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Implications of the Incarnation

Christmas is on its way whether we’re ready for it or not. Its consequences ring true all over the world from the exchanging of gifts to the singing of carols to the gathering of loved ones. And although these implications may not be experienced by every family, there are some implications of Christmas for every family.

The author of Hebrews tells his readers that Jesus became man to come to the aid of those who suffer (2:18), to intervene on their behalf. When you think of the incarnation this Christmas, you need to think of its implications, both identification and intervention.     

Jesus’ Incarnation (2:14-15)

Therefore, since man has flesh and blood (cf. 2:9-13), the One who identifies with man must also have flesh and blood. Jesus assumed full humanity; He experienced human conditions common to man. Although Jesus became man, the goal was to die and to make ineffective the devil’s power over death, and to free believers from the fear of death. He is “champion” (2:10), the one who crushed the devil and authored our salvation. 

Jesus’ Identification (2:16-17)

For assuredly, it is not the angels Jesus helps, but Abraham’s descendants, and He does so because death enslaved them. Jesus “takes hold of,” or “helps” the children of God to safely bring them into fellowship and deliver them from suffering and the bondage of the fear of death. Therefore, since Jesus’ humanity was for man’s benefit, what was necessary for Him to do?

Consequently, and in every respect, Jesus identified with humanity by becoming man and suffering. Through this He became a merciful and faithful priest; the believer’s priest because He is compassionate (“made perfect through suffering,” 2:10) and faithful (“experienced death for every man,” 2:9). Through an obedient earthly life (sufferings) He qualified for the office of priest.

Christ experienced death so believers don’t have to. His incarnation brought man and God together, and His death was the wrath-bearing sacrifice for the sins of the people. Those people that place their faith in Jesus will not experience God’s wrath.  

Jesus’ Intervention (2:18)

His birth exposed Him to the sufferings and tensions of human life, the climax of which is His death. He was faithful to death and did not divorce Himself from the sufferings of this life, therefore, He is able to help those who also suffer (cf. Heb 4:14-16).

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