Last Wednesday, Sept 29, 2022, I had the privilege of speaking in the chapel service in Hughes Auditorium of Asbury University.
The title was “Episode #5: “The End Game” Hebrews 12:1–4. “
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Heb 12:1b–2a).
In the words of Kate Wilkinson’s hymn, “May the Mind of Christ My Savior” (an old Asbury favorite): “May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe, Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go.”
If you take time to work through this reading guide, you will gain a rich, holistic understanding of Hebrews’ theology and you will be able to come back to this volume again and again as a resource for personal growth, teaching, and preaching. . . . The book of Hebrews has been divided into seven weeks of daily readings (forty-nine days), so you will have time for Hebrews to permeated your heart and mind. If you patiently follow this schedule, you will be rewarded with an understanding of Hebrews unavailable to those who want a quick fix.
From the Forward:
“Gareth’s book is a marvelous resource as we listen to the, at times, complex letter of Hebrews. . . .I envision it sitting amongst several commentaries on Hebrews, and being the first port of call when the pastor—or student, seminarian, or scholar—is working away on this marvelous book, full as it is of Jesus.”
—Rev. Dr. Craig G. Bartholomew, director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology, Cambridge, UK
What Others are Saying:
Gareth Cockerill . . . . brings to fresh life the often-neglected book of Hebrews. Like a seasoned Sherpa, Cockerill guides the reader [on] a magnificent seven-week journey through the glorious heights and peaks of this cherished landscape of biblical revelation . . . . I encourage Christians to engage in this amazing journey and recapture anew the glorious identity of Jesus Christ for all time.
—Timothy C. Tennent, PhD, President and Professor of World Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary
Gary Cockerill has already written one of the best commentaries on Hebrews, and now he presents the fruit of his work in a book that is accessible to every student of the Bible. . . . What we find here are the reflections of a scholar who has marinated in Hebrews for years. The structure of the letter, the meaning of the text, its theological significance, and the pastoral application are unpacked clearly and profoundly. Pastors, students, and all who want to understand Hebrews will want to read this book.
—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
. . . . [Gary Cockerill’s] many years of in-depth study and his eager willingness to be mentored by the “pastor” of Hebrews richly infuses this present volume. There are deep theological insights on every page! Cockerill’s own pastoral heart makes this seven-week study winsome, compelling, and accessible. I highly recommend this book. It opens the door to one of the most powerful, beautiful, and persuasive sermons ever written! Those who enter this door will be richly blessed.
—Dana M. Harris, Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“The grandeur and beauty of the book of Hebrews are only matched by its avoidance and near ignorance in the church. . . . This beautiful, timely book is what the church needs!”
—Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary
“A leading Hebrews scholar takes us step by step through the book. Through its pastoral teaching, we can be shaped and formed into adult Christians. Highly recommended!”
—Thomas A. Noble, Nazarene Theological Seminary
Dr. Cockerill’s work here is accessible to a wide range of contexts and audiences. Whether used in personal devotions, textbook for a class, or study in the local church, the Holy Spirit will use this book to form believers into greater likeness to God through our “all sufficient High Priest who ‘remains forever.’”
—Christopher T. Bounds, Indiana Wesleyan University
“Readers will find their knowledge and experience of God in Christ strengthened and deepened.”
—Matt O’Reilly, Wesley Biblical Seminary
“In this reading guide, Cockerill has masterfully and passionately showcased the crown jewels discovered during his lifetime of exploration in the book of Hebrews.. . . .This is a journey not to be missed, and never to be forgotten!”
Jesus and His disciples have arrived in Jerusalem. Will the events about to take place awaken the disciples from their denial of His coming crucifixion? What did it mean when Jesus cleansed the Temple? Was He more than a reformer? Listen to today’s podcast below:
For the earlier podcasts in this series, click here.
The disciples are in denial as Jesus approaches Jerusalem on his journey to the Cross. Only the crucified and resorted Jesus will be able to awaken them to reality. But there is one person that gets it. Blind Bartemaeus. He acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah and follows Him “on the way” to the cross. Listen to podcast #11 in this series by clicking below.
What did Jesus mean, anyway, when He told us that, if we would be His disciples, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him? Jesus explains this self-denial and cross-bearing in Mark 9:30-50. Then, in Mark 10:1-31 Jesus addresses three of the things most likely to deter us from following Him–sex, power, and money. Listen to podcast #10 in this series for a concise explanation of this Scripture. Click the following link: https://frommangoestomelchizedek.com/a-short-course-in-following-jesus-studies-in-the-gospel-of-mark/
What should we think about a human being who does what only God can do and does it in a way that only God can accomplish? As we have listened to Mark, the insufficient answers have fallen away—Jesus is not demon possessed, He is not insane, He is not Elijah, one of the prophets, or John the Baptist come back to life. Even His disciples, however, have had difficulty in getting their minds around this reality. As soon, however, as they arrive at a right answer, “You are the Christ,” Jesus tells them that he must be crucified in Jerusalem. Furthermore, if they would be His disciples, they must “deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him.” What in the world does He mean? Listen to podcast #9 “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Click below to access all nine podcasts. https://frommangoestomelchizedek.com/a-short-course-in-following-jesus-studies-in-the-gospel-of-mark/
The disciples are now involved in Jesus’ ministry. They have preached, healed, and cast out demons in His name. They passed out the bread and fish when He fed the 5,000. They were in the boat when He came walking on the water. And yet, we are told that their hearts were “hardened.” The story of their slowness to believe, as told in Mark 7:1—8:21, is the subject of podcast #8, “He Who Has Ears to Heart, Let Him Hear.” This story awakens us from superficial faith and calls us to embrace Jesus with all we have. All eight podcasts are available by clicking below: https://frommangoestomelchizedek.com/a-short-course-in-following-jesus-studies-in-the-gospel-of-mark/
When we look at the founding the Church at Philippi (Acts 16) and read what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, we come to understand why God chooses to work through human weakness. His working through our weakness is a great mercy. If we come to think that we can build God’s Kingdom or meet our own spiritual needs with our programs, all is lost. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord!”
Today’s lesson gives us a glimpse of early Christian community by focusing on Priscilla and Aquila and the church(es) that met in their household! This glimpse is enough to make us hungry for that community today.