Hebrews is one of the most perplexing books in the New Testament. The audience is in the middle of a faith crisis. Fatigued from years of living for Christ in an unfriendly and often hostile world, they also do not fully understand the significance of Jesus’s death and are worried about where they are going to get atonement for their sins. In this time of distress, the unknown author of Hebrews sends a sermon.
The sermon of Hebrews is a reassurance that the Jewish system of sacrifices is no longer required, for Jesus has provided the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. The author issues a stern warning: There must be endurance in order to be part of the unshakeable kingdom. In heaven is a cloud of witnesses urging all of us on to the finish line. We must press on.
Ken Schenck (PhD) is dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University, as well as a professor of New Testament. An ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church, he is the author of more than thirty books, including Understanding the Book of Hebrews; Paul: Soldier of Peace; and Jesus: The Mission. He and his wife, Angela, have four children: Stefanie, Stacy, Thomas, and Sophia.