By Russ Ramsey
Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” I love that verse for the same reasons I love the entire book of Hebrews. First, I love the poetry of the line. It’s a beautifully crafted statement and image—lyrical, ironic, forthright, and severe. The entire book is this way—filled with imagery, concepts, warnings, and encouragement that read like poetic meditations on glorious and fearful things.
Also, I love how the line frames the holiness of God and our need for redemption, another theme that runs throughout the book. This is a beautiful, powerful, sometimes terrifying book if you read it without humility, reverence, and a sense of awe before the Lord.
But if you read it with humble eyes and an open heart, you’ll find Hebrews fights for our hearts. It lifts our eyes up from our present struggles—and in the case of the original audience, from persecution—to consider the eternal glory and majesty of Christ and to find our hope there.
This letter was written to Christians with Jewish roots. They were being persecuted for their faith, and many were wondering if it was worth it to continue to claim the name of Christ. To these people facing these struggles, the author clearly says, “Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him” (Hebrews 1:1–2).
You’ll notice as you read that the author threads this letter with dozens of references to the Old Testament. He does this to demonstrate that everything the Hebrew people’s forefathers believed in and hoped for has been fulfilled in Christ. And Christ will finish the saving work He began. Where else can they go? To what else can they cling?
The power and supremacy of Christ described in this letter would cause any of us to tremble in His presence. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But to adapt a phrase from the disciple Peter, where else should we fall? He alone has the words of life. May the daily Scripture readings in this study plan challenge you, inspire you, correct you where needed, and deepen your confidence in God’s ability and resolve to rid the world of all evil and make all things new.
Written by Russ Ramsey