|The Offices of Christ|
Westminster Larger Catechism 36-45, Shorter Catechism 21-26
OT: Exodus 7-12
NT: Hebrews 1-7
Psalms (of David) 86, 101, 103, 108-110
The Old Testament readings this week in Exodus focus on the confrontation between the Lord and Pharaoh over the people of Israel, resulting in God’s plagues of judgment upon Egypt and the Exodus of God’s people from bondage.
The New Testament readings begin a two-week sequence through the letter to the Hebrews. Although the author is not specified, historically the letter to the Hebrews was accepted by the ancient church on the basis of Pauline authorship (possibly through an amanuensis). Stylistically, the letter is very different than the rest of the Pauline corpus, leading many to judge that it was written by someone other than the Apostle Paul. Proposed alternatives to Paul as author have been Barnabas or Apollos, but there are no extant writings from those individuals to compare Hebrews to, so such proposals are completely hypothetical. A stronger case could be made that the author was Luke the Evangelist, as he was a close associate of Paul’s and stylistically has the kind of polished Greek that is exhibited in this letter. Regardless of who the author is, he is writing to a Jewish Christian community that is probably getting worn down because of persecution. The question they would have been asking is, “Is Christ worth what we are suffering?” The writer’s answer is an emphatic “Yes!” A notional outline of the letter is as follows:
- Christ as Superior to the Prophets (1:1-4)
- Christ as Superior to the Angels (1:5-2:18)
- Christ as Superior to Moses and Joshua (3:1-4:13)
- Christ as Superior to Aaron as High Priest (4:14-10:18)
- Exhortation to Draw Near to Christ in Full Assurance of Faith (10:19-11:40)
- Exhortation to Fix Focus on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of Our Faith (12:1-17)
- Exhortation to Remember that to Which You Have Been Called (12:25-13:25)
The Psalm readings continue going through the Psalms of David.