The Letter to the Hebrews

Now that we have briefly discussed an interpretation of Bosch’s “Seven Deadly Sins and Four Last Things,” we need to consider how it assists us in understanding the letter to the Hebrews. I will focus on two: 1) the vision of God, and 2) the priestly ministry of Christ.

The first way is the depiction of the all-seeing eye of God. A common example is that a child never steals a cookie from the jar while mom is watching. How often, though, do we forget that God sees everything we do, we think, and we love? He says, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (3:12-13).

The vision of God works in two ways. Positively, it can become a motivation to do right because we love God and desire to please him. Alternatively, it may keep us from sin because God may chastise us accordingly. Later the author of Hebrews writes, “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (12:6).

Finally, in the painting, we see what God sees. Yes, A painful reminder of our sinful behavior confronts us. But there also stands the risen Savior in the center of the painting—as the very apple of God’s eye. God does not look at our sins without seeing the sacrifice of Christ which pacifies his just wrath toward us. “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers” (2:11-12).

Dwelling on the omniscience of God sanctifies us and pushes us toward maturity. Indeed, it conforms us to the image of God’s dear son.