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Hebrews and Yawning


Though we do not know who wrote it, Hebrews is among the most theologically significant letters in the New Testament. It provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the Bible as operating on the axis of covenants. This is so essential to its function that Vos called it the "epistle of the diatheke" or "epistle of the covenant". As a whole, Hebrews presents a message of Jesus as "the guarantor of a better covenant" (Heb 7:22). Perhaps what is most fascinating about this presentation in Hebrews is how it casts this concept in history. We see this in the opening two verses.


"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." (Heb 1:1-2a)


Here the revelation of God through Jesus Christ is presented as the final revelation in a series of revelations from God. We see this in that there is a historical-chronological component to what is being communicated here. God spoke "long ago" and he has spoken "in these last days". You can think of this as a timeline of God's special revelation which finds its completion in the Son. The timeline then would be one of redemptive history. We can liken such a statement to John 1:18, "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, [Jesus Christ] has made him known". All of God prior revelatory acts find their satisfaction in the Son.


It is 11:20pm as I write this and I am currently yawning a great deal. I think that yawning is one of the most satisfying biological experiences we have as humans. It begins with the mouth opening and lips pushing out. Your chest begins to puff out and there is a pressure building up inside. As the pressure grows and grows you hear what almost sounds like a roaring thunder in your ears. Finally, as the pressure reaches its climactic moment your eyes close and the ultra-satisfying yawn reaches its fullness. It is ultra-satisfying indeed.


What is not satisfying is an incomplete yawn. You know that feeling when you've gone through all the yawn steps and then at the last moment its cut off and incomplete. You're not satisfied and, if you're like me, you can't wait for the next yawn to come and make up for it. The pressure, chest puffing, and ear roaring have no satisfying purpose if not to lead up to that final yawn-moment.


The writer of Hebrews wants us to consider all of special revelation in that same way. If it were not for the climactic expression of God's special revelation in his Son, then all the special revelation that came before it would be left unsatisfied. Jesus Christ is the omega point!




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