We took time last week to outline the series of events behind the shaping of the tense relationship between Judaism and the birth of the church. It is hard for us to imagine the blunt force of the gospel on Jews devoted to the Old Testament. True enough, the Old Testament - as our text will remind us today - promised and prepared for the coming of Jesus the Christ. But this is not the kind of Messiah many Jewish worshipers were expecting. And that resistance to the gospel is precisely what the epistle to the Hebrews is addressing.
Perhaps this is the explanation for the quick dive our writer makes into the heart of the issue. There is no greeting. No introduction. No pre-amble. The theme of the entire letter explodes in the first sentence. Christ is the key to understanding the Old Covenant. Our letter's first three sentences provide the outline. Christ is a superior revelation to all that preceded Him. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all there is. He is the full revelation of Gods glory among us. And He is the only One who can purify sinners from their sins.