Receive the Forgiveness of Jesus
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.
How can we escape from the power of sin and death? How can we experience forgiveness? How can we live each day in unbroken relationship with God? Answers to these questions can be found in Hebrews 2:10-18.
This passage focuses on the Incarnation and the difference it makes in our lives. The Son of God “became flesh and blood” in order to identify with human beings (2:14). Why? “For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death....Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people” (2:14, 17). The Incarnation alone does not take away our sin, but it is a necessary prerequisite for salvation that comes through the cross. Because Jesus was fully human, he was able to die in our place, thus opening up for us the way to eternal life.
Many of us, even though we have put our faith in Jesus as our Savior, still live as if we can and must atone for our own sins. With our lips, we confess that salvation is in Christ alone, but in our hearts and our actions, we try to prove to God that we are worthy of his forgiveness. This spiritual dead end keeps us from enjoying the new life we have in Christ, a life set free from the power of sin, guilt, and shame.
Keeping Christmas well means seeing the connection between Christmas and Good Friday, between the birth of the Son of God and his saving death on the cross. Honoring Christmas means allowing Jesus to take away our sins by putting our trust in him as our Savior. It means thankfully receiving the forgiveness of God each day, using our freedom in Christ to serve God freely and joyfully in our work, in our family, in our neighborhoods, and in our churches.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what way does it matter to you that Jesus was fully human as well as fully God? Do you live in the gracious forgiveness of God each day? Why or why not?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Son of God, how I thank you today for your Incarnation, for becoming flesh and blood for the sake of humanity. Thank you for being able to bear my sin upon the cross, thus breaking the reign of sin and death over me. Thank you for being my merciful and faithful High Priest.
Help me, dear Lord, to live in the reality of your Incarnation and the salvation it made possible. Thus, help me to keep Christmas well each and every day.
All praise and glory be to you, Lord Jesus, fully God and fully human. Amen.