Have you ever walked in a church or chapel with a beautiful ceiling? Some have detailed stained glass windows that catch the light or intricately painted domes overhead. Others have ornate pipe organs that reach multiple stories high. In most of these places, the design features were specifically chosen to communicate something beautiful and holy. Though each have their own unique artistic and architectural features, most of them have a way of pulling our eyes upward. We can’t help it. Standing in places like the Sistine Chapel in Rome or St. Paul’s Cathedral in London can feel almost overwhelming, to look up and around, being enveloped by the history and beauty of such a place.
In the same way that standing under these architectural works of art physically draws your eyes upward, the book of Hebrews reorients our eyes on the person of Jesus. It tethers believers to the past, present, and future realities of life as the people of God.
In Hebrews we’re reminded that we stand on the shoulders of the centuries of believers who walked the road of faith ahead of us—encouraged in the midst of persecution not to turn away from the faith. We’re reminded that Jesus doesn’t dismiss the suffering and circumstances that we experience at the ground level of our humanity. Instead, we’re called to see that when we fix our eyes on Jesus, we’re reminded that He is better. He is better than all the lesser loves this world has to offer. He is better than all the best offerings we can bring. He is better than all the signposts who were pointing to Him along the way. He is the better priest, the better sacrifice, and the better hope in this broken world. This study of Hebrews is an invitation to let your eyes be drawn upward and to be fixed on the person of Jesus.
Our prayer is that over the next three weeks, you will be changed by the reality that Jesus offered Himself, once for all time, so that we could experience the fullness of His presence. As we move through this reading plan together, with the Spirit’s guidance, may these words call us to lift our heads and train our eyes on Jesus.