The book of Hebrews has always fascinated me. Written by an unnamed author, he (or she) writes to convince Jewish Christians living in Rome that Jesus is superior to the old way. Specifically, living according to the New Covenant is superior to the Old Covenant.
While I don’t want to write a commentary on Hebrews, it is important to have a bit of context. In short, Jews in Rome heard the good news of Jesus and turned to him as the Messiah. When they did that, the status they enjoyed as Jews was gone because Christians didn’t enjoy the same tolerance as those who practiced Judaism. Judaism didn’t threaten Rome, but Christianity did. In essence, these Jewish Christians contemplated turning back to Judaism and the worship of God through the Mosaic laws and customs rather than suffer for being Christ followers. The author writes to show them the superiority of Jesus to Moses, the New Covenant to the Old Covenant, reminding them there is no other way to God if they reject Jesus.
In chapter four of Hebrews, the author says this:
3For only we who believe can enter his rest.Hebrews 4:3
Toward the end of his letter, he references “the sin” that trips us up. He didn’t say “sins,” rather singular, “sin.” It is my understanding that the sin the writer seeks to expose is unbelief. These people were considering turning away from knowledge of Jesus and belief in him, to turn back to the forms and shadows of Old Testament worship, because life had gotten really difficult.
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.Hebrews 12:1-2
How do we do it? How do I keep going when life is really tough? By keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus! Notice what the writer says in the previous chapter regarding Moses’ strategy to keep going when life was difficult.
. . . He (Moses) kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.Hebrews 11:27c
Not only do I focus on fixing the wrong problem, I focus on the wrong solution. The problem is what I believe and the solution is Jesus. Fixing my eyes on what I cannot see to faithfully live in a world that is hostile may not be easy, but it is the only way to LIFE!
How about you? Does it seem possible that belief is the problem and Jesus is the solution? Have you fixed your eyes on Him?