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Advent 2011, Second Sunday Print E-mail
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I. Introduction: 

 Why did Jesus have to put on flesh, come to earth, die, and be raised again? Why was that necessary? It is the second major event in the history of redemption that makes the incarnation absolutely necessary, namely the Fall of humanity into sin. It is the Fall that makes Christís birth necessary. Godís character, His holiness, demanded a penalty be paid for our sin. Something had to be done about our rebellion against God. The author of Hebrews points out some reasons why Jesus had to come to deal with our sins. Letís consider briefly what he says in the passage that we just heard.

II.  Reasons why Jesus had to deal with sin:

 A.  No other sacrifice was sufficient: The whole book of Hebrews is an extended argument for the superiority of Jesus and the New Covenant in comparison to the Old Covenant.  In chapter 9 the author is specifically dealing with the sacrificial system.  Under the Old Covenant, animals were sacrificed to atone for sin, since without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (9:22).  Yet, the author will point out that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (10:4).  Thus, a greater sacrifice was needed.  The sacrifices in the Old Covenant could not ultimately deal with sins.  They were insufficient.  They were just a copy and shadow of what was to come.  And what did they point to?  What sacrifice could be sufficient to pay for our sins?  The only sacrifice that could actually atone for our sins was the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ Himself.  Only Christ was worthy enough to enter into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

 B.  No other sacrifice was permanent: The author of Hebrews also points out that the sacrifices under the Old Covenant had to be offered repeatedly.  The sacrifice of atonement was made yearly by the high priest.  But not so with Christ: But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (9:26).  In one sense, this simple sentence answers the question of why Jesus had to take on flesh.  It was necessary for Him to come in order to deal with sin.  And the glorious good news is that He has indeed dealt with it.  He has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And He did this once for all.  Jesus came because of the Fall.  He came to pay for our sins by offering Himself at the cross.  He was offered once to bear the sins of many (9:27).  His sacrifice is permanent.  As was stated last week, after He offered Himself, He sat down at the Fatherís side because His atoning work was finished.  No other sacrifice was needed. 

III. Conclusion:

 The Fall, our sins and rebellion, made the incarnation necessary.  Godís holiness required that a sacrifice be made for our sins.  Jesus took on flesh to be that sacrifice.  And how do we know that God, the Father, accepts that sacrifice?  Because Jesus was raised from the dead and is going to return.  He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him (9:27).  When He returns He will not have to deal with sin because He has already done that.  He will return for those who have humbled themselves, confessed their sins and placed their faith in His sacrifice.  May we be numbered among those who are eagerly waiting for him.  Amen.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 December 2011 )

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