Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

The writer of Hebrews goes on to speak about ‘a great cloud of witnesses’, but he has said at the end of chapter 11, in verses 39 and 40:

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Hebrews 11.39-40

This means that whatever faith people had in the Old Testament – and it was great faith, and they did great things through faith – there was still something which was yet to be added to it, which would only come through the coming of the Messiah who was above the line of Abraham and David.

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Hebrews 7.1-3

Who was born as a Jewish man (Son of Man), but also as Son of God and who had come to redeem us and to bring us eternal life.

Then, we have, in closing, the wonderful verses from chapter 12,

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12.1-2

We have here this great cloud of witnesses. Whether the cloud of witnesses means that there are witnesses looking down on us (I don’t think it means that) or it means that there are a great number of people in heaven who are already witnesses to the Living God we don’t know.

But we know that these witnesses are also bearing witness to the coming of the Messiah and all those Saints of the Old Testament’s time look forward to the coming of the Messiah and look forward to Jesus coming to redeem them.

Perhaps they didn’t always understand who was going to do it, but they knew that there was someone coming who was going to be their Redeemer.

We, unlike them, look back to the Messiah’s first coming and we have the privilege of being able to be grafted into the kingdom of God, brought into Israel’s olive tree through faith in Israel’s Messiah Jesus.

16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

Romans 11.16-18

Therefore, we should also be those who will bless the Abraham’s people, the people of Israel, and bless them, and give them our blessing through faith in Jesus.

24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Romans 11.24

Yet, we ourselves are blessed through Jesus the Messiah who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He is the beginning and the end, He is the One who brought it into being, and He is the One who’s going to bring it to the end.

He is going to be with us always. He is the One who is and was, and is to come. He has always been there; He will always be there, and He is there/here right now for us today.

So we have a wonderful Saviour Jesus

who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12.1-2

Ultimately, we come to faith through Jesus, and Jesus who went to the cross in order to suffer, to die for us, to take the punishment for the sins of the world, and to take our sins upon Himself so that we can be forgiven.

Our sins will keep us out of heaven, but if we repent and believe the Gospel, then, the door is open for us into heaven through faith in Jesus the Messiah.

We look to Him and we give thanks to God for what He has done for us. We should also follow the example of these saints of the Old Testament, lay aside the weight of sin which ensnares us, run the race with endurance even if we face trials and hardship, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He is the first and last, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and everything in between.

Through Him we can overcome the enemy, Satan, who tries to trip us up and to destroy our faith. We know that Satan’s job is to harass Christians and to try and undermine our faith. Therefore, we need to resist him, and to stand on the Word of God, having faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Victor.

It says in Hebrews here

despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12.1-2

Jesus went through all the shame and the indignity of the cross, the whipping, the scorning, the abuse, the agony of the physical pain and, worst of all, having the sin of the world placed upon Himself so that we could be forgiven for our sins.

Yet, He did that because of His love for us: for you and me. And He endured it so that we can can be saved before He sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God where He is now, interceding for us.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

John 15.7

We can come to Jesus with all our needs with our troubles. If we lack faith, we can ask Him to give us more faith. If we ask Him to forgive us our sins, and ask Him to cleanse us through the blood which He shed for us, we know that He has given an eternal inheritance to all those who believe in Him.

Tony Pearce

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