Christ is Superior to Moses.3:1-19
Superiority of Christ over Old Testament leaders.
In Chapter 3 and 4, the author compares and contrasts between the role of Christ and with Moses. The Israel's journey from Egypt to the promise land is a picture of Christian life. We are moving the heaven our promise land. Israel was constantly looking back. In this chapter we are warned not to follow their example and miss the blessing. The author wants the Hebrew Christians to focus on Christ who is superior to Moses. He is able to lead them to their eternal resting place of heaven. They are the holy brethren because of their identification with Christ. Jesus Christ is the Apostle and High priest of their confession. They are the house of God in the sense they are members of the holy family. They are separated from the world and they belonged to Christ. They are the partakers of heavenly calling and bound to heaven. They are saved to say no to sin and yes to righteousness. Author exhorts them to consider what Christ has done for them and draw near to Him in times of need. He is the merciful and faithful high priest to help those who are being tempted (2:18). So fix your thoughts on Christ to guard your hearts from unbelief and discouragements.
Christ is the Apostle and High priest of our confession. 3:1.
This is the only time Christ is referred to as Apostle in the New Testament. This title indicate that Jesus is sent with authority to represent God to us. As high priest Christ represents us before the Father. Moses was a great leader. From Adam to Moses, there was none greater than Moses. He led Israel from captivity and did many miracles among them. God spoke to Moses face to face and gave the law through him. He is the author of the first five books of the Bible. Moses was the meekest among all men and faithful in the house of God as a servant but was not perfect (Numbers 12:3, 7). Christ perfectly represents the Father to us. So He is greater than Moses.
Christ is the faithful Son.3:2-6.
Here the author presents a contrast between Moses and Christ. Though Moses was faithful, it was temporary and limited by his death. But Christ is our eternal and faithful high priest. Moses was a faithful messenger but Christ is the message. Moses was faithful as a servant but Christ is faithful as Son. The people of God are the house of God. They are the members of the family of the household of God. Christ has great honor than Moses in the same away a builder has more honor than the house itself. Moses was a faithful servant who loved God but Jesus is God. The Old Testament is all about Christ (Luke 24:27). Jesus told the Jews that "If they would have believed Moses, they would have believed him" (John 5:46). Therefore Son has more honors than the servant. Here the household is the entire family of God. So the author exhorts us to be loyal to Christ and demonstrate that we belong to Him by placing our hope in Christ (3:6). We must fix our thought on Christ. We should not be casual and careless about Christ but look to Him carefully to gain confidence to follow him (John 21:22).
Do not harden your hearts . 3:7-14.
The author warns believers against unbelief. Verses 7-11 is a quotation from Psalm 95:7-11. Even true believers at times struggle to obey God. Those who are truly saved do not fall away forever. Author reminds them to "Hold fast their confidence in Christ knowing that he is the author and perfecter of their faith. Christians should guard their heart so that they do not develop an evil heart of unbelief (3:12). Heart is prone to wander. Only good heart produces crops (Luke 8:15). There is no assurance for those who live in sin. Someone has said "The proof of salvation is the steadfast faith in Christ to the end". Here the writer gives a solemn warning from the tragic example the children of Israel's wandering in the wilderness. Despite all that God has done for them they rebelled against him and about 600000 of them perished in the wilderness. Only two men over the age of 20 entered the promised Land. Unbelief is due to hardness of heart. Hardening of the heart is caused by sin. This can lead to apostasy. This prevents people from experiencing God's best for their lives. God saves people always. The ground of our salvation is the atoning sacrifice of Christ. But the proof of salvation is our patient endurance in the faith. The author warns his readers not to have a heart of unbelief. Willful disobedience and assurance of salvation will never go hand in hand. The antidote to unbelief is mutual accountability and daily encouragement of one another (3:13). So the author encourages readers to hold on to their initial confidence in the Lord and remain faithful to the end (3:14). In Christian life what matters is not how we started but how we finish. The best way to remain faithful is to keep our eyes on Jesus.
Encourage one another daily. 3:15-19.
The author exhorts the readers to encourage one another daily because we are susceptible to the deceitfulness of sin. Sin is pleasurable to our senses and can seduce our soul. Soul is the seat of emotion. Sin is deceitful and can harden our heart. Willful disobedience and assurance of salvation will never go hand in hand. We have the responsibility to encourage one another because we are parts of one body. In the church it is not marginally important because you are your brother’s keeper. The antidote to unbelief is mutual accountability and daily encouragement from the Word of God. Chapter ends with a series of questions and answers. Israel could not enter their promised rest because of unbelief. The only sin that keeps us from God’s rest is our unbelief in the Son of God. The church family plays an important role to remain in faith. Be willing to help those who struggle in their faith. Take note of early warning sign and identify the danger of unbelief? Is there any forgetfulness that one day we will meet the Lord? Is there a gradual loss of private holiness in life? Is there a tendency to avoid fellowship with fellow believers? Do we experience lack of interest in public worship? Is there a tendency to find fault with other believers? If we see these signs in life, we are in greater peril than we realize. So let us give attention to the exhortation given in the epistle of Hebrews and encourage one another so that none will be deceived by sin.