Sabbath School Lesson for January 1-7, 2022

Overview of Lesson 2

The author of Hebrews wanted to strengthen the faith of believers who were in the midst of persecution and trials. He accomplished that goal by highlighting all the wondrous roles of Jesus Christ, our King and Mediator.

  • On Sunday, Jesus was seen as our King, with full authority to rule the universe (Hebrews 1:5-14).
  • On Monday, Jesus was shown to be our Mediator, the One we go through to reach the Father (Hebrews 9:15, 12:24).
  • On Tuesday, He is our Champion, the One who goes to battle with Satan for us (Hebrews 2:14-16).
  • On Wednesday, Jesus is our High Priest, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 5:1-4).
  • On Thursday, His ministry signaled a new covenant to replace the old (Hebrews 8:8-13).


As most of us under pressure are prone to do, the Hebrew Christians wondered why they were enduring so much pain and suffering. Paul, the most likely author of Hebrews, attempted to bolster their faith by recounting the promises of God and how Jesus was the fulfillment of those promises and our hope for a brighter future.

The main theme of this week’s lesson is Christ being our King and our Mediator. All through the book of Hebrews, Jesus was the center of their hopes and dreams for the future, and this knowledge was the only way they could cope with the present. Christ’s place of authority at the right hand of God gives us confidence in His ability to fight our causes and someday put an end to the trials we endure.

Memory Text: “This is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” Hebrews 8:1 NKJV

No authority is greater than the one exercised by Jesus, our High Priest. Yes, He is OURS. He is one of us, if we have faith to believe it.

Sunday: Jesus Is Our King

It’s always comforting to know that someone in authority is on our side. When that authority is the Son of God, we can be especially assured that our situation is in good hands.

The first chapter of Hebrews establishes the fact that God’s Son, whom they had come to believe was Jesus Christ, was anointed and sits at the right hand of God. He rules there as King of the universe and is worshiped by all the angels. It mentions in this first chapter that He has a scepter, which was a symbol of a sovereign’s authority. In this case, it’s called a scepter of righteousness (Hebrews 1:8).

Jesus is seen as more than an angel. He was superior to them in every way, as Creator and Sustainer of all things (Hebrews 1:3, 10).The fact that angels worship Him shows how deserving He is (Hebrews 1:6). The angels receive no worship of any kind for themselves, and even refused it on occasion (Revelation 22:8, 9). This was all the more evidence that Jesus, the Messiah, was all He claimed to be: a lawful, ruling member of the godhead.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 1:1-4 and Philippians 2:9, 10

  • What does it mean to you that Jesus is worshiped not just by humans, but by angelic beings in heaven?

Hebrews 1:5-14 and Isaiah 61:1

  • For what reasons was the Son of God anointed and given such a powerful position among the angels?
  • How was the Holy Spirit involved in the anointing of God’s Son as King?

Monday: Jesus Is Our Mediator

Sometimes earthly kings are no more than figureheads. They have little to say in how their government’s business is conducted. And then there have been rulers, including many kings of Israel, who have done much harm to their people by their unjust and merciless conduct and policies.

King Jesus, however, fits neither of these categories. One of His duties includes being our Mediator, or connection to God the Father. His sacrifice and mediatorial work has made it possible for us to reap the full benefits of salvation and escape the ugly mess Satan has made on our planet.

Moses was the primary mediator at Sinai, and prefigured Christ’s later work in that area. Jesus, by becoming our sacrifice, is now the channel through which God’s blessings flow. We all benefit from His mediatorial work in the heavenly courts above.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 8:6

  • What has made Jesus’ work as our Mediator superior to that of Moses?

Tuesday: Jesus Is Our Champion

Hebrews 2:14-16 describes the Son of God as one of us, “of flesh and blood”, but One who has power over death. This gives Him power over the devil and makes Him our Champion. Jesus died, like us, but through His own power, He conquered death and now rules on the throne of God, mediating for us there.

At the beginning of Israel’s history, a champion was longed for. They wanted someone to be their judge, but also to fight their battles (1 Samuel 8:19, 20). Jesus was the true fulfillment of their wish. If only they had waited more patiently for Him, and not insisted on an earthly champion. The Son of God had always been there for them, even before His appearance as a Babe in Bethlehem.

