Foreword by F.F. Bruce
“OUR MAN IN HEAVEN” sums up very aptly the central emphasis of the Letter to the Hebrews. The human family has in the presence of God an acceptable Representative — acceptable because He is most authentically one with ourselves, partaker of our flesh and blood, and acceptable too because He is persona gratissima with God, being the Son through whom God has spoken His final and perfect word to mankind.
Our Lord’s present ministry on His people’s behalf “in matters for which they are responsible to God” guarantees for them an inexhaustible supply of grace and power to cope with all the troubles and temptations that are inseparable from present life on earth. Provision to match the need of the moment comes the more opportunely from One who, when on earth, was spared none of these troubles and temptations, but endured them all and triumphed over them.
Next, our Lord’s presence before God on our behalf guarantees for us also free access before God. Since God welcomes Him as our Representative, He welcomes by the same token those whom our Lord represents. Both now and hereafter the way into the heavenly sanctuary stands open through Him for those who are united with Him by faith. He who is the source of our present help is also the ground of our eternal hope.
Again, our Lord now ministers as our Representative in the presence of God because He has blazed a trail thither along which He now calls us to follow Him.
The first readers of this Letter were reluctant to leave the familiar securities of their ancestral pattern of religious life for the hazardous adventure of following One who set such little store by His own personal security. But if men and women in the first century A. D. had not been willing to do this very thing – to obey the injunction “Let us go forth” — there would have been no future for the Christian cause on earth. It is equally necessary for us 1900 years later to be ready to leave our familiar securities and follow Him who is still calling His people along the unpredictable trail of faith. To know this by experience is also involved in understanding what is meant by having “our Man in heaven.”
It is a pleasure to commend Mr. Fudge’s exposition of the Letter to the Hebrews. A superficial perusal of the Letter may suggest that it has little relevance to readers today. A more careful study reveals that its message is astonishingly up-to-date, speaking directly to the conditions of Christian existence in this uncertain world. I hope that, with the help of Mr. Fudge’s study, many readers will grasp the message of the Letter and learn to live by it.