Well, once again we arrive at the end. This is it. This is the last section of Hebrews. The next couple of weeks we will be looking back on our journey to try to solidify in our lives the truth of God’s word. But for now, let’s just read the author’s closing:
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. 20 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, 21 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 for ever and ever. Amen. 22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings. 25 Grace be with you all.Hebrews 13:18-25
I have to tell you, I ache for prayer. If you do nothing else for your spiritual leaders – if you’re still ticked off at me for yesterday’s devotional – pray for me. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your spiritual leaders. Pray for your governing authorities. Pray for us. We need it. You have no idea how much.
The author is wrapping things up. He’s closing out his letter to people he loves so much. And he closes with a prayer. “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, 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 for ever and ever. Amen.”
What a prayer. The God of peace. That’s who God is. That’s how we are supposed to live. That’s the promise that awaits – God’s peace.
The blood of the eternal covenant. The covenant that is better than the old one, the one that Jesus mediates as He sits at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven. Not the one that has been done away with, the one that will last forever.
Brought back from the dead. What other savior or redeemer has been brought back from the dead? Who else has gone through death in our place? Who else was buried in a borrowed tomb because they had done nothing wrong?
That great Shepherd. Jesus is our great Shepherd. We are his flock, we are His people. Your pastor is a Shepherd, but your pastor also has a Shepherd. He is not a driver, he’s a shepherd.
Equip you with everything good for doing his will. Equip you. Prepare you. In the same way Christ has a body prepared for him…the same way the worlds were prepared by the word of God. In that same way, may we all be equipped, prepared with everything good for doing His will.
May He work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ. Not what is pleasing to us. Not what we want most. But, may He work in us what is pleasing to Him. May He do those things that are in line with the plans He has for us, the preparations He has made for us, the work He has given us to do.
While we’re not quite finished with Hebrews, I do want to offer this. Jesus really is greater than everything. So, why not give everything you have to follow Him?
If Jesus is greater than everyone and everything, why not just surrender and submit to Him today? I know it’s not easy. I know it’s not natural. Of course it’s not. We’ve spent our whole lives rebelling. What we know is selfishness and resistance. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
Do you want to know the secret? It’s not natural until it becomes second nature. Nothing new feels natural at first. But, there are a lot of things we love now that are second nature that weren’t at some point in our lives.
And here is this thing, this person, this Jesus who is literally the best thing that could ever happen to any human, and He’s offering us the thing we were made for. Everything in us wants it. And everything in us wants to resist it. We feel the ache deep within us. We feel the deepest parts of our soul reaching out for the kind of fulfillment that can only come by embracing God’s best for us. And yet, we have spent so long giving into the rebel spirit that we don’t want to. We want Jesus. We long for Jesus. But we resist Jesus.
What if you just didn’t? What if you just said, “I’m here, do what you want with me”? What if whatever part of you, however large or small, that has been resisting making Jesus the greatest pursuit of your life, well, what if you just died to that so that you could embrace the life that is truly life? What if you gave into the thing your soul has been longing for since it was created? What if you just did it?
Jesus isn’t just greater than everyone and everything, he’s greater than you and me. And he’s worthy of our surrender, submission and a life of worship.
Jesus is the greatest pursuit of your life.
Jesus. Is. Greater.