The shepherd boy David probably came closest to being the champion they had in mind. Soon after being anointed, he valiantly fought the giant Goliath and prevented his brothers from suffering a fate of slavery under the Philistines. All of this prefigured the work of Christ for us.

The prophet Isaiah saw the Messiah in this role of champion. Isaiah 42:13 describes Him as a mighty man, who would prevail against His enemies. And Isaiah 59:17, 18 mentions the armor He carries with Him. It’s hard not to love someone who “will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25).

God is still our Champion, and we are His army. Ephesians 6 talks about fighting the good fight of faith, using the spiritual armor God provides. Not in a singular way though. The “you” spoken of in Ephesians 6 is plural. We, as God’s church, must ready ourselves for battle with Satan. With our Champion leading us, we can’t fail to win!

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 2:14-16 and 1 Samuel 8:19, 20

  • Why do people want someone to lead them in fighting their enemies?
  • How was Jesus different from any earthly champion or king?

Isaiah 42:13, 49:25, 59:17, 18

  • With what terms does Isaiah use to describe the Champion of Israel?

Wednesday: Jesus Is Our High Priest

Jesus is the one who governs, mediates, and fights our battles, but the writer of Hebrews emphasizes also His priestly functions on our behalf. Many chapters in Hebrews concentrate on Jesus as our High Priest.

The earthly priests, as they knew them, were vital in protecting the spiritual health of the nation. They alone were experts in the proper way to offer sacrifices, and were in charge of much of the process that brought forgiveness, cleansing, and peace to the people. The priests also found themselves as teachers, making sure each individual understood how to apply the law of God in their lives. As God’s representatives, they provided the people with an important connection to God that kept the blessings flowing to the people as a whole.

In 1 Peter 2:9, we discover that all believers since Christ are members of “a royal priesthood”. Today, we can confidently approach God through our Savior. His sacrifice on the cross means we no longer need a human intercessor. Our prayers can go directly through Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 5:5, 6

  • Why was Jesus compared to Melchizedek?

1 Peter 2:9

  • To what kind of priesthood do all believers belong and what are their duties?

Thursday: Jesus Mediates a Better Covenant

Although Hebrews makes it clear that the new covenant was better than the old, we must understand that both covenants were important and needed. The old covenant was established for those who were anticipating the arrival of the Messiah. The Seed, as He was called, was promised to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15), and later to Abraham (Genesis 22:18, Galatians 3:16).

The life, death, and resurrection of Christ, the Seed, signaled the fulfillment of many of the covenant promises. The anticipated Savior had arrived, and we are now waiting for the final end of the sin problem that will be ushered in at the Second Coming. Our promises are better in the new covenant, because we can now see what they could only anticipate in the old.

It is also better because it’s being performed in the heavenly sanctuary, rather than the earthly one. The tabernacle built during Moses’ time was only a copy, a shadow, of the true sanctuary in heaven (Hebrews 8:5, Exodus 25:40). It served as a teaching tool for those who had drifted away from God after hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt. Our access to God is vastly improved now that the Son of God has become our Sacrifice and High Priest.

God had long promised to put His law in their hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). So, this was another way the new covenant was an improvement over the old. God’s people had failed to keep the old covenant by not worshiping Him from the heart. Having Jesus come in the flesh certainly sparked a new love for God, including His law. It was, after all, God’s desire to dwell within us from the start.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 8:8-12

  • Why is the new covenant an improvement over the old?
  • What crucial factor was missing in the old covenant?

Friday: Conclusion

Because of the persecution experienced by the early Jewish believers, the writer of Hebrews may have been concerned that some would revert to Judaism, the religion from which they had come. Therefore, the overall message of Hebrews centers around the person of Christ and how much better He was than anything that came before Him. Jesus was the the fulfillment, the embodiment, of everything that was but a shadow in the old covenant.

Seven affirming statements about Christ are found in the first few verses of Hebrews and confirm that He is the One they should worship.

  1. He is “appointed heir of all things”.
  2. He created the worlds.
  3. He is the reflection of God’s glory.
  4. He sustains all things by His word.
  5. He cleanses us from sin.
  6. He sits in majesty at the right hand of God.
  7. He is deserving of the angels who worship Him.

Next Week: The Promised Son

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