These Jewish Christians, who've grown up under the law, but now they've come to trust Christ are facing possible persecution from Rome. They can go back into Judaism and Rome will leave them alone, at least that's what they think. They're nostalgic perhaps for their old way of life and worship. And to suddenly stop going to the temple, to stop offering the sacrifices, and keeping the law, and to really trust in Christ alone, must've felt strange.
It's like walking the tight rope without a net. There's nothing else to catch you. Your faith is completely in Jesus and nothing else. Then Satan comes along every now and then and he says, "Are you sure that's enough? Are you sure that Christ really is enough?" Maybe you should keep the law too. Maybe we should offer those sacrifices too. Just hedge your bets. Put your trust in something else. But of course, you know if salvation is a result of faith in Christ alone, then if you're trusting in anything in addition to Christ, that's not genuine salvation.
The writer of Hebrews is urging them to keep moving forward in your faith. You can't turn back. You can't let up. You've got to keep pressing on in your pursuit of Christ and your application of the gospel in every way.
The writer has walked us through several things and really what he's doing is, he's teaching us how we read the Old Testament. That the Old Testament certainly has the meaning that it had for the Jews, but that it was also a picture of Christ. We don't even understand the Old Testament if we don't understand how it points us to Jesus. So he's giving us a hermeneutic, a way of understanding that, a way of interpreting ...
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Hershael York is pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, as well as Professor of Christian Preaching and Associate Dean of Ministry and Proclamation in the School of Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.