Hi, my name is Tyler, if you guys don’t know. But I’m here and I lead the singles ministry with my wife Molly. Yeah, but today is a really special day. So if this is your first time time and welcome. I want to introduce you to the conclusion of a series we’ve been doing. And when I say the conclusion, this is a longawaited conclusion. Since January, have been working on the book of Hebrews. So you can open your Bibles to Hebrews last time. It’s a little bittersweet, but I just want to say congratulations. You have done it. It’s an accomplishment, really, and it’s something to be proud of. It’s a lot of focus to stay just with your attention fixed on what God is saying to you in Hebrew says, pay attention and I hope you have. And today is the last time for that. But it has been an incredible journey and I hope you are better for it. Amen. But we’ve milked it as far as we can. And the author, he calls it in our text, we’re in chapter 13, and if you look here in the last section, he does call it quite brief.
And those are two funny, funny words when you even compare this book to the rest of the New Testament. This is a chunky kind of book. And what he means is he could have said a lot more. And I do want to say we could have gone on a lot longer. We could have done this series for two years easily. And I don’t know that would have been the best choice for us. But it’s cool that it comes at the end and we got the conference ahead and it’s just going to be a new way forward. But for us today we conclude and congratulations, reason to celebrate. But if today is your introduction, I also want to cater to you too. So for just a second, yeah, we’ve come a long way and this is just an outline of the book. This is where we’ve been and where we are today. So in case your memory is a little hazy, just for a second here, does anyone know or does everyone know the theme of the book yet? What is it? Jesus is better. This is 13 great chapters that just gush about Jesus and his greatness and his awesomeness.
And the author in the first section, he does a lot to just kind of compare Jesus to everyone you can imagine. The priests, the angels, the prophets, you name it. And then he goes into what Jesus does is better, right? The priesthood, he offers the New Covenant versus the Old Covenant, just all of that stuff. He intercedes for us. And then the last section here is about the life that Jesus calls us to follow his footsteps in. The better life. His ways are better, a better man has a better way. And today we’ve come all the way to the end of the journey. And just to wrap it up, I actually want to give you guys an opportunity to share with each other. So I’m going to open a discussion up for a few minutes here, and I’ll put the question up as I share this, but I want to hear what you guys have gotten from this book, like your takeaway. And so for our time in Hebrews, what something that has stuck with you that you’re going to carry out of these times? And I gave a few people a heads up. I know this is on the spot and this is a little irregular, but if you would like to share, would you mind just standing up so we could at least see you and maybe hear you better?
But what would be your takeaway? And I’ll try to reiterate if you guys can’t hear. So. Yeah, go ahead, Brian. To be clear, maybe in like 20 seconds or less. Okay?
Thank you guys for everyone who shared and on the spot too. But I do hope that with all the sermons and all the lessons and the deep dives really, that we’ve done, that you feel like you know Jesus better, that you know at least who he is and that you’re more amazed with him. I do think someone actually it was a younger person. I think it was like a preteen that said, I like what I’m learning, but they’re very philosophical and it’s like, okay. I hear what you’re saying, right? It’s like you got to stay with it. There’s a heady kind of part to who he’s telling you who Jesus is. But there’s more than that too. And as theologically lofty as this is, I just want to remind you guys here as we get in now to the next part, that this is actually a letter. You kind of lose that, right? Because the beginning has no introduction that’s at least personal.
It’s kind of just boom, Jesus, blah blah, blah, blah, all about Jesus. And there’s not a lot of introduction. But here at the end of the letter, which is where we’re at today, you’re going to see that this is indeed super heartsy. And you’ll see the personal touch. And if you glance at verse 19 right before our section here, you’re going to see him ask for prayer. He has a prayer request, right? Like, please, I want to be with you. I long to be with you, so pray that God makes that happen. It’s a really heartsy turn to this letter. He clearly loves them and he longs to for a blessing on these people. And so today we’re going to end with his benediction. Benediction, huh? Have you ever heard that word? Maybe not. Do you even know what it means? It’s a fancy word because it’s a fancy benediction. I thought I’d say but it’s basically a blessing. It’s a blessing for his people and a blessing basically meaning, like, as I conclude, I pray and I want to know that God would do these things in your life.
