Hebrews 4 & 5 Quiz

For Taylor and Linda:

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Unofficial Hebrews Quiz

Things to Think on Before You Read the Letter to the Hebrews.

Before we even get into the discussion of who may have written the letter addressed to the Hebrews let us think about who these particular Hebrews were and why the Holy Spirit moved someone to write to them.

Sometimes we have a hard time hearing what people are saying because we can’t understand where they are coming from.  So think of this, when was the last time you brought an animal to a temple and met with a priest to sacrifice it to gain forgiveness for a sin you had committed?  When was the last time you read one of the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy), or any of the “OLD” testament?  When was the last time you had to chose between living with your family and believing in Jesus? When was the last time you questioned if Jesus really is the promised Savior of the world?

Well the Hebrews who were receiving this letter dealt with these questions daily:  Up until they heard the good news that the promised Messiah had finally come and taken their sin away by dying on a cross in their place only to rise from the dead three days later and ascend into heaven, these Hebrews had been bringing animal sacrifices to the temple to take away their sin.  Now, once they believed that Jesus had taken their sin away, they stopped bringing animal sacrifices to the temple.  And once they stopped offering animal sacrifices, their friends and family became concerned about the state of their souls, they all knew that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”, and as Moses the prophet of God wrote in Leviticus, “without the shedding of blood there is NO REMISSION of sin”.  But for some reason their friends and family wouldn’t believe that a carpenter from Nazareth who was crucified was the Messiah promised in the scriptures, and they certainly didn’t believe that he rose from the grave.  So their friends and family tried everything to talk sense to these hebrews, to encourage them to come back to the temple, to stop turning their backs on Yahweh the God of Israel.  And if they couldn’t convince them through words, they would try to convince them by action, in particular they would throw them out of the family, and the faith.  They would treat them as if they were dead to them, until they came to their senses and came back to the temple and left their foolish talk about Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah.  Now they were no longer welcomed in the temple, or accepted in their family’s homes.  And worse, zealous followers of Yahweh began persecuting any who trusted in the authority of Jesus.  Indeed, persecution of the followers of Jesus first came from their very own people! (Acts 7:54-8:3)

Now, without home or family or childhood friends these hebrews had to ask themselves if what they had heard was right.  Could the majority of God’s people reject His promised Messiah?  Could trusting in the promised Messiah be one of the worst decisions you would ever make?  How could the King of the Universe allow His subjects to be treated so poorly?  Could they be wrong in their belief about Jesus?

Just then, when all seemed lost, and the hour darkest, the Holy Spirit moved upon one of His people to write this short letter of encouragement, persuasion, and warning to them.  Hopefully, putting this context around this particular letter will help you as you try to read existentially and better understand what the Spirit was saying to them then, and is saying to you Today.