- I Know Whom I Have Believed
- Joy to the World
- It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
- INTRODUCTION:As we head closer to Christmas, I would like begin to look at some texts related to Christmas.This morning we will look at Hebrews 2:14-15What makes up the average American Christmas?> A staple of American Christmas is shopping.- In 2018, Americans collectively spent $6.2 billion on Black Friday and $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday alone.- The National Retail Federation says that American families will spend an average of 998 dollars for the Holiday Season.Many Apologist have noted how most Americans get their happiness from shopping, and especially at ChristmasAlso,>Travel is a major part of Christmas in America.- AAA noted that 115.6 Million people traveled in 2019.- Some flew, others drove.And a staple of American Christmas is travel.Even in a Pandemic, Many of us will travel, or have family who are traveling to us.> And Marketing is at all time high at Christmas.It comes like a torrential rainstorm.From TVNew BannersBrand New Sections pop up at Walmart.We are just saturated with marketing at Christmas.Dave Ramsey has challenged - that we live in the most marketed age in the history of the world.And in all that noise - the spending, the travel, the marketing … we sometimes lose sight of the reason for Christmas.Why do we have Christmas?What is God’s reason for giving us Christmas?In short summary, many of us will say - its the Birth of Jesus.The Reason for the Season - is the Birth of Jesus.And that is true, but when we say that - what do we mean?I have 4 children.Many of you have children.As much as we love our children, there is a 0.001 chance that anyone will remember their names 2000 years after their birth.Much less name a holiday after them, and people call it the reason for the season.So when we say - Jesus’s Birth is the reason for the season.We mean something more than just a birth.Today we are going to look at a passage that gives us the reason we have Christmas.It gives us the reason Jesus was born.And the reason we celebrate him.In other words - it gives us a clear picture of why Jesus is the Reason for the Season.Hebrews 2:14-15 explains why Jesus was born.Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.According to the Author of Hebrews:The reason for Christmas is the destruction of Satan and death.And our passage teaches us why.****************** Lets Pray as we consider the reason for Jesus’s Birth.****************** Lets Pray as we consider the reason for Jesus’s Birth.****************** Lets Pray as we consider the reason for Jesus’s Birth.Hebrews 1 , 2 begins describing a message that was sent from God- through the prophets- and ultimately through, Jesus.And in Hebrews 2:14-15 - explains how -Jesus was born, partaking of flesh. (Heb 2:14)Calling Hebrews 2:14 – 15 a Christmas passage is not original with me.Many have noted the clear reference to Jesus’s birth in this passage.Observe the reference to Jesus’s birth.“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things” (Hebrews 2:14)The author of Hebrews says,because we have flesh and blood,Jesus also took on flesh and blood.Flesh and blood is synonymous with being human.We know that we have life, and we know that we are human,because we have flesh and blood.Take away the flesh and blood and you have no life.For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.So our text says - “he himself likewise partook of the same things”In order for Jesus to be like us, and thus able to take on our sin and fallenness,Jesus had become just like us.He had to share in the same flesh and blood.The author of Hebrews will later draw this connection to Jesus taking on flesh and blood.Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.So Jesus taking on flesh and blood is important.We call this various things.Partaking of flesh = Birth of Christ = Incarnation of Christ- Birth is partake of flesh.- Incarnation literally means to take on flesh.I say all this,to make it very clear that this is a Christmas passage.- It is not Luke 2.- But it is certainly talking about the birth of Christ.The event that Christians celebrate as Christmas.But,Why did Jesus partake in the flesh?If we were to do a full theology of why Jesus was born, I acknowledged their are a number of answers.Maybe some favorites of yours.But the author of Hebrews focuses on two.“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that” (Hebrews 2:14)The word “that” is really important.This is an example where you need to understand the words behind the English.Because it is conjunction - that tells us the purpose of Jesus taking on flesh.This is why the NET translation says:Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil),As does the HCSB.Why did Jesus partake in the flesh?The Author of Hebrews, givest us two reasons.Let’s consider those reasons this morning.First, Jesus Took on Flesh -1) To Destroy Satan’s Power. (Heb 2:14)Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,Although Adam and Eve were guilty for their sin,who was the one who tempted them?Satan.God was walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve,and Satan wanted to be like the most high,and establish his own Kingdom.Thus he tempted Adam and Eve - to disobey God.And from there, all of creation fell under sin and death.Paul taught this in -Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.And thus - I would argue that we all without Christ live under the rule of Satan.After all, Paul teaches us that before Christ, we all were under the rule of Darkness.He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,Since the fall of man - Satan has used death to rule us.And the author of Hebrews says -“the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil”How many people have suffered under death?How many people have faced eternal judgement because of death?Literally, billions.The Reason Jesus took on flesh,was so that through his death on the cross he could free us from Satan’s bondage.He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,The Reason Jesus took on flesh - is so that he could destroy the power of Satan.The second reason, the Author of Hebrews gives us - is2) To Destroy Death. (Heb 2:15)and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.The word “and” tells us this is a second reason why Jesus took on flesh.- The first, so he could overthrow the power of Satan through death.- The second, so he could destroy death itself.In what way did Jesus destroy death?Our passage emphasizes -a) The Fear of Death.How many of you have meet someone who was afraid dying?It once was told of a young man named Joseph Addison.
