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Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race (Hebrews 12:16-24)

Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race (Hebrews 12:16-24)

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Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race

Hebrews 12:16-24 (Pastor Heo)

16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


The Christian life is like a marathon. Jesus is the perfecter of our faith, the final goal of our faith.

Chp 12 begins “Let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles…. let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

One of our terrible sins that we must escape – and one that God also hates – is sexual immorality.

v. 16

“See to it that no one is sexually immoral…”

Sexual immorality should not be tolerated in the church because the church is the body of God. Sexual immorality has the power to destroy us spiritually, physically, emotionally, shamefully. Sexual immorality has devastated countless lives – even nations and churches. God warns us very strongly to protect us from damaging ourselves and others.

This verse gives us a warning against godlessness – with the example of godlessness in the life of Esau.

v. 16-17

“16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.”

[Genesis 25-27]

Esau was the first son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. He was a skillful hunter. One time he came in from the field very hungry, and his brother was cooking stew.

  • He said, “Quick, give me something to eat! I’m starving to death.”
  • Jacob: “Then sell me your birthright.”
  • Esau “I’m gonna die over here, who cares about that birthright?”

He “despised” his birthright in this manner.

Sometime later, Isaac was close to death, blind, and wanted to bless Esau. But Jacob snuck in during that time and was blessed instead. Esau came later and cried, “Is there only one blessing? Bless me as well!” It was too late. He could not turn back the clock.

The Bible gives us Esau an example of godlessness. What was the problem?

Esau seems like not really a bad man. He was a good hunter, he loved his father. Today we also can find Esau around us, maybe even in ourselves. So what was his godlessness?

We must know that this means “life without awareness of, consciousness of, or interest in God.”

It is living in this world for the wants of the flesh and the body and the instinct first, without being able to see what is unseen – to see what is seen only. It is like losing important things (spiritual things) to gain unimportant, temporary things.

“The wrath of God is being revealed in heaven against men … their thinking became futile, their foolish hearts darkened.”

There are two kinds of examples. Esau: bad example that should not be followed.

Q: Are you a good example or not?

God bless us to be good examples to somebody else around us.

How often do you make decisions based on what you want and feel at the moment vs. what you need in the long run?

Impulsiveness can bring heartache and grief, so we must look up because we are running a long distance marathon.

Col 3:1 “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on the things above, in heaven.”

How can we continue to look up, to fix our eyes on Christ?

There is a big contrast in the next verses between the old and new covenant – the giving of the Law of Moses vs. the giving of the covenant of grace of Jesus.

v. 18-21

  • Mt. Sinai represents the Old covenant

v. 22-24

  • Mount Zion represents the new covenant given by Jesus Christ.

So we must move from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion.

Mt. Sinai:

v. 18

  • “You have NOT come to a mountain (Sinai)”

v. 22

  • “You have come to Mt. Zion…”

v. 18-21

“18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.””

[Exodus 19-20]

In the third month, after the people left Egypt for the Promised Land, the people arrived at Mt. Sinai. The people camped there, and the Lord came down to give the Law to Moses. The camp was covered with smoke and the Mt. was trembling. The people could not approach nor touch the mtn – even animals would be killed. This means that God was too holy and great for them to approach.

God was an unapproachable, transcendent God.

v. 22-24

“22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Mt. Zion represents the new covenant, the giving of grace by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev “The Deliverer (Savior) will come on Mt. Zion… The Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world is standing on Mt. Zion.”

All Mts in the Bible show us only our sin, but do not provide the remedy for sin. The remedy for sin is provided only in the blood of Jesus Christ.

God is a holy and righteous God – and he cannot grant forgiveness simply on the grounds of a sinner’s repentance. He can forgive and pardon sin only when the penalty is first paid. So, in order to forgive sin, but also have the penalty paid at the same time, Jesus paid the price for us.

Therefore, Jesus’ blood is an absolute necessity for us if we are sinned.

Romans 3:23-34 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” He was given as an atoning sacrifice for us, so that we might be forgiven by putting our trust in him.

In the Old Testament, God was untouchable, unapproachable. But in Jesus Christ, the unapproachable God becomes approachable. The untouchable God becomes touchable.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made its dwelling among us and we have seen his glory.”

We can approach, touch, feel, the presence of God in Jesus Christ, through his word.

There is also here a comparison between the blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus Christ.

v. 24

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Keywords: Jesus, mediator, new covenant, blood, speaks, better word, blood of Abel (almost all words)

This is a comparison between Jesus’ blood and Abel’s blood.

  • Abel was the first person in history whose blood was shed because of his sacrifice.
    • And Jesus is the first, last, and only person whose blood was shed on behalf of the sins of others.

Do you remember Abel? In chp 11, “Abel is still speaking through his blood.”

And Jesus’ blood is speaking better things than the blood of Abel.

What are the differences?

v. 24

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

  • The blood of Abel spoke from the ground, from the earth and cried out for justice.
    • But the blood of Christ is speaking from heaven and announces mercy and grace for sinners like you and me.
  • The blood of Abel made his brother Cain guilty and drove him away in despair.
    • The blood of Christ set us free from guilt and opened the way to God.
  • The blood of Abel called out for vengeance.
    • The blood of Jesus opens up the way of reconciliation, the way of peace.

The blood of Christ made it possible for us to become friends of God. This is possible only through the blood of Jesus Christ.

That’s why the Bible says, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God…” We are also reconciled to God through the blood of Christ.

“Rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice in the Lord always!”

After Jesus came, lived, and died, and rose again, and now lives forever, the God who was very far distant was brought near to us, and we can enjoy his presence at any time through Jesus.

“The blood of Christ purifies us from all sins.”

God bless you to enjoy the power of the blood of Christ through your daily lives.

Let’s pray.

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen
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