Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hebrews, Day 4 Readings

The Sin Offering of Christ & Great Examples of Faith  

Today's first reading provides the exclamation point of the identification of Jesus as a high priest.  It compares the actions of Jesus, especially his crucifixion, to those of the high priest offering the annual offering for the forgiveness of unintentional sins in the Holy of Holies.

As a high priest, Jesus mediates for the people in the sacred place -- though instead of the innermost room of the Temple, the sacred place is heaven itself.  And rather than bringing the blood of animals, Jesus offers his own blood through his sacrificial death, which is a perfect and complete sin offering for the forgiveness of sins.

Read Hebrews 9:1-28  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading is perhaps the most famous part of Hebrews.  In introducing the concept of faith, it provides a list of several Jews who are commended for their faith, with lengthy descriptions of Abraham and Moses.  It concludes with the point that the faith of these great examples only reaches completion through Jesus, as it does for all Christians as well.

Read Hebrews 11:1-40  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Hebrews 9-11 today.