And this is also it’s just so appropriate for us. But benedictions are common in the Bible, like God in Numbers, chapter six, he actually taught the priest how to give a benediction, how to give a blessing to his people. And when they would part from meeting together, they would usually give a blessing to their people. Numbers 6:22, God says, May the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace. First Thessalonians all the letters tend to have a benediction. Verse five, verse 23. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, body and soul be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. And sometimes they come in the middle of a letter, right? Like Ephesians 320. This is a common one we’ve heard. Now, to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
So what is the benediction? After all this stuff about Jesus, what’s he gonna say? What is there more to say? Let’s just read here and we’ll read our text today. It says, now may the God of peace, through the blood of the eternal covenant, brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. So here we are. And he starts with the word now, right? It’s a signal word. He means get your landing gear out. We’re about to land this plane. Now, okay long gush about Jesus. Here we go. Let me just gush about Jesus one more time in this long sentence. But it’s a long and beautiful sentence and there’s a lot packed in there and it might kind of look a little confusing. I wonder if you just said it in one breath. But yes, that’s just one sentence. Yeah, but it’s a lot, and you might have to come up for air at the end. But it really is just a sentence.
There’s nothing intimidating about a sentence. It’s got a subject, a verb, maybe a noun. So if I could just help you out here and boil the sentence down to the simplest message. What he’s really saying here in the sentence’s skeleton is simply this: may God equip you. That is his blessing, that is his prayer. May God equip you. May God equip you the church. And so he decorates it with a lot of beautiful words, right? He talks about the who equips, why, how for what? Why does he equip? All these things. God and the amazingness that he is, he fits it all in somehow. But ultimately, at the core is a plea and prayer that God is going to equip his church. He wants to leave them empowered. Like, you guys, I’m leaving a prayer with you. And I know I’m ending this letter, but this is my prayer as I end my letter. With all that the first century church was going on, I mean, consider that in a few years, the temple would be destroyed. The Jews were definitely under Roman oppression. There was a lot of persecution. They really needed encouragement. And I’ve got a few of you do here today.
I don’t want to compare whatever hardships, even from pew to pew, but I do think that all of us need encouragement. We’ve all had challenging things, and we will have them in the future. But it’s cool to see that God has already done what he’s done in Christ to equip us and to provide for anything we’re going to go through, to sit with us through the storm and walk us through it. So he has a calling for us and a purpose for our life. And when he says equip, that word really, he wants to make you fit for something. He wants to complete you or prepare you, kind of bend you into shape, kind of like a chiropractor. One of the definition is to readjust you and to your full potential that God is doing for his calling in your life. And as he offers his blessing, he’s also reminding them of a lot of things about the greatness of our God. So I don’t want to skip these reminders, but I want to take a closer look. And this will be where we land here. But we’ll just kind of zoom through here, and the first reminder we come to is he says, now, may the God of peace. Let me pause. That He wants them to remember that they’re being equipped by a God of peace. That’s an identity. That’s his title. But that’s the essence of our God. He’s filled with peace. That’s his whole nature, and that’s also what he offers people. We need peace. No one can pretend we don’t. I bet if your AC went out the second you sat in your car, you’d lose a little peace. There’s all kinds of things that we’re just craving and crying out for peace. We need it every day. Even this week. I have two small kids in my house. My house can feel like this. I call this a screaming, poopy, pukey war zone. At any instant, that’s what my house can become. It doesn’t smell peaceful. There’s nothing peaceful on some moments in my house. And we gather it back together, but it’s fragile and I think even my phone, my phone is not peace inducing sometimes. I bet you look at your phone and you’re like, why did I look at that? It’s gone. And you’re like, where’s the peace go? And the news? Whatever. We need to stay in touch with the world. But if we are, we realize the world needs peace.
