20th September 2022
Read (Hebrews 2.14-18)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
A remarkable Christian truth is that God is glorious above all things and yet at one moment in history God the Son stepped into creation and took on flesh. We consider this at Christmas but truthfully it deserves our attention every single day. Christ is eternal, He always has been and always will be. All things were made through Him and for Him but He still He grew in a virgin’s womb and became like us in every way, yet without sin.
This was absolutely necessary because Christ’s church consists of sinful but redeemed humans. Just as you and I have blood pumping around our bodies and oxygen in our lungs, so too did Jesus take on the same things (v14). Indeed, even now, Christ continues in flesh and blood and the God man stands at the right hand of God. We should be humbled by this because in order for sinful humanity to be saved we needed a perfect human representative to pay the price for us.
Only Jesus could do it for only Jesus is true God, true man and without sin. Christ’s life was perfectly obedient. At no point did He sin, but at every point He kept God’s law perfectly and even when He received the punishment for sinners, He faced it willingly. The perfect man, our glorious representative died at Calvary and has categorically defeated death.
Satan on the other hand is the enemy of humanity. Some fools worship him by name whilst others unknowingly serve him. Bob Dylan had it right when he sang “You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed. You’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” We either serve the Lord or we serve Satan, there is no in-between.
Since the fall humanity has been in the grip of sin and death meaning that everyone who has ever been born has also died. We have wept in graveyards, we have worried about our health, we have done our best to avoid Covid and all because death is the enemy of humanity and we try to flee from it. Satan understands this and wishes to keep as many as possible in spiritual darkness.
But Christ's work has robbed death of it's sting. Christ called Satan "the strongman" but Christ was stronger by far. Satan has been bound and although he continues to rage, Christ has set his people free. Christians no longer need to fear death, we are no longer slaves to sin, Christ has delivered us (v15).
By taking on flesh and completing His work, Jesus has helped not the angels but "the offspring of Abraham" (v16). If we belong to Jesus then by extension we also belong to Abraham. We are his spiritual descendants by faith and it is as Paul writes "If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (Galatians 3v29)
My friends, today may be incredibly hard and there may be difficult days still to come but we would do well to daily contemplate the result of Christ's work. He became like us to help us and to destroy the works of the devil and sin. As a result, by faith in Christ, we are truly free. Death will still come but for the child of God it is followed by glory. Thanks be to God!
Q57 Which is the fourth commandment? The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.