HEBREWS 13:20-21: “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: This closing statement, this closing prayer in Hebrews, is filled with a wonderful summary of our Christian life and our call to Christian discipleship.
We serve a God of peace. God created this world and mankind to abide in His peace and to walk in His love. Man’s rebellion and sin broke that covenant of peace, but God never turned His back on His creation. From the day of man’s rebellion God put in motion the plan of redemption that would come through Jesus Christ our Lord. This plan was to open a door of forgiveness for mankind whereby they could be reestablished into a life of peace with God.
The Great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus Christ our Lord, willingly emptied Himself and became a man. Fully God and fully man, yet without sin, Jesus lived the life that we could not. He fulfilled the Law of God and humbly took our place of punishment and death on the Cross of Calvary. He entered into the Holy of Holies in heaven to offer the sacrifice of His own blood, once and for all, for the remission of our sins. This blood of the eternal covenant now opens the door of sonship to every man and woman who calls upon the name of the Lord. To as many as receive Him, to them He gives the ability to become the children of God – in peace!
However, we are not simply saved to be forgiven and go to heaven some day. His victory over sin and death has an impact on our life in the present. We are now able to enter into the restored purposes of God for His creation. We are given not just life – but life more abundantly. And through His blood, every spiritual blessing, every spiritual gift that is needed to fulfill His will in our lives, is freely bestowed on us through the Holy Spirit. We are given His exceedingly great and precious promises that through these we might become partakers of His Divine Nature and escape the corruption that is in the world because of lust and sin.
Also, we are not left alone. He has poured out His Holy Spirit as the guarantee of our inheritance in heaven. The Holy Spirit lives within us to reveal God’s presence, His truth, His life, and His love in our lives. It is the power of the Holy Spirit working within us that is always working His work within us. The secret of the Christian life is not to work or strive harder. Rather, it is to learn to yield to and walk after the working that is already at work within us through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit filled life is a life of joy and freedom because our striving has come to rest and His working empowers us and leads us to His green pastures where we find rest and refreshing for our souls.
When we see all of this we are drawn to humility, worship, and praise. It is our Lord Jesus Christ, His sacrifice, His cross, His love that has made all of this possible. We give thanks to God the Father for sending His Son, we give thanks to Jesus Christ for giving His life, and we give thanks to the Holy Spirit for leading and guiding us into His will! It is God’s work of Grace in our lives from start to finish! “…through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
In Jesus Name!