The world can’t find it. There’s war, there’s famine, there’s so many things going on. But peace only comes from the God of peace, the kind that you want, at least. The kind that lasts. God who is peace is also the giver of peace. And we get peace, the scriptures say, through Jesus. He gives it through Jesus. Romans five one. It says, therefore, since we’ve been justified through faith, we have peace through God, with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Ultimately, we can trust that this God of peace is going to bring us into his rest.
Hebrews four talks about how don’t miss out on God’s rest. That’s like a summary of the gospel. I want you to know my rest. The God of peace wants that for us, and he wants to give it away. The second reminder you come to, he says, now may the God of peace who through the blood of the eternal covenant, we have a God of peace, but we have a God of promise. That we have a God who he has bound himself to us in a covenant, a promise. It’s like an eternal pinky promise. Unbreakable, forever binding. It’s eternal. We’ve heard about the covenant, but this word eternal here is inserted at the end of the book. It’s forever and it’s sealed by the blood of Jesus. It’s an expensive covenant, and it’s about our freedom. So we have a covenant saying we are his forever more. Forever more we are his. And this is really a great time to remind them of a faithful God, a God who promises them faithfully, and he wants to be joined with his people. And so when you think about a God who’s done all this, he spent that much, why would he not equip his people?
That’s what he wants to do. And so may God do it. May God do what he set in motion from the moment Jesus came to die equip you. And so essentially he’s saying, may God equip a covenant people, but not just the covenant people, covenant people that have this kind of power in their corner. We have a God of power. Third reminder. Now, may God who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus. Here he reminds them of the power of God above and beyond even death. In Hebrews two, he alludes to the resurrection, and that sure gives peace, right? But here he makes a direct aim at the resurrection directly saying, look, you have a man who raised from the dead, and that’s who’s in your corner. This is a foundational reminder. This is more than a reminder this is foundational to our faith. Because of Jesus’victory over death, that’s why we can have peace. And because of his victory over death, that’s why we can even trust his covenant, that it meant something that was good, that the check won’t bounce. He can back up his claim that we are in a covenant with Him.
We can trust the resurrection. The good news that we who would otherwise die are now those who have been rescued from the grip of death. Consider that the resurrection power. If God is going to equip us and give us the power for something, if he can resurrect a man, he’s giving us that kind of power. That’s high voltage. You don’t realize what you got in you, and you have it by God’s spirit. And that’s an awe-inspiring power. I don’t know how to really wrap my mind around that, but that’s what we would be equipped with. Other reminder here is that we have a wonderful shepherd. The scripture says a great shepherd. Now, may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant, brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep. This is a recurring theme, biblically. You’ve probably heard that God’s people are like sheep. Have you heard that? Everyone say “baah”. Yes, it’s true, you guys are like sheep. But you know why we’re called sheep? It’s because we’re dumb and we’re helpless and we’re prone to wander away from God. You should know that firsthand.
And you should realize we need our shepherd. We need Him. He says, Jesus is our great shepherd. That’s a wonderful adjective. Ever since we’ve wandered away in the garden with Adam and Eve man, since the beginning, our shepherd Jesus has been pursuing us to bring us back into his fold. I want you back. Come on. He’s in the business of finding lost sheep. He is our shepherd. In John ten, Jesus says I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. So as the good shepherd has died in our place, past tense, he has tasted death so we can taste peace with God and escape death. He’s already done that in the past. He’s a good shepherd who did that. But present tense the scripture says he’s a great shepherd because he hasn’t left us since then. He’s still guiding us. He’s still in us. He wants to lead us by his Spirit in a life that he wants to make only he could create in us. And if he did in the past, and he’s doing it today, you better believe he’s going to be shepherding us in the future.
