Musings on the Epistle to the Hebrews: Conclusion

Hebrews 13:24
We may remember that I have observed several distinct lines of thought running through this epistle. In taking leave of it we may consider it and see how these various lines all meet in harmony and give us in result a conclusion infinitely divine. The lines of thought are these:
1. The Spirit is displacing one thing after another to let in Christ.
2. Having brought in Christ, the Spirit holds Him up in the varied glories in which He is now filling the heavens.
3. The Spirit shows how Christ, being brought in, acts on everything to perfect it; that whatever a glorified Christ touches He perfects; and among other things He perfects our consciences.
4. This being so, on the ground of my reconciliation as a sinner I am introduced to a temple of praise.
These four things may be looked at independently, yet it is very blessed to see that they acquire fresh glory when seen in connection one with another. Now I do say there is a magnificence in such a divine writing that needs nothing but itself to tell its glory. I am in contact with something that is infinitely the mind of God, with some of the most wondrous discoveries that God can make of Himself to me.
But ere we quit our sweet and happy task we will look a little particularly at these four things. In Hebrews 1 and 2, the Spirit displaces angels to let in Christ. In Hebrews 3 and 4 He displaces Moses and Joshua. In Hebrews 5-7 He displaces Aaron. In Hebrews 8 He displaces the whole covenant with which Christ has nothing to do. In Hebrews 9 He displaces the ordinances of the old sanctuary with its altars and services to let in the altar where Jesus as the Lamb of God lay. One thing after another He takes up and sets aside to make room for Jesus. This is a delightful task to the Spirit. God knows His own delights. If the Spirit can be grieved He can be delighted too.
Then having brought Christ in, what does He do with Him? He keeps Him in forever. Christ has no successor. When the Spirit has got Him in He gazes at Him. And what is it to be spiritual? It is to have the mind of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever delighted to get out of the house to make room for Jesus? Indignantly the Spirit talks of the things we have been looking at as "beggarly elements." Have you ever treated them so? The Spirit sees no successor to Christ. In the counsels of God there is none after Him Is it so in the counsels and thoughts of our souls?
So, having kept Him in, He gazes at Him. And what does He see in Him? He sees glory upon glory. In Hebrews 1 He sees Him seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as the purger of our sins, and hears a voice saying, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." He looks in Hebrews 2 and sees Him as our Apostle talking to us of salvation. Then He finds Him as the Owner of an abiding house, as the Giver of eternal rest, and sees Him in the sanctuary above, seated there with an oath, and hears Him uttering the salutation, "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec." In these various ways the Spirit delights in Christ. Then in Hebrews 9 we see Him looked at in the heavens as the Bestower of the eternal inheritance, having first obtained eternal redemption.
In Hebrews 10 we see Him seated there in another character, with this voice saluting Him, "Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool." Have you ever in spirit followed Christ up to heaven and heard these voices addressing Him? We want to give personality to the truth. We are terribly apt to deal with it as mere dogma. I dread having it before me as a thing I could intellectually learn. In this epistle it is the Person that is kept before you; it is a living One you have to do with. These are heavenly realities. Moses pitched a temple in the wilderness. Solomon pitched a temple in the land; God has pitched a temple in heaven. And oh! how it shows what an interest God has in the sinner, when for our — Priest He has built a sanctuary, and that because He is our Priest and about to transact our interests. Then in Hebrews 12, when He had ascended, He was received and seated in heaven as the Author and Finisher of faith:
That is the second line, and we see how it hangs on the first. The Spirit, having fixed Christ before us, displays Him to us.
The third thing we get in this epistle is perfection. If I get Christ perfect as Savior, I get myself perfect as saved. If I am not saved Christ is not a Savior. I am not speaking now of a feeble mind struggling with legality, but of my title — and I have no more doubt that I have a right to look on myself as a saved sinner than that Christ has a right to look on Himself as a perfect Savior. Salvation is a relative thing. If I take myself as a sinner to Christ and doubt that I am saved I must have some doubt of the perfection of His Savior-character. But we have already looked at the epistle as a treatise on perfection. It became God to give me none less than a perfect Savior. Wondrous! He has linked His glory with the perfection of my conscience before Him. He has condescended to let me know that it became Him Does it become you to come and serve me in some capacity? You might do it through kindness, but I should not think of saying so. Yet that is the language God uses.
So then, in the third place, we find the epistle a treatise on perfection. Not, however, the perfection of millennial days. Christ will be the Repairer of every breach. But the greatest breach of all was in the conscience of the sinner. There is mischief and confusion abroad in creation still. There is mischief abroad in the house of Israel. Christ has not yet set to His hand to repair that. There is a breach in the throne of David — Christ has not yet applied Himself to heal that. But the mightiest breach of all was between you and God. By-and-by He will turn the groans of creation into the praises of creation; but He began His character as a Repairer by applying Himself to repair the breach that separated you from God; and now we have boldness to enter into the holiest.
And then, in the fourth place, we find in this epistle the Spirit doing nothing less now than building a temple for praise. Is He about to tack up the veil again, which the blood of the
Lamb of God has torn in two? Is He going to revive the things that He has indignantly talked of as "beggarly elements"? Unspeakably glorious is this fourth and last thing. The Spirit of God has built a temple for you to praise Him — the fruit of your lips giving thanks to His name.
What have we not in this epistle? Though we may look on each line of thought independently, yet they do lend to each other exquisite and increased glory. The Spirit is, as it were, making a whip of small cords, and telling all to be gone to make room for Jesus. Of course I know they were willing to go. John the Baptist uttered the voices of them all when he said, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled" Moses, Aaron, angels — all were delighted to be put out of the house for Christ.
These things are combinedly serving your soul by introducing you to deeper apprehensions of the Christ of God. What a servant to our souls the Holy Spirit is in this dispensation — as the Lord Jesus was a Servant from the manger to Calvary.
I believe we each need individually to be fortified with truth. We do not know how far Romanizing and infidel errors may be getting ahead. If we have not the truth, we may be the sport of Satan tomorrow. I will give you an instance of it. The Galatians were an earnest, excited people (and I do not quarrel with revival excitement); they would have plucked out their eyes for the apostle, but the day came when he had to begin afresh with them from the very beginning. "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." There was excitement without a foundation of truth; and when mischief came in the poor Galatians were next door to shipwreck — and this epistle is a witness to the same thing. The Hebrew saints were unskillful in the word. But we must be fortified by truth. A state of quickening wants the strengthening of the truth of God.
And now what shall we say? O the depth of the riches! O the height of the glory — the profoundness of the grace — the wonder of the wonders — God unfolding Himself in such a way that we may well cover our faces, while we trust Him in silence and love Him with the deepest emotions of our souls! But some of us can surely say, "My leanness, my leanness!"