July 27, 2022
Thank you for praying for revival and for our prodigals.
Hebrews 11 closes with a great statement that links the past heroes of the faith with those of us who live in the present.
God has something better for those who believe. He is something better!
“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided ‘something better’ for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40).
The whole book of Hebrews is a presentation of ”something better.” The word “better” is found 11 times scattered throughout the letter, reminding us that Jesus is a better salvation, a better hope, a better covenant, a better mediator, a better sacrifice, a better word, etc….
In Hebrews 11, we find the word “better” 3 times:
“They desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16). A better country because it is Jesus who is there.
“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life” (Hebrews 11:35). A better life because it is Jesus who gives this life.
“Since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:40). A better something because it is Jesus who makes us complete.
For us, Christianity seems old, like 2,000 years old, but for these first century believers it was brand new. They were leaving the initial God-given religion of Judaism and moving into something unknown. It was scary. It was difficult. They needed to know that Jesus was much better!
He was better then, and He is still better! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus will always be better.
The past heroes of the faith didn’t know about Jesus. The writer commends them for their persistence in the faith. “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised.” They lived their lives to the very end by faith. They didn’t give up. They continued in faith.
To be persistent is to continue firmly in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. The life of faith will never be easy, and it is designed by God to be so. He uses the trials of our faith to develop our character and to draw us closer to Himself.
The text teaches us that God saved the fulfillment of their faith to this age, to the new covenant. He says, “since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”
God’s plan was that their faith would not be complete until we (the church) came along. They all lived by faith in a faithful God. They didn’t know or understand that Christ was coming and that His death would be the fulfillment of all God’s purposes for the ages. Their faith would be completed in Christ just as ours is.
The next chapter reminds us that He, Jesus, is the author and finisher of our faith. It is an amazing blessing to know that the fulfillment of their faith and our faith is not dependent on them or us, but on Him alone!
The entire history of humanity and the whole of divine purposes can be summed up in these two words, “something better.” Christ is the center of it all. He is the “something better.”
The more we keep Him central in our lives, the more we align ourselves with God’s eternal design.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel