Let's look at some background material before we dig into the text itself. First, who wrote this book? The author does not give his name, but there have been worthwhile suggestions, such as the apostle Paul, Barnabas, his former missionary partner, Luke, the author of the third gospel and Acts, and the skilled preacher mentioned in the book of Acts named Apollos. When you read the book as a whole, it's not hard to see the influence of Paul, but the truth is, only the LORD knows who wrote it.
The time in which it was written has also been a point of study, but most Bible scholars place it as before the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The book itself highlights the sacrificial system and there is no mention of its demise. All sacrifices ended after the Temple's demise by the hands of Rome. This destruction had been predicted by the Lord Jesus prior to His crucifixion and resurrection. It was written to show the Jews who had come to Christ that His sacrifice on the cross for our sins was superior to that of the sacrificial system they had known since the days of Moses. There was no further need to place an innocent animal on the altar as a means of atoning for our sins. The work of Jesus Christ had settled the issue once and for all.
The key word in Hebrews is "better". Through the work of Christ, we have a better revelation (1:1-4); a better hope (7:19); a better priesthood (7:20-28); a better covenant and promise (8:6); a better sacrifice (9:23); a better possession (10:34); a better country (11:16), and a better resurrection (11:35). Hebrews shows us the finished work of Christ for our sins. There is no other gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) and there is no other way of salvation (John 14:6; Romans 10:9-10).
This letter, or book, is meant to be a source of spiritual comfort to us as a certainty of what Jesus Christ has done for us (2 Timothy 1:12). This book also shows us, as Gentiles (non-Jews), that we do not need to add any works or rituals of our own alongside that of Christ's atonement for us. The Scriptures as a whole tell us that we cannot in any way, shape, or form, do anything to save ourselves. We must throw oursleves on the love and mercy of Jesus Christ in order to have real peace with God and the assurance of our salvation. Christianity is not another religion, but is the work of the LORD in securing an eternal relationship based in love and compassion. It is the LORD who has sought us, and not us seeking Him (on our own terms). With that said, we will begin our study of the text when we meet again. May the Lord Jesus Christ be honored and glorified always. Amen.