Year 2 Day 273
Read - Hebrews 2:14-18
Message - Alan Burke
Are you in the Christmas Spirit yet? Wearing that Christmas jumper that the Mrs bought you? Got the decorations up? Excited about what gifts you might receive? Are you loving the nostalgic nonsense of it all, because let’s be honest that what most of it is and it’s very little to do about the coming of a Saviour. I may generalise, yet I know people who will make their annual pilgrimage to that church to sing those carols and they hear every year the message of a Saviour but they are there for that warm fuzzy feeling that they had as a child. Then on the other hand I know people that since the beginning of December have been hibernating, not because of Covid but because for them this time of year is one they would rather be over, as it is a perpetual reminder of what they have lost or what they have always wanted and never had and it is painful and when Saturday comes they will sit alone. There are many for whom Christmas is the hardest time of the year, the feeling that you’ve failed as a parent for what ever reason, those relationships that are a mess, some of us who won’t see those whom we love and for many of us there is that empty seat that we really wish wasn’t empty, maybe it’s for the first time or the tenth time or more.
The writer of Hebrews thought takes us to the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, he explains the purpose of the incarnation, one that although things are far from how we would want or desire it to be, should give those who believe hope and comfort in the midst of it all. Here in Hebrews 2 we are given that hope as we are told, v14 “Since therefore the children”, that is those who are in Christ. Since those who are in Christ they "share in flesh and blood”, that is because they are human, they share flesh and blood because they of Adam’s fallen race, “he” speaking of Christ, “Christ himself likewise partook in the same things", that is he took flesh and blood, he took our humanity because we are of Adam’s race.
In the incarnation, Christ who was fully God took to himself a human nature, he partook of the same flesh and blood as us. He came from the riches of glory, from the heavenly throne, from a highly exalted place to be born as a helpless, vulnerable, powerless, and dependent newborn baby, the infinite God took on the finite. In all of it from beginning to end, from the announcement of the angel Gabriel to Mary, who was likely no older than thirteen or fourteen years old, an uneducated peasant, who struggled for her daily bread, living in a culture that discounted women and their worth. She was to be blunt a nobody, from a nothing town that was unimportant and of no consequences. God might well “have gone to Jerusalem and picked out Caiaphas’s daughter, who was fair, rich, clad in gold embroidered raiment and attend by a retinue of maids in waiting. But God preferred a lowly maid from a mean town” (Martin Luther).
Christ was born in the manger an animal feeding trough, grew up under poor parents, worked as a carpenter, lowered Himself to be baptised by a man, faced the temptations of the devil after a death-defying fast and prayer, made friends and disciples of fishermen and tax collectors, who constantly vied for position, lacked a place where He could lay His head at night, touched the poor and the sick, was chased from place to place because of the people, was betrayed and denied by His own disciples, was wrongfully accused by the authorities of Israel, was sentence to death by Pontius Pilate, a Roman, was forced to walk the road to Calvary with the cross on His crushed shoulders, was stripped, shed His blood and bodily fluid and suffered death. His purpose in coming, in the incarnation was to die. He shared in our humanity, flesh and blood, becoming like us in every way so that he might die and that though his death He would over come death.
Q36 What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’ s love, peace of conscience, (Rom. 5:1–2,5) joy in the Holy Ghost, (Rom. 14:17) increase of grace, (Prov. 4:18) and perseverance therein to the end. (1 John 5:13, 1 Pet. 1:5)