Joseph Addison went to Oxford in the seventeenth century and applied for admission at Magdalen College. He was ushered into a room draped in black and lighted by a single taper. When the president of the college—a gloomy Puritan—appeared, the candidate’s examination related not to Latin, Greek, or literature, as he had thought, but to his personal faith. Suddenly the young man was asked, “Are you prepared for death?” Whereupon Addison fled, never to return.He didn’t want to face the reality of Death.He was terrified by death.Without Christ, death is one of the scariest experiences anyone could go through.Whether we know the truth, and judgment is coming.Or whether we simply have no idea what happens after death.Death is scary without Christ.And those who aren’t afraid of death - why not?You are either pretending it is not going to happen, with disastrous consequences.Or it is because you know Christ.Death is something to be feared.But notice what our text says.Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.Jesus took on flesh - to deliver us from the fear of death.But how can Jesus deliver us from fear of death?Only if he achieves victory over death.Jesus partook flesh -b) To Destroy Our Slavery to Death.Most American spends thousands of dollars a year - for health care.In fact, most panic if they begin to loose health insurance.We literally, want the best care that can be found,and pay top dollar for it.One of the great debates of our time, is how health care should run.And do those billions of dollars - free us from death?With all the money involved in the health care industry, year after year, how close have we come to curing death?We have been able to put off death, by modern medicine,but even modern medicine cannot stop us from ultimately dying.You could say, we are slaves to death.This is the imagery Paul uses.ILLUSTRATION:One of the most horrific industries of the 16th and 17th Century were slave trading ships.At the bottom of these ships, they would pile people from Africa.And there was nowhere to go to the bathroom.There was no way to shower.There barely had enough food to eat.And that is the picture Paul is giving us.We are slaves to death.But Jesus will do what a multi-billion dollar health industry cannot.Free us from death.Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.Literally, our text says, He delivers us from death through his death.Jesus took on flesh - to destroy our slavery to death.CONCLUSION:So I ask you today.Why do we have Christmas?What is the reason for Christmas?And we could correctly answer - Jesus is born.Most of you could probably give me that classic Sunday School answer.But then what does that mean?If you are not going to promise me that you will celebrate my kids birthdays for 2,000 years - then what does that mean.Why did God cause his son to be born, in the flesh?Because God so loved the world,he wanted to destroy the power of Satan and death.All of us before Christ - were trapped by the Power of Satan and the Power of Death.And so God did the only thing that could save us -For Jesus to become human like us. The God-Man.And for Jesus to die - HIS death destroying the works of the devil and the power of death.The Christmas story is more than a cute Bible story.Christmas isn’t simply about the God becoming man, in a manager.Though that is all true.Jesus birth, was a very deliberate, and intentional assault on Satan and his tool - death.Consider,- There was no other way, Satan and death could be conquered.It could only come through the birth and death of Jesus Christ.When celebrate Christmas,don’t let the culture distract us from the reason for Christmas.The shopping, travel, and marketing.The Cute Christmas Cards and Sayings.When we celebrate the Birth of Christ,make sure you remember the reason for Christmas.We have Christmas so that we can be saved from the power of Satan and the slavery of death.According to Hebrews 2:14-15.The Reason We Celebrate the Birth of Christ is that it marks the coming of the conqueror of Satan and Death.Response:a) What event does Hebrews describe? (Partaking of flesh and blood) Why did we need Jesus to come into the flesh?b) What is the significance of Satan’s rule over our lives? What does this rule look like?c) How does death enslave us? How have you experienced this bondage in your life?d) How does Jesus birth conquer Satan and death?f) How should Hebrews 2:14-15 affect your Christmas traditions?
- Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
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