First. Peter 5:4 says, when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. So we have a wonderful, great, good and chief shepherd. And so these four reminders, you can really see who this God is that wants to equip us. The author would pray, please equip them. But these are wonderful things to keep in mind of. Who is equipping us?
He’s a God of peace, of promise, of provision, of power. You can count on this great God to equip you. It’s a small thing.
Or to complete you. Or it might get more uncomfortable, to prepare you for something or to readjust you for his purpose. I don’t like the chiropractor I’ve been once, I’m scared to death to go back. But when he’s like, all right, just stay still. I need to crack you back into shape. God is doing something in your life too. He’s pushing you towards something because he has something prepared for you. And Scripture clearly shows that our growth as a disciple of Jesus though, it happens by his power, by Him working in us. Working in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ. As Andrew Murray, a great Christian from centuries past, he said this really well. He said, as little as you can reach to heaven with your hands, can you of yourself live such a heavenly life. You don’t have the kind of power you need to live this life, but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. We’re talking about deeds right now. But doing the Christian life on your own, it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t. You need God’s power inside of you to do this. Even Jesus knew this.
Like he was dependent on God. John 15:19 the son can do nothing by himself. Those are Jesus’ words. He’s like, I can’t do it by myself. And if Jesus knew this to be true, then let me rest my case by saying Jesus is better than you. So you would do well to depend on God the way he depends on God. But if there is any part of this at all for you to do, it really looks something sort of like this surrendering yourself, trusting Him, yielding yourself, emptying yourself of your will so that he ultimately can work in your life. It’s a really passive thing, but it’s important. That’s what you need to do to be equipped to be ready to have God’s power work in your life. Because God has much to do thtrough you. He has so many great plans for you. I can’t imagine how the world would be changed. Every one of you guys would let God work his fullest potential in all of his power that he wants to through you. It’s Ephesians 3:20, like mind boggling what God can do through you. But we get in the way a lot.
We strive to kind of do things on our own and just have our own standards or ideas of what’s best, not what God has in mind here. He has a plan and he has a call on your life. He has a purpose for you. And Scripture shows that he is in the business here of working in you what is pleasing to him. It’s not about a superhero power, it’s not about finding out that you can shoot webs out of your ears or what does Spiderman do. But there are so many things that we could think this is about us doing something and it’s not about us. The emphasis here is on what God can do, not you. He’s doing the equipping by his Holy Spirit. It’s the highlight of his power for his progress and his purpose in your life.
That’s what he wants to do. And that might sound kind of selfish, right? Like the scripture here equipping you with everything good for doing his will. What about me, God? It might sound I don’t know. Are you consumed with yourself? I don’t know. That’s something to grapple with. But think about it. He just spent 13 chapters elaborating on how if anyone deserves glory at all, it is only God and not us. He’s the only one that deserves glory, every bit. It all belongs to him. And for you to know that our amazing God wants to do amazing things through you should humble you to the core. Humility, just awe like whoa. All you should be left to say those thoughts are really inappropriate. You should be like, here I am, Lord. Like Samuel said, right? Here I am, Lord. Do your will. What you want to do is what I am ready to do. And at the end of this book he’s laid out we come to the last line here, but he’s laid out in our site all the amazing things that God has done and is still yet to do in us.
And then he kind of ends this benediction with the phrase, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
He’s at the end, what’s he going to do? And so here he is and I feel kind of like he’s just overwhelmed by the greatness of Jesus at this point. He’s made a massive case at every angle he could come at. Jesus is better and it feels like it’s like a submarine at ocean depth, just being crushed by the weight of the glory of Jesus. And he’s running out of time and he’s desperate and his heart swells with joy and bursting out and he says to Jesus Christ, be glory forever and ever. Amen. He finds relief in his cry, like what more can be said? Is anything more fitting than saying to Jesus, be glory forever and ever. And I think if you’re not convinced, read the end of Revelation and you’ll see that that’s all that happens in heaven. Maybe more, maybe God changes the subject. But if he doesn’t, all we can do is say Holy, holy. It’s all that’s fitting here. So I just ask where your heart is at this morning, does it say the same? Because the more you gaze at Jesus, his greatness, his power, his covenant, his kingship, his priesthood, his blood poured out for you.
