How Is Hebrews Like a Lasagna?
The Book of Hebrews has three interdependent, repeated themes that are layered like a tasty lasagna.
Every chapter in Hebrews gives reasons for or examples of confidence in God. Layered between these truths and testimonies are stories of people who are being implored to persevere in both faith and relationships.
So, what does this have to do with us today?
Hebrews 3:7–8a reads, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (emphasis added). A hardened heart is “a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (Heb. 3:12b). An unbelieving heart may be evidence that one is not persevering in faith, while relationships with other believers are key to maintaining both perseverance and confidence.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first (Heb. 3:13–14).
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:23–25).
Chapters 12 and 13 give more examples of how our day-to-day interactions help us persevere in the confidence of our faith. Admittedly, maintaining relationships is difficult with restrictions on gatherings, quarantines, and fragile health. However, we can ask God to give us ideas on how to do this day-to-day, as we all need meaningful, life-giving connections!
I believe that’s why the themes in Hebrews are layered like a lasagna. God knows the weariness life on this earth brings, and He wants to remind us—again and again—just how big, powerful, and understanding He is. At every turn in in this book He redirects our attention to Him, reminding us that we are not alone in this journey.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb. 12:1–3).