Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hebrews 12:2 and what it means to me.

Getting ready to start Hebrews.  Everytime I read it I wonder who authored it.  Always I have figured it was Apollos.  But the Nelson Study Bible said while Martin Luther and many others believed the same, one scholar, Adolf Harnack suggested Priscilla.  That may make more sense as to why no one knows, although they did in the early church, just left us to wonder.  The commentary suggests that the masculine pronoun in 11:32 probably rules that out.  What if she felt, that it would be better received if it was thought to be penned by a man?  Thus leaving out the introductory greetings and using a male pronoun?  Stranger things have been known to happen.  The commentary's author suggests that it is unlikely to be Apollos as he was an Alexandrian, and the Alexandrian church would have known it.  Unless they, like the Nazarenes failed to accept Apollos in his own home.  Luke 4:24 NKJV Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country."
Not to say Apollos was or was not a prophet, but I think the saying could still apply.  I do not know the relationship Apollos had with the Alexandrian church, but it's all just supposition. 
Anyway, my favorite verse is Hebrew 12:2 NKJV.
2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are the "joy that was set before Him."  We are the reason He "endured the cross" even while he "despised the shame".  He did it for us.  To have the joy of being in relationship with us.  Despising the shame of our sins, taking our curse. 
Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 NKJV
22 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.
Do you think Christ didn't know what a death, hung on a tree meant?  He is "the author and finisher of our faith." He is the Word.
John 1:1-5 NKJV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Christ is the Word, so He knew what he was doing as He hang upon the tree.  He was cursed for our sake.  So that we, His joy, might never need be separated from Him, on Earth, or in Heaven. 
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 NKJV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He did, He died.  He took our burden of sin and shame.  He nailed them to a cross.  He who knew no sin became sin for us.
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
So we could have freedom over death, Hell, and the grave.
So to accept this gift, we are all so unworthy of, what do we do?
Romans 10:8-13 NKJV
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For“whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I don't care who you are.  I don't care what you have done.  Christ loves you, died for you and wants to be with you forever.  He forgave me, and trust me, I have done so many things that broke His heart.  I repented, asked forgiveness, and He forgave, and forgot.
1 John 1:9 NKJV
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
My hope is in You Lord, and You never disappoint.  I only intended to write that I was starting Hebrews and my favorite verse.  But You made this so much more.  Thank you Lord.

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