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  • We have received the Messiah

    So there are a few things to know about this letter before we begin. First of all, the authorship is uncertain. While it is grouped in as a Pauline epistle because of its style and various elements, it might easily be a collaboration between Paul's disciples (Titus, Timothy, Barnabas, etc.) who often wrote for Paul and would be familiar with his patterns. But the lack of authentication does not detract from the message, and it is therefore included in the canon.

    The general theme of the letter is to remind the converted Jews of their acceptance of Jesus as the promised Messiah. Since most of the early Christians were converts from Judaism, this letter was to a very broad audience of educated and literate people. In the letter are many references to scripture and reminders of God's promises.

    Since the beginning of the world, God has sent many prophets to us so we would know His will.

    But in the last days, He has spoken to us directly through His Son, His Heir, the Creator of all things.

    Jesus was the brightness of God's glory and the manifestation of God on earth. His power upholds all things, and when He had completed His mission of purging all sin from mankind, He sat down at the right hand of God the Father.

    Jesus was formed in heavenly perfection, far above the angels and all other creatures, and was named God's redeemer on earth. His coming was foretold in scripture, even the manner of His birth and the path of His Ministry.

    He sits now on the throne of Heaven, a scepter of righteousness in His hand. He loves righteousness and hates all evil. He is anointed of God above all others.

    Jesus formed the earth, and the heavens, and all that is with us and around us. All of this is temporary and will pass away, yet Jesus will go on forever. We will change, but He will remain the same, for He is eternal. Even the angels will pass away, but Jesus will reign forevermore, and all things will be subject to Him.

    Nothing is above the Lord

    Being a Christian was not an easy road to walk, especially if you were a Jew amidst the Jews. The Pharisee and the Sadducee were threatened by the arrival of the Messiah. If they acknowledged Messiah had come, they would lose their hold over the people and their own “cushy” lifestyles. Like anyone who has power and wealth, they were not willing to surrender it to anyone, not even the promised Savior.

    So there was a lot of pressure by the established Jews to return to the old ways, return to the sacrifices and observances of the traditional Jewish faith. Part of it was a political decision: Remember, Rome occupied most of the known world and they viewed anyone claiming to be a King of anything as a threat to their control. As long as the Pharisee and Sadducee kept the Jews in line, there was no threat perceived and business went on as usual.

    But the greatest objection to Christ's arrival was His promise of salvation without ritual practices such as sacrificing animals for their blood to offer on the mercy seat of God. (The meat of the animals was given to the priests of the temple, who used some of it and sold the rest for their wealth. Same thing with the show bread in the temple. Pretty sweet deal, if you think about it.)

    Here the author reinforces the identity of Christ by using examples of His power and His position in heaven. He establishes not only that Jesus was born in the manner described in the scriptures, but that He has assumed his position as Lord, ruling all temporal things and sitting in judgment of good and evil.

    Next chapter soon.

    I hope you are all having a blessed and glorious day.

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