NO TURNING BACK
The early Jewish Christians experienced persecution from both the Roman empire and the Jewish religious community. The Jewish people saw a dangerous cult turning people astray from the faith. The empire viewed them as atheists who rejected the Roman gods and temples, paid no homage to Caesar, and disrupted the social pecking order that kept everyone in their place. The writer of Hebrews wrote to remind them who they were.
The Book of Hebrews
Someone wrote the book of Hebrews to encourage Jewish Christians to keep moving forward. There is no turning back after trusting in Jesus. To return to temple sacrifices, priestly intermediaries and messages given through mediators is to abandon the one who fulfilled all these things. Jesus is the true temple, the true high priest, and the exact revelation of what God is like. There is no turning back! There is only moving forward by faith in him.
The Only Way Out Is Through
I had a claustrophobia nightmare the other night remembering a spelunking adventure I followed some Jr. High kids on when I was a youth pastor. They had found a series of underground caves in Joshua Tree and were determined to take their friends through them. It didn’t seem safe to me, so I made them take me first. I must say it was pretty amazing! Some sections opened into cavernous spaces with running water in the desert. But the spaces you had to crawl through were small. Headfirst, downhill, twisting different ways – I am nearly having a panic attack picturing it now. At one point we were deep into these caves and I wanted to go back. But there is no going back because the moves that got me here won’t get me out. Sometimes, the only way out is through.
No Turning Back, No Turning Back.
I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back. So goes the old song. It’s not just that I have resolved not to turn back. There is truly nowhere to go. Like Peter said when Jesus asked him if he wanted to turn back, “Where else are we going to go? You alone have the words of life.” If you used drugs to cope before Jesus saved you, do you see any hope in going back? Maybe you always did what was expected of you to get the approval of people before you knew God’s unconditional acceptance. Do you want to go back to that? If you were a slave to lust or full of anger and Jesus accepted, forgave and began healing you, can that work for you anymore? No. If you have Jesus you have everything you need. You can never go back. You just need to remember who he is, remember who you are and have the courage to keep moving forward.
The only way out is through.