It should always drive you just to your knees to worship and fall down before God. And so that’s how he ends. And as if he forgets he has something more to say, he closes also with a PS. The last section is a postscript. It’s a PS. And so we’ll read this too. It says, brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact, I’ve written to you quite briefly. I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings. Grace be with you all.
So he calls this letter he characterizes it as an exhortation, right? An encouragement. I just wrote you a big encouragement. It’s a call. I want to encourage you to do something. Go all in for Jesus. Case rested. And we know that it is indeed giving it its readers a lot of encouragement. If you’re on the fence, this book is for you. If you’re just getting in, read Hebrews. It will make the case that Jesus is no one to be on the fence for. It’s funny that he calls this letter brief, though. I mean, we’ve done 20 weeks of sermons. He’s done around 10,000 words. I wonder what his full, unabbreviated thoughts would have been if you would have let this man go. All right. How long would he have gone on? I don’t know. If someone got a cramp in their hand and they’re like, hold on, buddy, I can’t write anymore. Or maybe it’s like I’m out of paper and papyrus is gone. We’ve used all the papyrus in the town, who knows? But the truth is, we don’t know why he ended here. But we do know that he could have gone on and on and on and on.
And that’s clear, because truth be told, it really is a small and ridiculously brief letter. This is the smallest letter there could be compared to the infinite truths that this letter contains. Do you remember what the Apostle John said at the end of his Gospel? The last sentence he said was, Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that could have been written. And that’s really it. You can never, ever fully express the greatness of God. The greatness of Jesus Christ is inexpressible. You can give your best shot, but you’re not going to do it justice. That’s why holy, holy, holy goes on forever and ever like there’s more to be said, but are you, church, are you guys giving it your best shot? Our call is to show the world that Jesus is better, not just to know for ourselves, but to give it a shot, just like he did, and tell the greatness of the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s worth every breath we breathe. It’s worth every word we speak.
It’s really the call for us going forward. May God equip us to do that. So, friends, this is all we have. This is the end of the day. I don’t know what to say. I’m a little sad. It’s bittersweet. I’ve had a great time. But we’re going to land the plane here, and you land the plane. You go to baggage claim. You get your bags and you take with you what you can for the journey ahead. And I really ask you to consider your takeaway. But here’s your homework. It’s not over for you. It’s over for us here together. But I want you to read Hebrews one more time. I want you to get alone. If you can read it out loud, even better. Go into nature. Read this letter of Hebrews, spend a date with Jesus and read it and ask yourself this question are you making it the one aim of your life to glorify Jesus? That’s what it’s all about. So although this ends, I’m sure this writer kept speaking about Jesus and writing about Jesus in his own time, right? What more will we say about Jesus? There’s so many more stories about how he’s worked in our lives.
And as we remember Jesus, we’re going to take communion right now. It’s a time to remember Jesus, and I want our meditation to be today let’s just let it be how Jesus is better than anything that could compete with Him in our lives. Just ponder the greatness of Jesus together. Amen.
All right, we’re going to pray. Dear God, thank you so much for this morning. It’s been a long time to really hear the fullness, but we can talk about Jesus and listen about Jesus forever. And we look forward, God, in our walk with you, to getting to know Him deeper and deeper and deeper. May you equip this church, God and all of its people, with the ability to do what’s pleasing to you, to do the work you have set out for them. May you equip us God, god of peace and of power, our great shepherd. May you really just help us to be what you wanted us to be. All for the name of Jesus, and all for his glory. It’s in his name we pray. Amen.