The Letter to the Hebrews: Conclusion
So here we are.
We’ve reached the end of our study of the Letter to the Hebrews by reaching the end of my essay on this book of the Bible that I wrote in 2008.
Having looked at the theological insights and practical applications in the Letter to the Hebrews, today’s reader should never forget that the Letter to the Hebrews was written in a context. The arguments are shaped by the world view of the day. The difference in culture to us runs deep. The emphases and examples would have been specifically chosen and worked for the original recipients, especially if the Letter was intended for a finite group of priests or leaders, as some have suggested. After all, how can a letter written for Jewish readers be interpreted by a largely Gentile Christian church?
However, all people share the same humanity and the universal truths set out in Hebrews can touch the heart and stimulate the mind of all who study it. Despite the difficulties encountered outside and inside the Letter to the Hebrews, the reader is presented with an exciting portrait of Jesus Christ in his role as the great High Priest, who has gained access to God for all people and is there mediating for us at the right hand of God.
This knowledge is then translated into everyday living. The two must go hand in hand in the life of the Christian. And so I finish with the concluding blessing of the Letter to the Hebrews, which combines what God has done for us with what is expected of us –
“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” From The Letter to the Hebrews: an evaluative outline of the key themes and theological insights by Helen Redfern
I do hope that this study of this incredible letter has touched your heart and stimulated your mind. If it has served to help you see the Book of Hebrews in a different way, then I am pleased. I hope that you can now approach this letter with wonder and fascination, rather than fear and confusion.
It would be great if you could take the time at some point in the next week to read the whole of the Letter to the Hebrews in one sitting (or break it up into what feels like manageable chunks to you). Read it as simply that – a letter: you don’t need to understand everything you read or find it all relevant. But it will feel like a real achievement and will inspire your faith in some way, I feel sure about that. I’m off on holiday to Corfu, so you can picture me on a sun lounger by the pool reading this letter!
May the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing his will.