Hebrews 12

A Call to Endure

Jesus's Endurance

Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself (Hebrews 12:3).

The official condemnation of Jesus to death came from the relatively minor governor of Roman Judea, Pontius Pilate. Pilate was appointed governor of Judea in AD 26/27, and he held the post until March of AD 37. This limestone inscription was found in 1961 in secondary use in the theater of Caesarea. A suggested restoration reads: “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea, made and dedicated the Tiberium to the Divine Augustus.”

Faithful to the End

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your struggle against sin (Hebrews 12:4).

Although the original audience of this book had not yet shed blood for the faith, there were those in the early church who had. Stephen, whose death is related in Acts 7, is known as the first Christian martyr. This photo shows a statue of Stephen looking up to heaven in front of St. Etienne’s (St. Stephen’s) basilica on the French property of Ecole Biblique, north of the Old City of Jerusalem.


Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (Hebrews 12:9)

This second-century relief gives a sense of how the Romans conceptualized submission. As the sovereign (likely a king or general) sits on a chair, he is approached by a man on bended knee with hands clasped, both signs of submission. He appears to be kissing the hand of the seated man. The sarcophagus was discovered near the Via Tiburtina, and its style seems to have been inspired by the Antonine Column.

Earthly Fathers

For they disciplined us for a short time, as they thought best (Hebrews 12:10).

The author reasons that we submit to earthly fathers who lack experience and wisdom; how much more then should we submit to our heavenly father whose discipline is always for our good and produces holiness? This statue depicts a father and son carrying supplies for a religious feast. It comes from the sanctuary of Apollo at Dali and was photographed at the British Museum.

A Permanent Kingdom

Since we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28).

Even before the Roman Empire had come to full power, Rome was personified as a goddess, Roma. This supposedly eternal and divine kingdom, however, proved no more permanent than any that had come before it. By contrast, the author of Hebrews promises an unshakable kingdom to the children of God. This photo shows a bronze statuette, dating to AD 50–70, of either Roma or Virtus. It was photographed at the Getty Villa.

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