Jesus Christ, sits in Heaven, at the right hand of God the Father.
I discussed this passage in greater detail in a previous post. Today, amid all the noise and chaos swirling around us, I want to pray the 7 truths this passage brings to mind and speaks into our lives. Hebrews employs the word better thirteen times, over twice as much as it is used in other parts of Scripture. The entire premise of Hebrews is that Jesus is better. Jesus is superior above all things so therefore a life lived in Christ is better than living life any other way.
Heavenly Father, God Almighty, we know that Jesus is the better answer. He is the word that speaks above all other words. During times of trouble, it is natural to wonder if we have the faith necessary to persevere and endure life’s many trials and troubles. In Christ, we find the strength we need to overcome the traps and snares that seek to discourage and destroy us. It can be tempting, amidst great tribulation, to want to fall back into our old lives, but in Christ, we are new creations covered in new wineskins. We cannot return to the life Jesus has rescued and redeemed us from any more than we can turn back the hands of time. Nor should we.
Jesus is the heir of all things and through Him everything that is made was made. He is the radiance of Your glory and the perfect representation of who You are, O God. Through the power of His word, Jesus sustains all things and by His blood, He saved us from the debt of our sins. We thank You for Jesus and turn to Him and put our trust in Him as He sits at Your right hand, reigning above all and everything. Jesus is better. He is superior. We proclaim His name to all the ends of the Earth.
Help us, Lord, to remember that Christ is our Lord and our King and that with Him nothing is too great or too impossible to forgive or overcome. After all, He sacrificed His own life so that we might live, not in timidity, but in boldness and in truth. In Jesus, we have everything we need, and more than this world could ever offer.
Father, we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom 76 years ago on the beaches of Normandy. We thank them for their bravery. Lord, we pray for an end to social injustice, everywhere. Jesus, we pray for the spirit of love and unity to overtake our land and our world. Quell the storms and quieten the seas, our Lord and Savior. Help us move beyond these challenges we face today and empower us to live out the faith we profess with our lips. We lift up to You those who are sick amid this pandemic and all who are suffering, especially those separated from their loved ones and living in nursing homes or other similar places. We pray for healing, Father.
May we turn to You in prayer and confess our failures and shortcomings. Let us confess our sins. Forgive us, Father, as we forgive others. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, O Holy Father, God Almighty. We thank You, Lord, for Jesus, who rescued and redeemed us through His precious shed blood. May Your Holy Spirit dwell in and shine through us as we go about our daily life. In Jesus’ name’ and through the power of Your Spirit, we do pray. Amen.
Peace be with you.
The Devotional Guy™