Today I want us to look at the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews, the concluding chapter of a power-filled book. A book whose primary audience are the Jews. But there is so much value also in this book for Gentiles. Chapter eleven is the Hall of Faith. Chapter twelve starts with, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” And then, with Spirit-filled solemnity and a sense of urgency, the author starts winding down while injecting bits of truth that the Holy Spirit inspired the author to include before the benediction.
One truth that seems especially crucial for us to understand is the importance that Jesus was crucified outside of the city of Jerusalem. This passage is in Hebrews 13:11-14 (ESV):
11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.
12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.
14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
So here we are, children born outside the city wall, outside the camp, the wrong side of the wall, or in American vernacular, we are children from the “wrong side of the tracks.” That’s where our hope was founded, our redemption was paid, our eternity was secured, that place where Jesus our Lord was sacrificed (Hebrews 13:11-15), shamed (Hebrews12:2), unwanted (Isaiah 53:3), and disdained (Psalms 69:10).
Should we expect better? Verse fourteen echos Hebrews 11:10, for Abraham, “…was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” And, the author of Hebrews tells us that, right now, there is no place on Earth that is “our place.”
We are children from the wrong side of the wall so we bear reproach. Nevertheless, God tells us in Hebrews 12:28 (ESV), “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…”
For all of us kids born on the wrong side of the wall, we have a great future in store of us.
Photo: By Eitan f 13:56, 4 December 2006 (UTC) – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1430757
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