Hebrews is a book written to the Hebrews explaining to them what Christ did on the cross for their Covenant program. The parallel book to that, for the Gentiles, is Romans – telling them what Christ did for them (justification, salvation, etc.). When you think “Hebrews,” always think “New Covenant” and prophesied material to the remnant of Israel.
There are 13 chapters, 303 verses, and 6,913 words in the book of Hebrews. The theme of an epistle is usually stated in its introduction. The first four verses of Hebrews form one sentence that declares the theme of the book. Hebrews is about Jesus Christ according to prophecy and is a further expansion of the message that He preached to His own people in His earthly ministry (Heb 2:1-5; 12:25-29). What was that message? It was the gospel of the kingdom (Matt 4:17, 23; Rom 15:8).
The first two verses of the book make it clear that it is written to the Hebrews. To whose fathers did God speak through His prophets? To whom did Christ speak in His earthly ministry (Matt 15:24)? The writer plainly states that he is speaking about “the world to come” which refers to the Kingdom Age. There are 29 direct quotations from the Old Testament and 53 clear allusions to it for a total of 82 references to the Old Testament in just 13 chapters.
The plural pronouns “us,” “we,” and “our” which are used throughout refer to the Hebrews. This book deals with:
The history of the Hebrews (3:7-4:2)
Their promises and covenants (4:1; 8:6)
Their salvation (1:14; 2:3)
Their hope (3:5-6; 11:1; 2:5; 12:25-29)
Israel will enter her kingdom under the blood of the New Covenant. Hebrews transitions from the Old Covenant to the New (Heb 8:13) and from the tribulation to the kingdom (Heb 12:28-29).
It reveals the changes in the law in preparation for entering the kingdom (Heb 7:12). It applies historically to the Hebrews in the Acts period and prophetically to those in the tribulation period. We know Hebrews was written during the Acts period and before 70 AD because Jerusalem had not been destroyed when it was written (e.g. Heb 10:11).
The keyword in Hebrews is “better” (13 times). Christ is shown to be better than the angels, Moses, and Aaron, and that in Him is a better sacrifice, priesthood, and covenant. The writer of Hebrews speaks of a better: hope (Heb 7:19), testament (Heb 7:22), covenant (Heb 8:6), promises (Heb 8:6), sacrifices (Heb 9:23), substance (Heb 10:34), and country (Heb 11:16).
Many assume that Hebrews was written for this present age because of its emphasis on the blood of Christ. However, Israel will be saved by the blood of the New Covenant. The book of Hebrews is to Israel what Romans is to the Body of Christ.
The writer refers to his letter as a “word of exhortation” (Heb 13:22). The main exhortation of the letter is stated in the middle of it (Heb 6:1-3). There is a danger of the people falling away (Heb 6:4-12) and drawing back to perdition (Heb 10:26-39). The national salvation of Israel occurs at the Second Coming of Christ (Acts 3:19; Rom 11:26-27). That is the reason some passages in the Hebrew epistles make it sound like the people are saved and others that they are looking to be saved (Matt 24:13-14; Heb 3:6, 14; 6:11; 1 Pet 1:13; Rev 2:26). The difference is between individual salvation and national salvation.
I. Doctrinal (1-10)
II. Practical (11-13)
I. A Better Person: Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1-6)
A. Better than the angels (1-2)
B. Better than Moses (3-4)
C. Better than Aaron (5-6)
II. Better Priesthood: After the order of Melchizedek (7-10)
A. Better order: Melchizedek, not Aaron (7)
B. Better covenant: New, not Old (8)
C. Better sacrifice: God’s Son, not animals (9)
D. Better sanctuary: heavenly, not earthly (10)
III. Better Principle: Faith (11-13)