What Christmas Is About
December 20, 2020
Hebrews 2:14-18 ESV
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. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
- What is Christmas mainly about?
- Another way of asking the same question – Why did Jesus come into the world on that first Christmas? What was the goal of his coming?
Four reasons from the text –
I. To destroy the devil (vs.14)
- The babe in the manger did not just stay in a manger. He obviously didn’t remain a baby forever. Rather, He grew up to die on the Cross In order to crush the head of the serpent; that is destroy the devil.
- Through His death and resurrection Jesus secured Satan’s final destruction.
- And while his final destruction awaits the last day– one day, the Bible says, he will be thrown in the lake of fire–we need to be reminded even now, in this age, the Enemy is a defeated enemy. He is an ousted enemy. He is a conquered enemy
- While the Enemy still inflicts great harm, we must be clear – even in this present age, his power is limited by God Himself. Evil cannot; indeed it will not win the day.
The heart of God is much upon the advancement of the kingdom of Christ among men, which is very comfortable to (or sets at peace) all those that wish well to it; the zeal of the Lord of hosts will overcome all opposition. — Matthew Henry
II. To deliver from fear (verse 15)
- Every human being who has ever lived has experienced at some level – the fear of death.
- We instinctively fear, “what will happen to me when I die”?
- Here the author of Hebrews tells us – Jesus came into the world in order to deliver us completely from that fear.
III. To save sinners (verse 17)
- The Son of God came into the world, He became man in order to become a propitation – for us.
- In love He became like us so that he could take our place as our representative.
- On the cross God poured out the wrath, the anger, the punishment that we deserved on his son Jesus instead of us. In love Jesus propitiated the wrath of God for those who would but put their faith in him.
- If you are believer in Jesus Christ, God’s anger, His wrath towards you has been far and forever and eternally removed from you!
- Your sins Will never, ever,ever be counted against you.
- As far as the east is from the west so far has he taken your sins from you.
- Because of Christ Jesus, You are not a object of Gods wrath, but instead an object of His lavish favor and blessing.
IV. To become our Sympathizer (verse 18)
He is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, a sympathizing physician, tender and skilful; he knows how to deal with tempted sorrowful souls, because he has been himself sick of the same disease, not of sin, but of temptation and trouble of soul. The remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations makes him mindful of the trials of his people, and ready to help them. — Matthew Henry
….whenever any evils pass over us, let it ever occur to us, that nothing happens to us but what the Son of God has himself experienced in order that he might sympathize with us; nor let us doubt but that he is at present with us as though he suffered with us. — John Calvin
Questions For Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, Hebrews 2:14-18. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- Re-read the notes from point #1. When you think that Jesus entered the world on that first Christmas with the goal of destroying the devil – and that at the Cross Jesus secured the Enemy’s final destruction — how does that affect you?
- Re-read the notes from point #2. How does verse 17 address the fear of death that is innate to human beings? What relatives and/or friends are you looking forward to seeing, one day in heaven? How does it affect you when you think Jesus came into the world on that first Christmas to take away our fear of death?
- Re-read the notes from point #3. Jesus came into the world to become a propitiation for us. What does propitiation mean? How can the truth that Jesus became our propitiation encourage and strengthen us this Christmas?
- Note: helpful definition of propitiation: “The doctrine of the propitiation is precisely this: that God loved the objects of His wrath so much that He gave His own Son to the end that He by His blood should make provision for the removal of His wrath. It was Christ’s so to deal with the wrath that the loved would no longer be the objects of wrath, and love would achieve its aim of making the children of wrath the children of God’s good pleasure.” – John Murray
- Re-read the quotes from point #4. How does Jesus sympathize with us? How does the truth that Jesus sympathizes with us comfort and encourage your own soul this Christmas?
- Take time to pray, thanking God for sending His Son into the world to rescue and redeem us.