This week and next we are going to be reviewing the Big Ideas from each week of this Hebrews study we’ve gone through. We want to make sure we are able to remember the big picture of the book as we think now about becoming the kind of person who lives a life in line with Hebrews.
Today, we are going to look at the first big idea and identity statement we covered in the sermon from week 3. If you want, you can go back and listen to the sermon on 68church.com (http://68church.com/jesus-is-greater-part-1-lost-at-sea/)
We talked about the problem of drifting when we’re comfortable and when we’re in the midst of the storm and how belief is not just and idea, it’s a demonstration. We always live in accordance with our actual beliefs. There may be short times where we don’t, but we always come back to what we truly believe.
And we talked about how Jesus was the pioneer, the “archegos” who came to lead us. Not by commanding us from the safety of the back and barking orders at us. Instead the “archegos” leads by example. In fact, because Jesus believed in the Father and the mission, his life was an exact representation of it.
It’s get real time. In fact, I think that’s been a big emphasis of Hebrews. For the author of Hebrews it’s time for us to start living out our big boy faith. It’s time to get beyond the elementary teachings and embrace the what it means to be a Christ-follower in a world that doesn’t make it easy to do so.
So, it’s not easy to be a Jesus-follower anymore. I get it. It’s not easy to admit to your friends and coworkers that you were at church yesterday. It’s not easy to stand for the truth because the truth is getting less and less popular. We live in a world of absolute feelings and relative truth. It’s not easy, and it’s not going to get any easier.
What are we going to do? Are we going to start cutting out the things that are difficult? Are we going to hide our faith and only bring it out when we’re around other believers and hide it under a basket the rest of the time? I mean, Jesus wouldn’t expect us to risk our social status in order to show the world that we follow Him would He?
Well, hmm. How do I put this bluntly? Jesus, the archegos led by example. What was his example? The cross. He laid down his life for what he believed. Yes, he wrestled with it. No, it doesn’t appear that it was just a “hunky-dory, this is no big deal, I’m just going to go hang on a tree for a few hours” kind of situation. It was heavy. In fact, it was crushing. The weight of the mission was crushing. But, he was not crushed.
That’s how Paul described what it was like to live on mission for the Gospel. “8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” (2 Cor. 4:8-11)
So, yes, to put it bluntly, Jesus DOES expect us to risk, even give up our social status to prove that we are his disciples. He knew that’s what it would take. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus knew that aligning ourselves with him would cost us. We’ve had it pretty easy in this country comparatively speaking. Jesus said that trouble is a guarantee. But, He also said that trouble isn’t supposed to overtake us. Because he has already overcome the world. So, no matter what the world may throw at us, we can have peace.
Why? How? Because Jesus has blazed a trail for us. He has carved out a path for us. Because he set and example for us to follow. All we have to do is walk in his steps. He has taken our anchor into the harbor for us. As far as the Father is concerned, it has been established that our anchor is in the harbor of His eternal peace. Sure, our boat is still out to sea. Sure, the wind is blowing hard. Yes, it feels like we are going to take on too much water to make it.
But, the tide is rising. The storm might be howling, but the tide is rising. And as the tide rises, so does the ship. With every day, “The Day” is getting closer. The closer we get to that day, the closer we get to being able to make it safely into the harbor. No matter how turbulent this storm may get, we have everything we need to endure it. Because Jesus has made us perfect. Jesus has completely outfitted us for the voyage. If we need something to endure, Jesus has or will give us to us.
So, let’s rise to the challenge. Let’s the be exception. Let’s be the people who do not allow the crashing of the waves to frighten us. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and follow the trail he marked out for us.