Summary: Because god has come to earth in the person of Christ, He can fully relate to us.
Today I have Good News to share with you! Our God is one who can relate to us in an understanding and life-changing way! This is possible because of what we celebrate at Christmas. Because God came to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ, it is possible for Him to relate to each us personally, understandingly, and intimately.
Notice how the writer of Hebrews tells us about what God accomplished for us through the person of Jesus Christ and His coming to earth.
1. His identification with us - v. 15
Part of why God can relate to us is that, through Christ, He has "walked where we walk." He battled temptation just like we do. Only He succeeded. He was hungry, He was thirsty, He was tired, He was injured. He knows what it is like to lose a loved one, He knows what it is like to be betrayed by those you trust, He knows what it is like to have people spread rumors about you, He knows what it is like to be unpopular. He knows what it is like to have everyone brand you a "success" and what it is like to have everyone brand you a "failure." His identification with us was part of what Christmas is all about.
"All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet, ‘Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel’--
which, when translated, means, ‘God with us.’"
- Matthew 1:22-23 (Amplified)
"To get ready for Christmas, God undressed. God stripped off his finery and appeared - how embarrassing - naked on the day he was born . . . God could not be "God-with-us" if He wasn’t flesh.
As evangelicals we have focused on the saving death of Christ
but thrown out the Incarnation in our Christmas wrappings.
As we cover God with Christmas, we hide what is most
distinctive about Christianity. And this is the tragedy:
What many don’t know about Christianity is that God has
chosen to identify with their pain, their humanness, their flesh."
- Mary Ellen Ashcroft, "Gift Wrapping God"
He knows what life on this earth is like, because He has walked where we walk, yet He did so victoriously! A victory He won for us!
2. His victory for us - v. 14 - "who has gone through the heavens"
Peter described the nature of the victorious life of Jesus this way in Acts 2:22-24; 32-33.
"Now, listen to what I have to say about Jesus from Nazareth.
God proved that he sent Jesus to you by having him work miracles, wonders, and signs. All of you know this. God had already planned and decided that Jesus would be handed over to you. So you took him and had evil men put him to death on a cross. But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power. All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life! Jesus was taken up to sit at the right side of God, and he was given the Holy Spirit, just as the Father had promised. Jesus is also the one who has given the Spirit to us."
- Acts 2:22-24; 32-33 (CEV)
The victory Jesus won for us is that He lived a perfect, sinless life, ending it by dying on the cross, where He suffered the penalty for the sins of the entire world. As evidence of the fact that sin has been fully paid for, He was raised from the dead and has ascended to heaven. Jesus Christ, in His humanity is now seated , as some translations put it, "on the right hand of God." What does this expression mean?
The story is told of a little girl and her mom discussing the morning Sunday school class. The child told her mom that they talked about Jesus going up to heaven and that He is now sitting beside God.
As they continued to look at the Sunday School paper, the mother noticed a picture of a rainbow. She said, "Look at that beautiful rainbow that God painted for us!"
The little girl replied, "And just think, Mommy, God did it all with His left hand." The mother replied, "What do you mean? Can’t God use both His hands?"
The girl stated, "Of course not, Mom, my Sunday School Teacher said that Jesus is sitting on His right hand."
Just what is meant when we are told the Jesus Christ is at the "right hand of God?" It means that Jesus, in His humanity, has been exalted to a position of honor and power. It refers to what Paul tells us in Philippians 2:6-11.