There are a number of great events on the church calendar year which we focus on throughout the year. For instance, in the past, some of our churches have focused on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Pentecost, Ascension Day, Reformation Day as well as the six-week period of Lent and of course the four-week period of Advent.
The two main periods are Christmas and Easter, and it is good to focus for a moment on both these in the final week of Advent. The very thing that is obvious is that both were necessary. The writer to the Hebrews connects both events in Ch 2:14, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil.”
We know from Scripture that when man sinned, the just sentence from God was death (Gen 3:19; Rom 6:23). Hence, since mankind sinned, our Saviour had to share in their humanity, taking on our flesh and blood, otherwise, He would not have been able to save those God had chosen unto eternal life beforehand (Eph 1:4). Although we understand this to be the case as taught in Scripture, we should not belittle this event. We are speaking about a mystery that is in many ways too wonderful for us to fully comprehend. Before Christ came as a baby in a manger, He was the eternal Word and was with God and was God at Creation (John 1:1). He clothed his deity with flesh and blood and became fully man whilst also remaining fully God (Phil 2:5ff).
He came as a baby and became fully man with one main purpose in mind, to save sinners who repent and believe. He came to secure their salvation which meant He came to die as a man and that is why He took on our humanity. Man sinned and could no longer save himself and hence a sinless man had to die to satisfy the justice of God. Good Friday, therefore, is inextricably connected to Christmas Day and is indeed the reason for the festivities at this time of year.
However, it wasn’t only God’s justice that needed to be met for man’s sin by our Saviour’s death, but by his death, he would destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil. The baby born in Bethlehem did this by covering our sin with his perfect righteousness through His sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection (Rom 3:21ff). Hence, when we stand before the judge of all the earth, no legitimate accusations can be levelled at us, because they are all covered by the broken body and shed blood of our Saviour. What was previously Satan’s weapon against us, our sin, has been taken care of by the baby born on Christmas Day on Good Friday.
What does this all mean? The debilitating fear of death has been taken away and it no longer has hold over us (v15). We can now rejoice in the Saviour Whom God has provided and in thankful response live in the joy of our salvation every day. Have a blessed Christmas enjoying God’s greatest gift of His Son to us and while you’re at it, tell others about this gift too. JZ.
Pastor John Zuidema
Since 1997 Pastor John has been ministering to Churches across Australia and New Zealand.