The General Letters
This is part of ‘the epistles*’. The word epistles* means ‘letters’. The leaders of the new church* wrote these letters. Peter, James, and John wrote most of the general letters. These letters tell the readers how to live as God’s people. The letters remind them that God will keep his promises.
THE NEW TESTAMENT | THE GENERAL LETTERS
PEOPLE TO KNOW
PLACES TO GO
How has God spoken?
Jesus was the great high priest.
Jesus made the perfect sacrifice*.
What does faith* look like?
Look to Jesus.
This book is the first of the books called the ‘general letters’. Paul wrote all of the letters from Romans to Philemon. Five other men wrote the last eight letters. We do not know who wrote the book of Hebrews. But we do know that the writer knew many things about the scriptures*. We also know that he loved Jesus. Hebrews is a book about Jesus. It says many things about Jesus. But it says one thing above all. Jesus is better.
There are many stories in Hebrews from the books Moses wrote. All of the stories tell us more about Jesus. Hebrews tells you that Jesus brought a new promise from God. He brought a new covenant*. Jesus was the eternal* Son of God. He was the One who came to make peace* between all people and God. He was the only one who could do that.
Hebrews is about Jesus and how great he was. It tells us many stories from the Old Testament*. If we did not know those stories, we would not know how great Jesus was. Those stories show us many things about God and what Jesus came to do. We could not know these things if we did not know those Old Testament* stories.
Hebrews tells us many things about Jesus. But it says one thing most of all – Jesus was better. He was better than Moses. He was better than the prophets*. He was better than the priests in the Old Testament*. He made a better promise. He would give his people a better rest.
Jesus came to speak for God. But he was better than all of the prophets* that came before him. He was the exact image of God. He did not just speak for God. He was God speaking.
Jesus was not an angel*. He was different from the angels*. He was better than the angels*. He was the son of God. He made all things. And God put everything under his control.
Moses and Joshua were great leaders. They brought people to a new land. And the people of God found rest there. But Jesus was a better leader than Moses and Joshua. He led God’s people to a better rest.
Jesus also came to be our priest. But he was not like the priests from Aaron’s family. God chose Jesus, God’s own son, to be the great high priest. He was the perfect priest. He understood us. He was ‘a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting’. He was a ‘high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin*’.
Jesus acted as the perfect priest when he died on the cross*. On the cross*, he offered the perfect sacrifice*.
‘But Jesus gave one sacrifice* for the sins* of the people. He gave it once and for all time. He did it by offering himself.’
Now those people who believed on Jesus had great hope*. They were the people of God’s new covenant*. God would give them new desires. He would forgive* their evil* ways. He would not hold their sins* against them.
The last part of Hebrews is filled with instructions for those who believed in Jesus. They must live their lives with confidence and hope*. They could love each other. They could be loyal to their family. They should care for people who suffer. And when they suffered, they did not need to be sad. God kept his promises to the people in the Old Testament* days. He would keep his promises to them too. They could show faith* in God just like Abraham and Moses did.