During this season people are thinking about the birth of Jesus. This week I’m focusing on the idea of Christmas, but more specifically I want to use this time to teach on the incarnation. If you are a parent this could be a good way to help your kid understand why Jesus came to earth. If you haven’t yet, check out the first post concerning some common myths of Christmas. The post should help you separate fact from fiction. (Click here to read).
The first place I want to start in our discussion of the incarnation is not the normal place to start. Most of the talk about the birth of Jesus centers on the Gospels and rightfully so. Later posts in this series will investigate what the Gospels teach us about the Incarnation, but I want to start in a different book. The book of Hebrews provides us with a lot of information concerning the incarnation of Jesus. It provides for us reasons why Jesus came in the flesh. I want to look at two key points in Hebrews to show what they teach us about Jesus becoming flesh (i.e the Incarnation).
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.16For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
1. Jesus became flesh to deliver us from the power of the devil. In order for Jesus to destroy Satan’s power He had to remove the fear of death. The fear of death could not be removed unless Jesus became like us. The incarnation was the beginning of Jesus destroying Satan’s power and liberating from death’s fear. This was culminated in His death and Resurrection. Without Jesus becoming flesh we would always be slaves to the fear of death, but now we are liberated.
2. Jesus became flesh to become our high priest. He is our high priest in that He makes reconciliation for His power. This reconciliation is seen in the death of Christ for our sins. Jesus died as our sin offering. Jesus’ high priesthood is different than the OT high priest because Jesus both was the one making the offering and the offering Himself. In chapter 4 we are told as well that Jesus is able to sympathize with us because He became flesh. Those who have a high priest who provided for our sins (through His death) and knows our weaknesses.
Two powerful reasons why Jesus became flesh. What hope they both provide!