The name Hebrews is another name for the Jews. Abraham was called a Hebrew (Genesis 14:13) and so the Jews in Egypt at the time of the Exodus were also called Hebrews. The Apostle Paul in New Testament times, who had been educated as a strict Jew, said he was "a Hebrew of Hebrews" (Philippians 3:5). Early Christians who were Jews were also called Hebrews, whereas those of other nations were called Greeks or Hellenists (e.g. Acts 6:1).

This letter to the Hebrew believers demonstrates that Jesus Christ is God's final and perfect representative, better and greater in his manifestation of God's nature and purpose than all the patriarchs, priests and prophets who came before him. He is even greater than the angels!

Christ is greater than:

• the angels .................. Hebrews 1:4-14
• Abraham .................... Hebrews 7:4
• Moses ........................ Hebrews 3:3-6
• Aaron (High Priest) .. Hebrews 4:14-15, 8:1-4
• Joshua ....................... Hebrews 4:8
• the prophets .............. Hebrews 1:1-2

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews (who is not named) shows how the Law of Moses pointed forward to Christ. The central point of Jewish worship was the Tabernacle and, later, the Temple (9:1-7) but the writer show how Christians no longer need such things. Christ's sacrifice did away6 with the need of annual sacrifices and also the need for the Temple and the priesthood.

Jesus was tempted in the same ways we are and so can understand our problems (4:15). He is the best, the only, leader for all true Christians to follow (12:2, 13:20). Men and women in Old Testament times who had faith in God's promises will be given everlasting life at the same time as Christians who have lived since (11:39-40). The great need is for faith in what God has said and done through Jesus Christ (11:6). Christ is the leader of all people of faith, whether Jews or Gentiles.



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